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Wheelchair Lifts vs. Ramps on Accessible Vehicles

AMS Edge ramp

Should you buy a wheelchair lift or a ramp for your handicap accessible vehicle? In today's accessible world, there are many options when deciding how you'll get around town. It's important to invest in the right wheelchair lift or ramp for your needs and lifestyle both now and in the future.

AMS Vans Legend ramp

With the right choice, you can have a great solution that will give you years of service and continue to meet your mobility needs. Trust in our years of experience to help you find the perfect solution. We have studied the world of accessible transportation to put the very best combination of features for a wheelchair lift and ramp into our new and used handicap accessible vans.

Under Van Ramps

Hydraulic lifts support a metal grid that hides under the converted wheelchair van.

Pros

  • The ramp is out of view and does not take up interior space of the van

Cons

  • Damage occurs easily from the underside of the vehicle
  • Adds unnecessary weight to the vehicle decreasing fuel efficiency
  • Expensive to buy
  • Expensive to fix
  • Gets dirty easily
  • Parallel parking is difficult with deployment coming straight out the side, often hitting the curb
  • Only available with full-size vans
  • Finding parking is not always easy for full-size vans
  • Winter months cause significant lift problems
  • Heavier loads cause the van to bottom out often

Arm Wheelchair Lifts for Vans

The single-arm wheelchair lift raises and lowers a mobility scooter or wheelchair with a webbing strap or docking device.

Pros

  • Quiet arm lift
  • Uses existing van power system
  • Quick installation

Cons

  • Difficult to repair
  • Dangerous if not strapped in properly
  • Awkward
  • Unavailable on minivans
  • Changing wheelchairs to a larger type can make this wheelchair lift potentially unusable
  • Blocks the view
  • Often gets in the way
  • If interior model, it takes up cargo space
  • If exterior model, exposes the wheelchair lift (and sometimes wheelchair) to the outside elements, causing corrosion to the lift and wheelchair or mobility scooter
  • Depending on the location, it can keep other people from being able to get in and out easily
  • Difficult for the elderly to use
  • Weight limit often 300-500 pounds for the wheelchair and the person
  • Takes a lot more time to enter and exit the van
  • Pole tends to lean over time

Platform Wheelchair Lifts for Vans

The platform lift is attached to the outside of a vehicle on the back or can be an interior model that takes up most of the cargo space.

Pros

  • Exterior style wheelchair or scooter lift keeps interior space at a maximum

Cons

  • Interior style platform lift--takes up most of the space within the cargo bay
  • Exterior style platform lift--exposes lift and wheelchair or mobility scooter to the outside elements and may be difficult for drivers to see following behind the vehicle
  • Expensive to fix
  • Expensive to purchase
  • Adds unnecessary weight to the vehicle decreasing fuel efficiency
  • Unavailable on minivans
  • Finding parking is not always easy for full-size vans

Kneeling Systems

A kneeling system is installed on accessible vans to lower the incline of the ramp plane.

Pros

  • Decreases the ramp angle for manual wheelchair users

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Expensive to fix
  • Many reports of broken "low riding" vans that never stop kneeling

Wheelchair Van Ramps by AMS

This handicap ramp folds out above curb level allowing the wheelchair user to ride into the van without leaving the chair.

Pros

  • 10" lowered floor means extra head room and minimal "bottoming out"
  • No expensive kneeling system
  • Wired straight into the battery instead of the vehicle computer to save mechanical problems
  • 24-hour emergency call service
  • Wheelchair ramp folds out above the curb

Cons

  • Not an easy ramp for manual wheelchairs
  • Rear entry available for wheelchair passengers only, not drivers.

Interested in learning more about the AMS wheelchair ramp van conversion versus power chair or scooter lifts? Talk to one of our mobility consultants at 800-775-8267 for complete information.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

2013 Used 2013 Honda Odyssey EX-L w/DVD Wheelchair Van

USED Honda Odyssey EX-L w/DVD
NEW AMS Legend H Conversion

$41,495 $41,995


  • Stock #: 008640
  • Mileage: 74,244 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty
2017 Used 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Wheelchair Van

USED Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
NEW AMS Legend Conversion

$39,495 $39,995


  • Stock #: 558063
  • Mileage: 22,698 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Driver Pwr. Seat Base
2015 Used 2015 Ford Transit Wagon 350 XLT 15 Wheelchair Van

USED Ford Transit Wagon 350 XLT 15
NEW AMS Ford Rear/Side Conversion

$41,495 $41,995


  • Stock #: A58762
  • Mileage: 43,601 Miles
  • Ramp/Lift: Side or Rear Entry Lift
  • Features: Backup Camera, Bluetooth, 3YR/36K Conv Wrty, Parking Sensors, Driver Pwr. Seat Base, ADA Compliant

Vehicle Exterior


Exterior Appearance Inspection

  • Panel alignment/fit
  • Headlamp, taillamp/lens condition
  • Windshield/glass condition
  • Paint chips and scratches
  • Body damage/dents/dings
  • Trim and moldings

Vehicle Identification

  • In place and matching
  • Inspect certification label (federal requirement)
  • Check VIN label to paperwork
  • Check for non-completed recalls

Exterior Lights Function Properly and Illuminate as Designed

  • Headlights hi/low (including aim)
  • Parking lights/fog lights
  • License plate lights
  • Side marker lights
  • Tail lights / backup lights
  • Turn signal and cornering lights
  • Brake and high-mount stoplights
  • Emergency Flashers

Keys

  • Vehicle has 2 master key with remote entry (if applicable) and 2 valet key, flat key
  • Programmed to immobilizer

Door Lock System

  • Door opens/closes smoothly using interior and exterior door handles
  • Doors cannot be opened when lock button is in lock position
  • 2-turn unlock feature functions properly
  • Remote entry system operates properly
  • Theft-deterrent system functions properly
  • Child safety locks
  • Wireless door lock operation

Vehicle Interior


Interior Appearance Inspection

  • Seats: front/rear
  • Steering wheel/airbags
  • Armrests/door handles
  • Lower door and sill plates
  • Gearshift selection handle
  • Radio/AC control markings
  • Headliners/sun visors

Seat Belts

  • Extend/retract smoothly
  • Free of twists, cuts or signs of wear
  • Buckles lock securely

Seat Operation

  • Lumbar support operation
  • Memory control operates properly*
  • Headrest functions properly
  • Heaters function properly*
  • Seat cushion angle and height adjustment
  • Seatback angle adjustment

Power Windows / Locks

  • Function Properly

Trunk/Fuel Lid Release

  • Functions Properly (interior)

Glove Compartment

  • Contains portfolio, owner's manual, supplement

Steering Wheel

  • Tilt/telescopic functionability
  • Horn functions properly
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Steering wheel locks
  • Warning chime (key in -- door open)

Windshield Wiper

  • Functions in hi/low/intermittent
  • Wiper blades clean properly
  • Rain sensing wipers*

Dashboard Lights Illuminate as Designed

  • Turn signal: left/right
  • High beam indicator
  • Emergency flashers
  • Instrument panel control knob
  • Waring lights: oil pressure, brake, fuel, charge, seatbelt, open door, engine check, rear light failure, ABS, SRS
  • Check operation of guages

Rear Defogger

  • Functions properly

Air Conditioner / Heater

  • Climate control system functions properly for both heating and cooling

Interior Lights

  • Dome/map/vanity mirror/courtesy lamps/foot function properly

Audio/Navigation System

  • Power/volume switch functions properly
  • Preset station indicator
  • Cassette/CD function (scan, seek, rewind, fast forward) operates properly
  • Navigation system operates properly*
  • Speakers sound clear
  • CD cartridge (if applicable)

Sunroof

  • Tilt/slide operates properly

Clock/Cigarette Lighters/Ashtray/Cupholders

  • Function properly

Outside/Inside Rearview Mirrors

  • Power controls function properly

Luggage Compartment


Luggage Compartment

  • Spare tire size, sidewall condition, tread depth and air pressure
  • Spare tire and attaching hardware, cover, jack, jack tools and wheel lock (if applicable) are present, properly installed and secure
  • Manual fuel lid release operates

Under The Hood


Engine Hood Release

  • Interior release operates properly

The Following Fluid Levels Meet Industry Standard

  • Engine oil replaced and proper level
  • Automatic transmission fluid level
  • Brake fluid level
  • Power steering fluid level
  • Engine coolant fluid level
  • Washer fluid level

Engine Mechanical

  • Excessive fuel pump noise
  • Cooling system (radiator, overflow tank, hoses, coolant level)
  • Water pump (noise/leaks)
  • Air filter (replace as necessary)
  • Inspect oil for contaminants
  • Engine noise (knocks, rattles)
  • Transmission noise (whines, clunks)
  • Belts (wear or damage)
  • Check engine diagnostics

Battery

  • No damage or leakage and proper group size/amp rating
  • Tests to standards

Engine Fans

  • Function properly

Under the Vehicle

Tires (Minimum tread depth 5/32")

  • FL: _______/32"
  • RL: _______/32"
  • FR: _______/32"
  • RR: _______/32"
  • Sidewall condition
  • Proper size, type and match
  • Tire pressure

Wheels

  • Condition/size/fit
  • Check wheel lug-nut torque

Brake Inspection (Minimum 6mm of pad material required)

  • FL: _______mm
  • RL: _______mm
  • FR: _______mm
  • RR: _______mm
  • Rotors show no signs of excessive wear, warpage or heat damage
  • Calipers, lines, and hoses show no sign of excessive wear or leakage
  • Parking brake assemblies, cables, and attaching hardware show no sign of excessive wear or damage

Chassis Inspection (No sign of damage or excessive wear)

  • Frame rails and floor pan
  • Subframe
  • Engine mounts and oil pan for leaks
  • Brake lines and couplings
  • Transmission case/pan for leaks
  • Drive shaft boots and CV joints
  • Fuel lines, fuel tank, hoses and protectors
  • Steering rack, linkage, bushings, control arms and dust boots
  • Differential assembly, drive shaft and related components
  • Exhaust system (including leakage)
  • Transmission mounts
  • Tie rods, ball joints, idler arm
  • Catalytic converter
  • Struts/shocks for operation/leaks

Under Vehicle Fluid Levels

  • Differential lubricant level -- check for contaminants

Road Test (Vehicle Operation)


Engine

  • Start-up
  • Idles normally
  • While driving, engine performs normally
  • Starter system operates normally
  • Shift Lock

Brakes

  • Brake and parking brake function normally
  • Brake and clutch pedal height, free play and travel meet specs.

Indicator Lights

  • No warning lights illuminate during road test

Transmission

  • T/M shifts properly (both power/normal mode)
  • TRAC/VSC and ECT control functions and indicator lights function properly

Steering/Suspension

  • Steering operation is normal
  • Off-center psecifications meet standards
  • Handling, straight-line operations

Cruise Control

  • Functions properly

Noise or Vibration

  • None present

Squeaks or Rattles

  • None present

* -- If Applicable

Service Guarantee

AMS Vans promises to deliver the best wheelchair accessible van available on the market today..... simply put if you are not fully satisfied with your wheelchair accessible van upon delivery---you can refuse it at no cost to you.

With nearly two decades of experience; manufacturing, selling, and delivering over 12,000 vans nationwide, our dedicated team of certified technicians will not allow your van to leave our Atlanta facility until its right!

Please contact one of our experienced Mobility Specialists today and ask about our three step quality control process.

AMS Vans looks forward to serving your family by providing you with a van that is worthy of our own.

Contact AMS Vans



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