Vehicle mobility ramps are ideal for individuals who wish to transport their wheelchair or scooter in their vehicle. Most are easy to install and store and can accommodate wheelchairs and scooters with a variety of wheel configurations. Vehicle mobility ramps are a low cost alternative to a lift system and offers the most economical solution for wheelchair or scooter transportation.
Most come standard with grip tape which provides excellent wet or dry grip and offers improved traction in all weather conditions. They are made of aluminum for lightweight ease of operation. In my last article "Mobility Ramps For the Home" I discussed what to know before you purchase a home mobility ramp. This article will cover the mobility ramps you will need to go beyond the confines of your home. Now that you have made your home safer and more accessible, let's get you on the road. Some of the same factors will apply but there are some new ones that must be considered.
Who will be utilizing the ramp? Will it be you or a caregiver? This is a big factor in your decision. Vehicle mobility ramps come in many styles and configurations. (We will get to that in a moment.) Whether it will be you or a caregiver will determine which ramp you choose as far as how it is put away after you have finished using it.
Do you know what vehicle you have? If you don't know what the make, model and year of your vehicle is , find out now. You will probably be asked this when it comes time to make your purchase your. Also, know the make and model of your wheelchair or mobility scooter as well.
How long of a mobility ramp do you need? Many people are surprised to learn how long a mobility ramp needs to be. The recommended ratio for a mobility ramp is 1:12. That means for every inch of rise there should be 12 inches of length. The main thing to consider here is, will the wheelchair or mobility scooter be occupied or not? If the mobility device is unoccupied the ramp can be much steeper than if you were riding or being pushed up the ramp. Remember to think of your caregiver if you have one.
What weight specifications do you need? Be sure to check the weight specifications of the ramp to make sure that it will safely support how you intend to use it. Too often, people buy inexpensive wheelchair ramps, only to find out that they were designed for unoccupied wheelchairs.
Where will you be accessing the vehicle? There are three types of vehicle mobility ramps.
Side Door Van Ramps - Side door van ramps are an excellent solution if you are seeking a ramp that can fold and store vertically inside the vehicle when the ramp is not being used. Side door van ramps fold into quarters leaving half of the door opening accessible when in the upright position.
Rear Door Ramps - Rear door ramps are usually three section manually operated aluminum ramps that are dependable and inexpensive. Operation is simple when spring assisted making these ramps easily operated by a single individual.
Hitch Mount Ramps - Hitch mount ramps attach to the rear of vehicles equipped with a rear hatch or barn-style doors, such as SUVs and minivans. Convenient folding, low-profile design makes these ramps perfect for maximizing cargo space. These are the easiest ramps to install. Since these ramps usually cover up the license plate on most vehicles a place to re-mount the license plate on the back of the ramp is provided.