When you are considering getting an electric wheelchair, it is important to think about how you plan to transport the chair before it is ordered. There are several ways you can transport mobility chairs.
The first option is to use a vehicle lift. Many vehicles can accommodate a lift that can be used to easily raise an electric wheelchair into a vehicle, and to lower it out. Pride® Lifts offer a variety of lift solutions, including interior lifts and exterior lifts. Characteristics that factor into selecting a vehicle lift include the weight of the lifting capacity needed (based on the overall weight of the electric wheelchair), make and model of the vehicle, and hitch size. The Commander 450 vehicle lift features a 450-pound lifting capacity for heavier electric wheelchairs.
Another option is an accessible van. Many vans can be modified before or after purchase, so they are accessible for motorized wheelchairs. A sliding door on the side of the van can be opened via a remote. When the door opens, a ramp extends out and down from the van to the ground. Likewise, the ramp can be retracted back inside of the vehicle and the door will close. This makes it easy for people who use mobility chairs to get in and out of a vehicle while also transporting their chair.
If a person does not wish to purchase a vehicle lift or an accessible vehicle, a trailer is another possible solution for transporting an electric wheelchair. Just like when choosing a vehicle lift, you need to make sure a trailer can accommodate the overall weight of the chair, make and model of the vehicle, and hitch size. A portable wheelchair ramp may be necessary to get the chair into and out of the trailer. It’s important to make sure you have a way to properly tie down and secure the electric wheelchair in the trailer.
Public transportation is another good option to transport motorized wheelchairs, especially in highly populated areas. Most public buses and trains contain lifts that can lift occupied mobility chairs. Publicly-funded ride-share programs also exist in some areas that may provide accessible rides at little to no cost for people using electric wheelchairs.