ADA-compliant commercial wheelchair lifts are commonly found on handicap-accessible buses, full-size vans, paratransit vehicles & shuttles, trains, and other mass-transit public vehicles. They are different from lifts in personal vehicles for two reasons.
First, commercial wheelchair lifts have a higher lift capacity. A typical commercial wheelchair lift can lift 800 to 1000 pounds.
Second, commercial ADA wheelchair lifts lift both the occupant and their mobility device. Because of this, a commercial wheelchair lift is also known as an occupied lift.
The larger lifting capacity is accomplished using a two-point lifting mechanism known as a dual-post lift.
This dual-post design allows for increased wheelchair passenger lifting capacity, more significant vertical travel, and a larger wheelchair platform to accommodate larger wheelchairs.
The largest manufacturer of ADA commercial wheelchair lifts is BraunAbility. You will find Braun occupied wheelchair lifts installed in most ADA-compliant wheelchair vans & buses that are on the road today! Braun has several lift types and models available. Each is designed for a specific use, vehicle type, and fleet needs.
When considering a commercial wheelchair lift, ensure it is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA is the sole governing body regulating commercial wheelchair lift manufacturing and its use, safety, and reliability. It’s the first step to ensuring your lift has passed compliance and testing.
Second, when purchasing a lift, check on the availability of parts. It may be an afterthought, but nothing is worse than having your commercial ADA lift down for repair and finding that parts are unavailable or hard to find.