Commercial ADA wheelchair lifts are commonly found on handicap-accessible buses, full-size vans, transit vehicles, paratransit shuttles, trains, and other mass-transit public vehicles. They are different than lifts found in personal consumer vehicles for two main reasons. First, ADA wheelchair lifts have a much higher lift capacity. A typical ADA wheelchair lift can lift 800 to 1000 pounds. Second, commercial wheelchair lifts will lift both the occupant and their power wheelchair simultaneously. Because of this, a commercial wheelchair lift is also known as an occupied lift.
The larger lifting capacity is accomplished by utilizing a two-point lifting mechanism off the platform. Because of this design, you may also hear others call a commercial wheelchair lift called a dual-post lift. This dual-post design allows increased wheelchair passenger lifting capacity, more significant vertical travel, and a much larger wheelchair platform to accommodate larger wheelchairs.
The largest manufacturer of commercial ADA wheelchair lifts is BraunAbility and Ricon. However, you will find Braun lifts installed in most commercial ADA wheelchair vans & busses on the road today! There are several lift types and models are available. Each ADA lift is designed for a specific use, vehicle type, and fleets needs.
At Superior Van & Mobility, we only sell and install commercial ADA wheelchair lifts that have been time-tested for their reliability and safety. Not all lifts are equal! In fact, we urge you to do your research. However, regardless of where you purchase your ADA wheelchair lift, first and foremost, be sure it is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA is the sole governing body regulating commercial wheelchair lift manufacturing and their use, safety, and reliability. It’s the first step to ensure a lift you are purchasing has passed necessary compliance and testing. The second thing to consider is the availability of parts. It may be an afterthought, but there is nothing worse than having your fleets’ ADA lift down for repair and finding that parts are unavailable or hard to find.