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Which Vehicle Wheelchair Lift is Best for You and Your Needs?

Which Wheelchair Lift is Best for You and Your Vehicle?

BraunAbility Commercial Wheelchair Lift in white Ford Transit

With your wheelchair, you have your set of wheels and the increased mobility that comes with it. But to get further afield than your immediate neighborhood, you need wheels for your wheels. A vehicle wheelchair lift would mean greater independence for you and the freedom to go where you need to go.

Your choice of a wheelchair lift for your vehicle is almost as important as your choice of a wheelchair. Finding one that best suits you and your needs becomes easier once you know your options. For a new unoccupied wheelchair lift or scooter carrier, it will run $3000 to $6000 installed. For an occupied wheelchair lift, that cost will be between $7500 to $15,000 installed.  However, remember that used lifts & carriers are readily available at reduced costs, so be sure to ask if you are interested. 

Vehicles Suitable for Wheelchair Lifts

Superior Van & Mobility specializes in vehicle conversions and adaptive driving solutions, including wheelchair lifts and scooter carriers. However, it’s no secret that vans and SUVs work best when it comes to wheelchair-accessible conversions and driving adaptations. Their larger platform, height, and floorplan options provide more space and accessibility options.

Exterior Vehicle Lifts

A blue mobility scooter sitting behind a blue SUV with a Harmar AL100 wheelchair lift installed on the rear

Exterior Scooter Carriers secure your mobility device to the vehicle’s exterior, generally at the rear. Because of this, the main advantage of an exterior lift is increased vehicle compatibility. More lift and carrier options, including sedans, are available for more vehicle types.

An exterior wheelchair lift or scooter carrier attaches to the vehicle’s towing receiver. If your vehicle does not have one, one must be installed. Note: vehicle tongue weight will dictate using an external wheelchair lift on your vehicle. Please be sure to contact one of our lift managers to check the compatibility of your car.

Another great benefit of using an external lift is that you have multiple vehicles. It is possible and easy to move an external lift from one vehicle to the next if compatible.

To use an external lift, the user must be able to stand for two to three minutes while the lift is running and walk a short distance without assistance. However, an exterior carrier is still an option if you travel with a companion or caregiver.

Interior Scooter Lifts

Smart Lifter Wheelchair & Scooter lift inside the rear hatch of a blue hatchback holding a power wheelchair

There are many different models of interior scooter lifts & carriers available. Most store the mobility scooter or power wheelchair in the cargo area of a vehicle. Some lifts work like a crane. We call these hoist-type lifts. They are usually installed inside the rear hatch of a vehicle or in the bed of a pickup truck. They use a strap attached to a lifting point on your wheelchair or scooter. They lift your device into the air and then rotate for placement inside your vehicle.

Some options utilize a drive-on platform. This type of lift is called a hybrid lift. Hybrid lifts are one of the easiest to use. A user drives their mobility equipment onto the platform, secures it, and then uses a handheld pendant to operate the lift, storing their device inside the vehicle’s rear hatch.

However, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for scooter carriers & lifts. The make and model of your vehicle have as much to do with which lift type will work best for you as your scooter or power wheelchair. We suggest you converse with one of our lift managers for these reasons. Their experience matching your equipment, vehicle, and the most suitable lift or carrier type is invaluable.

Wheelchair Lifts for Wheelchairs With an Occupant

Photos of commercial wheelchair lifts installed in vehicles

One last type of lift available is called an occupied lift. These types of lifts are often found in commercial applications. They are much larger but also much more substantial. They have lift capacities of 800 to 1000 pounds.

These lifts are designed to lift a person while seated in a wheelchair. The user does not transfer from their chair into a vehicle. They will remain in their chair during transport.

Due to their size and operation, occupied lifts have strict requirements for use. They require full-size vans or buses for installation and are generally not used in consumer applications.

If you would like more information on internal or external wheelchair lifts and scooter carriers for sale or to check if your vehicle is compatible, please get in touch with our lift managers. You can call them direct at 1-844-341-LIFT (5438). You can also research and view the available lift models by clicking the link below.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Shopping For a Scooter Carrier or Wheelchair Lift?

4 images of Harmar & Bruno Power scooter and wheelchair lifts and carriers

Shopping For a Scooter Carrier or Wheelchair Lift?

Online vs Brick & Mortar Mobility Dealer

With online shopping becoming more of the rule than the exception, you may search for a scooter carrier or wheelchair lift for your vehicle online. While there are numerous sources out there where you can do just that, is that going to be your best option? Most likely, it is not. Here are just a few reasons why it makes more sense to buy your scooter carrier or wheelchair lift from a “brick and mortar” mobility dealership such as Superior Van & Mobility.

EXPERIENCE

The manufacturers train our mobility consultants to examine each application, ensuring you choose the right mobility equipment for your current and future needs. Finding the right wheelchair lift or scooter carrier is not always as easy as finding one that fits your vehicle. We must consider many additional factors when determining what mobility equipment to recommend.

  1. Is the lift rated for the proper amount of weight it needs?
  2.  Is the lift the appropriate type for your mobility device?
  3.  Does your vehicle have the specifications to handle a lift and its cargo?
  4.  Every vehicle has a “tongue weight rating” or TWR. The TWR is typically 10% of the vehicle’s overall towing capacity. For example, your vehicle has a 1,500-pound towing capacity. Therefore, the TWR is 150 pounds. Adding a 100-pound lift and a 200-pound scooter to that vehicle will exceed the TWR. This can result in serious damage to your vehicle and mobility device. Plus, consider your safety. Exceeding the TWR is not only bad for your vehicle/equipment, but it also affects the handling of the vehicle, which can jeopardize your safety and that of your passengers.

So, considering the investment you already made into your vehicle and mobility equipment, does saving a small amount purchasing online seem like such a good deal after all? Yes? No? Well, let me continue…

A blue mobility scooter sitting behind a blue SUV with a Harmar AL100 wheelchair lift installed on the rear

TRAINED TECHNICIANS

All our technicians have been trained and certified to install and service every lift. This installation takes place in one of our service facilities. Not only will you have the peace of mind of knowing that you are receiving the correct lift, but it’s also being professionally installed and backed by a full warranty. (Most manufacturers require your mobility device to be professionally installed for activation of warranty)

  1. When you buy a lift online, who will do the installation?
  2. Does your installer warranty their work?
  3. How are you sure your installation was done correctly and it is safe?
  4. Who will adjust it to ensure the platform angle is correct to handle the weight & size of your mobility device?
  5. How do you know the correct hitch adapter is being used to ensure the lift is installed at the correct height?

These are all questions you must seriously consider as your safety and equipment depend on them. However, suppose you purchase from brick & mortar facilities like Superior Van & Mobility. In that case, these items you can rest assured are addressed and handled correctly, as your safety and your equipment is our top priority.

PERSONAL SERVICE

When you call Superior Van & Mobility, you will speak to one of our lift consultants, not a salesperson. Our consultants are trained to ask the right questions and intently listen to your current and future needs before recommending any product. Our staff is not paid on commission, so our approach is low-pressure and understanding. You can rest assured that we will ask the right questions to ensure the wheelchair lift or scooter carrier you need perfectly fits and addresses your current and future needs.

When you shop online, you must ensure you’ve done all your research correctly and understand what you purchase will work for your situation. You must know exactly what questions to ask, your measurements, weights, etc., and hope the information you provide and are provided is correct. Remember, an online-only retailer is only out for sale. They are not concerned with the service after the sale.

Two hands open holding a red heart

QUALITY PRODUCTS

When buying a wheelchair lift or scooter carrier from a brick-and-mortar dealer, you know you are getting a quality product. At Superior Van & Mobility, we do the research before selling any product as our business depends on it. We will only sell products we feel are of the utmost quality, safe, and backed by a full manufacturer warranty.

There are many lift companies out there. However, not all of them build their products with the same quality construction as others. If you purchase a wheelchair lift or scooter carrier online, how well will it hold up and do the job you rely on it providing? Who will service your device if it malfunctions? What if you need parts? At a brick-and-mortar dealer like Superior Van & Mobility, our goal is to ensure that your equipment is correct for your needs and is quality made and of good components. Nothing is worse than being out and about only to have your lift malfunction!

Most brick & mortar dealers, like Superior Van & Mobility, are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). These dealers must uphold the highest standards, and when they are also part of the NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP), they must also provide 24/7 emergency service. We will never leave you stranded!

TRUST

Superior Van & Mobility has been over 45 years, serving clients. We have an A+ BBB rating in every state we have a facility, and as mentioned earlier, we are standing members of NMEDA. We have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the business!

At Superior, we will always stand behind our work. We have a dedicated staff, each ready and willing to help you in any way possible in “Regaining Your Independence.” We pride ourselves on having a team passionate about helping others. It is our driving force. You become part of our family when you purchase Superior Van & Mobility.

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Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Joey Wheelchair Lifts

What is a Joey Wheelchair Lift & Scooter Carrier?

Older couple standing at rear of minivan with lady operating a bruno joey lift with their red scooter on the lift platform.

 

If you’re looking for a wheelchair lift to improve your mobility in your handicap vehicle, the Joey Model VSL-4000HW is one of the best options available on the market. The easy to use wheelchair and scooter lift effectively lifts and stores your unused scooter or powerchair inside your vehicle at the touch of a button. It works with both wheelchair accessible minivans and full-size wheelchair vans. All you have to do is roll your mobility device onto the platform from either side, hit the button, and let the lift do the rest of the work. Your scooter will be safely stored and out of the way.

Securement belts allow for maximum safety during transport, and an optional barrier system is also available if you need a little extra reassurance. The powerful performance and exquisite design of this Superior Van wheelchair lift mean you will enjoy many years of dependable transportation no matter what kind of scooter or power chair you are using.

The one-button operation of the Joey lift is powered by your vehicle’s battery. It handles devices up to 28 inches wide and has drive on/drive off capabilities. With this piece of equipment you will never have to drive your scooter or power chair in reverse. It features a rack and pinion design with a horizontal rail, offering one of the most compact footprints available in the industry.

Lastly, the custom mounting fit offered with the Joey lift fits a wide range of vehicles and requires little to no drilling. In most cases, third row seating is used to help preserve your vehicle’s resale value. With the Joey, you don’t have to sacrifice your vehicle style or value. Call Superior Van & Mobility today and check one out today to see how it can improve your experience.

 

Handicap Van Lifts: What Are Your Options?

Handicap Van Lifts: What Are Your Options?

4 images of Harmar & Bruno Power scooter and wheelchair lifts and carriers

There are lots of ways vans accommodate people with disabilities these days. From pivoting seating systems to adaptive driving hand controls to access ramps and lifts, you’ve got plenty to consider. One of the more important decisions you’ll make is picking from the various handicap van lifts on the market.

Whether you use a wheelchair or a scooter, whether you need side-entry or rear-entry and other factors influence the decision. Think about your needs and preferences and consult your driving rehabilitation specialist and dealer to make the most appropriate choice.

There are two primary differences of Handicap Van Lifts:

Unoccupied Handicap Van Lifts

If you’re looking for the cheapest lift option, you may be able to use one of the available unoccupied handicap van lifts. The two types—swinging arm-style lifts and platform-style lifts—load and unload a scooter or wheelchair when you’re not sitting in it. They’re easy to use and they’re smaller and lighter than lifts made for occupied mobility devices.

Obviously, this sort of equipment is for people who get in and out of their scooter or wheelchair for vehicle travel. If you need your mobility aid when you get where you’re going, but you can access the van on your own, this may be the best option for you.

Occupied Handicap Van Lifts

If you can’t always get out of your scooter or wheelchair van for travel, Occupied handicap van lifts that only work for unoccupied devices aren’t going to cut it. You need something that can safely elevate and lower you while seated. There are several types of occupied lifts that do just that.

Under-vehicle lifts attach outside the van, so they don’t take up any interior room. Single-post split platform lifts are relatively small and well suited to smaller mobility devices. They permit easy access to the passenger door when stowed. Dual-post split platform lifts are similar but larger. Standard dual-post lifts have sturdier platforms and two hydraulic arms that are well suited to the largest and heaviest wheelchairs. This equipment is strong and dependable. It does block access to the door where it’s installed when stowed, and it sometimes prevents seats in front of it from reclining or sliding back. However, in many instances, there is no safe substitute.