Today, in the United States, 3.6 million people don’t leave their homes due to a disability. Many people could travel by car if they had a safe way to transport their mobility devices.
A mobility lift can open the world back up for a person with a disability, whether they drive or prefer to enjoy the view from the passenger seat.
Choosing the right lift is vital. Here’s what you need to know about selecting the one that works with your vehicle.
A Mobility Lift for Every Vehicle
Before choosing the lift for your wheelchair or mobility scooter, it’s important to know your vehicle’s make and model. While you can buy a lift for just about any type of vehicle, it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of purchase.
In addition to the details about your vehicle, knowing the make and model of your mobility device will help determine which lift will work.
How Much Weight Can a Lift Handle?
Before you choose your vehicle lift, you should know the weight of the mobility device. Combined weight determines whether you should buy a single/sliding arm lift or a dual-arm lift.
This lift will come with either one stationary arm or one stationary and one sliding arm. Single/sliding arm lifts have a lifting capacity of 600 pounds.
Because they have two arms, dual-arm lifts handle heavier loads. They have a lift capacity of up to 800 pounds.
Will You Transport Your Device Inside or Outside?
Once you start researching mobility lifts, you’ll find a variety of options. We meant it when we said one size doesn’t fit all needs. For example, you may not have room inside your vehicle to transport your mobility device.
Outside Lift – Hitch Mount
With an outside lift, you can transport your wheelchair without taking up precious cargo space inside your vehicle. Outside lifts attach to a trailer hitch at the rear of the vehicle and connect to most vehicles regardless of size.
As the name implies, you install an inside lift inside your vehicle. Inside lifts work best in vehicles with large cargo areas such as vans and SUVs.
Deciding between an outside or inside lift isn’t only a matter of preference. Inside lifts typically require the person using them to have a higher level of coordination and agility. In addition, individuals with arthritis and other joint disorders may have a more difficult time using an inside lift.
Different Mounting Options
Internally-mounted lifts are more accessible when you need to maintain them or have them serviced. They’re also usually the least expensive of the two options. However, these lifts take up space, depending on the model, and they may block the entrance for the front passenger seat.
An under-vehicle lift will cost more, but they don’t take up space or block the entrance to your vehicle. As far as weight, the under-vehicle lifts have a higher capacity, making them an excellent choice for heavier wheelchair users.
A hitch mount, or outside auto lift, attaches to the back of your vehicle with a hitch. Your scooter or wheelchair is secured to the platform, raised, and transported outside the vehicle. These lifts are easy to use and work well for most types of vehicles. When not in use, the platform hinges up and uses very little space behind the car.
The Best Vehicle Lifts for Scooters
If you need to transport a mobility scooter, you’ll address many of the same questions as people who use wheelchairs. In addition, you’ll need to take some measurements to determine mobility lift compatibility.
The measurements include:
Not knowing the dimensions of your scooter puts you at risk of ordering a lift unsuitable for the weight of your device.
There is a magic formula for measuring your mobility scooter. First, measure from front to back and stop at the longest point. Next, measure side-to-side at the scooter’s widest point.
Finally, measure the height from the ground to the scooter’s tallest point. If your scooter has a backrest, make sure you fold it.
The focus on gathering information about your vehicle and your mobility device will help you narrow down your choices for your new vehicle lift. However, some vehicles aren’t able to accommodate a mobility lift.
Working with a professional dealer can help you select the ideal lift and ensure it’s installed correctly. This is the best way to guarantee you buy the lift that best fits your vehicle and your individual needs. If you need to determine what Harmar Lifts work with your vehicle quickly, try our Vehicle Compatibility Calculator.
Need Help Choosing the Perfect Mobility Lift?
By now, you’ve collected enough details about your vehicle and mobility device. You may have also figured out how you want to transport your device and whether you prefer an internally or under-vehicle mounted lift.
We carry lifts for most vehicles designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users. We even make it easy to figure out whether a lift will work with a specific vehicle.
Try our Vehicle Compatibility Calculator today. Fill out your vehicle’s year, make and model, then specify your device. The compatibility calculator will do the rest.