Different Types of Scooter Lifts

Published by Stephen on June 2, 2009 Under vehicle wheelchair lifts

In many instances the mobility scooter or electric power wheelchair provides an essential service for the mobility challenged. Many of those who use these devices would not otherwise be able to get around as freely without them, this is why finding a means of transporting an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter is very important.

Why do People Need Mobility Scooter Lifts?

Some people who use mobility vehicles, like electric wheelchairs, find that they do not use it away from home often. In these cases, purchasing a portable power chair or travel scooter might be the easiest way of ensuring transportability. A travel scooter is designed to be taken apart, with the heaviest piece weighing only around 30 pounds. These can be taken apart and stored in the trunk of a car or even in the back seat if necessary. Portable power chairs offer a similar service, but these usually resemble a traditional aluminum folding wheelchair.

The portable power chair and the travel scooter can be great for occasional use, but to save weight, these mobility scooters lack many of the features that come standard in traditional electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters. They are also less durable, not as suited to outdoor use, support less weight, and have a shorter range. This makes them not so good of a choice for daily use. Instead, a full sized mobility scooter or power chair is usually preferred, but these will require a wheelchair lift to transport.

There are two kinds of mobility scooter lift, those that are mounted internally and those that are mounted externally.

What Are External Scooter Lifts?

An externally mounted scooter lift is attached to a vehicles hitch. They use a lifting platform that is typically powered by an electric motor, although some manual external lifts are also available. These lifts offer the advantage of easy installation and removal, while not taking up any space inside the vehicle. They can typically be installed in only a few minutes and will not require major modification to the vehicle.

What are Internal Scooter Lifts?

Internal wheelchair lifts, on the other hand, are designed to be installed on the inside of the vehicle. This means there will be a loss of space, but the scooter or wheelchair will be more protected. Some use a crane like lifting design. These are a good choice for smaller automobile’s, but are not as powerful, so will not work with all types of mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs.

The other type of internal wheelchair lift uses a platform lifting design. The platform extends from the vehicle and onto the ground. When the lift is raised again, it retracts into the vehicle. These are most often installed into the middle compartment of a van, but can also be installed into the rear area of a van or SUV.

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