Installing and Using a Hitch Mounted Wheelchair Lift

Published by Stephen on May 29, 2009 Under vehicle wheelchair lifts

When someone uses the term wheelchair lifts, there are actually several popular mobility lifting aids that they could be referring to. The term is slightly more ambiguous because typically people group wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts together. One common type of wheelchair lift is the vehicle wheelchair lift. There are a few different kinds of vehicle wheelchair lifts, but the hitch mounted lift is very popular.

A hitch mounted wheelchair lift is mounted externally on the vehicle. It is attached to the vehicles hitch, which means it can be installed or removed very quickly. As a result, many people like them because of their convenience and because they do not require any major modification to most automobiles. When dealing with wheelchair lifts for vehicles, it is important to not what mobility vehicle the wheelchair lift is going to be used for. This is because some will work with both wheelchairs and scooters, but others might only work with one or the other.

Installing a hitch mounted wheelchair lift can be preformed in several manners, with the obvious, lift it up and onto the hitch being oft used. The problem, however, with just lifting the wheelchair lift off of the ground is that they can be a little heavy. They are also a little bulky, so will usually require two people to lift it in this manner.

There is, however, a more elegant and easy solution that will work with many hitch mounted wheelchair lifts, providing they are electronically powered and provide a vertical lifting platform.

This method basically involves letting the lift itself do the hard part. First, position the wheelchair lift behind the vehicle and line it up as accurately as possible with the automobile’s hitch. Next, turn the wheelchair lift on and slowly lower the wheelchair lift. Since the wheelchair lift is resting on the ground, this will actually cause the hitch mount to rise into the air. Continue until the wheelchair lifts hitch mount is level with the vehicles hitch. At this point, the wheelchair lift can be slid onto the vehicles hitch.

A small amount of lifting might be required, but the weight of the wheelchair lift will remain largely supported by the ground. Many people do not even fully remove the wheelchair lift from its shipping box. Instead they remove the top of the box and and slide the part containing the wheelchair lift under the automobile.

The same technique can be used to remove the wheelchair lift. It should be noted, though, that most wheelchair lifts will be capable of lifting the rear end of the automobile, which would make removing the wheelchair lift very difficult. As a result, it is necessary to do a little playing with the height, so that the wheelchair lift can be slid off of the automobile in this manner.

A hitch mounted wheelchair lift can be great for people who do not want to loose any interior automobile space or those who want to be able to quickly remove the wheelchair lift and don’t want to permanently modify the vehicle. However, since the wheelchair or scooter is stored outside of the vehicle, exposing it to the elements.

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