Helping the Disabled Driver With an Auto Ramp

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Ramps remain the most commonly used means of entering and exiting wheelchair vans and other handicapped accessible vehicles.  The right auto ramp can provide a vehicle owner with everything he or she needs to get the most out of a vehicle.

People usually mount ramps in one of two ways.  Either they place them at the rear of the vehicle, allowing access via the back door, or they have them set up at the side door.  That decision invariably stems from a consideration of personal preferences and the impact either choice will have on parking.

The decision of where to place a ramp is only a small part of the overall decision making process.  That’s because there are so many different types of ramps available.

You can purchase a lightweight, portable ramp if you plan to use it away from the vehicle, if your overall usage is light or if you are working under tight budgetary restrictions.  Portable options come in folding, multi-fold and telescoping options.  They’re not an idea choice for heavy users and they don’t boast the longevity of heavier options, but they can be a good fit in the right situation.

There are also more durable ramps.  Some of these can be mounted on the van, making them a nearly permanent solution for entrance and exit.  Some are even installed in a way that allows them to slide under the frame of the vehicle when they aren’t in use.

Good ramps balance strength with a limited weight construction.  The best are made from high-grade aluminum that contains other reinforcing ores.  These ramps can last quite some time and are weather-resistance.

When considering an auto ramp, be cognizant of several factors.  Be sure the ramp is long enough.  Check the welds and construction for quality.  Prefer options with non-skid surfaces.  Finally, pick a model that is more than capable of handling the combined weight of you and your wheelchair.

With a little smart shopping, an auto ramp can be a great way to facilitate entry and exit from a wheelchair van.  The large variety of options and the comfortable price point continue to make them a favorite with the wheelchair van community.