As we age or navigate physical limitations, mobility scooters can become important tools for maintaining an independent, active life. But transporting these devices can pose a challenge. While some mobility scooters can easily disassemble or fold for transport, other models are too heavy to be easily lifted into a car or van.
That's where mobility scooter lifts come in, providing a practical solution for users to load scooters in and out of their vehicle.
So, how do you choose the right solution for your needs, and how do you use a scooter lift? Here's what you need to know.
Mobility scooter lifts, often referred to as scooter carriers, are mechanical devices designed to raise and transport mobility scooters into and out of your vehicle from the ground. They come in two primary styles: platform lifts and hoist lifts.
Platform lifts, also known as a platform style scooter lift, involve a platform onto which you drive your scooter. The platform then raises (through a powered system or manually), moving the mobility device into the vehicle for secure transport.
On the other hand, hoist lifts operate a little differently. These vehicle lifts use a mechanical arm to lift and swing the mobility device into the vehicle. They require less space and can be a good option for smaller cars, where platform style lifts may not fit.
Do all Scooter Vehicle Lifts Work as a Wheelchair Lift?
Not all scooter carriers are designed to also be used as a wheelchair carrier. While some lifts are versatile and can transport both scooters and wheelchairs, others may be specifically designed for one or the other. It's important to check the lift specifications and compatibility with your personal mobility device before making a purchase.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Mobility Scooter Lift
Choosing the right model of scooter mobility lift involves considering your precise lifting needs, the type of vehicle you drive, and the features of the mobility scooter. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Compatibility: Not all scooter lifts work with every vehicle or mobility device. Ensure that the lift you choose is compatible with both your vehicle and your mobility scooter.
- Type of Lift: Decide between a platform lift or a hoist lift. Platform lifts are often easier to operate and require less physical effort, while a hoist lift can be more compact and versatile.
- Placement: Consider whether an interior or exterior lift suits your needs better. Interior lifts, installed within the vehicle, protect your mobility device from the weather but utilize internal cargo space. Outside lifts, attached to the vehicle's hitch, preserve interior space but expose your mobility device to the elements.
- Weight Capacity: Check the lift's weight capacity to make sure it can safely handle your mobility scooter.
- Ease of Use: Look for scooter carriers with features that make operation easy, like fully assisted power models or semi-automatic functions, remote controls, and adjustable arms. Many powered lifts draw power directly from your vehicle’s battery, making it simple to operate without manual strain.
- Installation: Some lifts require professional installation, while others are DIY-friendly. Consider whether you are comfortable installing the lift yourself or if you'd prefer to hire a professional.
How to Use Mobility Scooter Lifts
While specific operation procedures will depend on the model, most scooter lifts follow a similar usage pattern.
For platform style scooter lifts, the process typically involves driving your mobility scooter onto the platform and securing it. The lift is then activated, raising the platform and scooter into the vehicle.
In the case of a hoist lift, you'll need to attach the hoist to your scooter or wheelchair. After confirming secure attachment, activate the lift. The mechanical arm will raise the scooter, swing it into the vehicle, and lower it for safe travel.
Remember to always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for specific operational and safety guidance.
Onward & Upward: Find the Perfect Lift for You
Regardless of the type—platform lift or hoist lift—scooter carriers play an important role in transporting mobility devices.
The right vehicle lift brings not just convenience and safety, but also expands your travel horizons. Be it a quick run to the grocery store or a much-anticipated vacation, you can streamline your adventures and life a more active lifestyle.
If you need any assistance in finding the best scooter lift solution for your particular needs, please reach out to our team of product experts here at Med Mart. We’ve been helping families for over 30 years, and would love to assist you in finding the perfect fit.