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Scooter and Power Wheelchair Lifts for Vans or SUVs Come in Many Different Styles.

Scooter and Power Wheelchair Lifts for Vans or SUVs Come in Many Different Styles. Careful Consideration Needs to Be Taken When Selecting a Model for Your Particular Type of Scooter and Vehicle.

Bruno Curb-Sider scooter lift. Bruno Out-Sider meridan platform lift
Left: Bruno Curb-Sider scooter lift. Right: Bruno Out-Sider Meridian platform lift.

When it comes to scooter lifts, there’s no one size fits all solution. Your particular scooter or power wheelchair design has as much to do with the selection of which lift you use as the make and model of the minivan or SUV where it’s going to be installed. Scooter lifts can help to store the scooter (or chair) inside the vehicle or outside, depending on its design and your preference. To avoid a very costly mistake, the style you decide to use should be made with particular care and with the advice of a certified mobility consultant. In most cases, a qualified NMEDA QAP dealer can be found near you that should be able to find the right solution.

Weight Capacity is a Major Consideration for Selecting a Scooter Lift Model

Bruno Joey (VSL-4000HW) lifts store scooters or power wheelchairs inside the back of a minivan or SUV.
Bruno Joey (VSL-4000HW) lifts store scooters or power wheelchairs inside the back of a minivan or SUV.

Scooter lifts have several main functions. It’s first is to help with lifting the scooter from the ground and with raising it to desired level for easy storage. The same mechanisms and design is also used to help with lowering it to the ground. It’s other main purpose is to help with securing the scooter in place so that you can safely travel it in the rear of the vehicle. With lifting the scooter, the most important consideration is with the weight capacity for which the lift was designed.

Most major manufacturers cary several different models to handle different ranges. The higher the capacity, the more robust the design and materials used in the manufacturing. One of the most commonly used scooter lifts is a hoist-type lift where you attach a cable to the scooter. The second most common is a ride-on, ride-off type of lift where the scooter sits on a platform. These types of lifts can also have the scooter be stored inside the vehicle, such as a ‘Joey’ Lift by Bruno Independent Living Aids or outside the vehicle such as an ‘Out-Sider’ Meridian Lift’ — also made by by Bruno.

Interior Storage vs. Outside the Vehicle Designs

In a typical minivan there is a rear bench seat that may need to be removed in order to store a scooter inside the vehicle. For some families, this may not be an option they want to pursue. However, storing a scooter inside of a van also has many benefits to consider, with weather and garage space being just two major examples. The other main consideration is with the interior dimensions of the vehicle itself, not only while the scooter lift is in use, but also also while it will be stored along with the scooter or wheelchair. A roll-on platform scooter lift can also add significant weight to a vehicle. If this is the type of lift you are planning to purchase, then the vehicle needs be inspected and tested for having adequate load bearing capability. Heavy duty shocks, springs and/or struts may be needed to be installed beforehand.

Seek Professional Advice When Considering a Scooter Lift or Any Type of Adaptive Equipment

The addition of any type of adaptive equipment to a vehicle should be carefully thought out. Mobility consultations are always free at MobilityWorks and at other reputable dealers that adhere to the NMEDA QAP guidelines. Having your scooter or wheelchair measurements ready when visiting with a mobility dealer may also save you valuable time and an additional trip back to the dealer. For help with finding the right scooter lift or with wheelchair lifts, call our Sales Toll Free Line at 1-877-275-4907 or send us an inquiry using the mobility consulting form on our web site

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