Avoiding Wheelchair Lift Problems

BraunAbility Millenium Lift deployed

Almost all wheelchair lift problems can be attributed to three main things: operator error, lack of maintenance, and broken parts. Below, find ways of being proactive in preventing problems that could stop your wheelchair lift from operating.

BraunAbility Lift Vangater in a circle frame

Reason Number 1: Operator Error

Many wheelchair lift issues are caused by the user hurrying, not taking the proper precautions, or simply attempting to operate the lift in a situation it is not designed for. 

We all know the obvious things an operator can do wrong. Lowering a lift onto extremely uneven ground or folding a platform into a van door that is not fully opened, if you have manual doors are two common mistakes made with wheelchair lifts. The things that you need to be aware of are the pitfalls that aren't as obvious but can still cause product damage. Ensuring the platform fully folds when you are stowing the lift. Often people tend to release the fold switch too soon because the lift makes a loud noise when it cinches tight. Far from being a problem, that noise is a good thing! What you're hearing is the electric actuator "ratcheting," which tells you that the lift is fully stowed and will not rattle as much while you're driving. A tightly stowed platform will prevent certain lift components from wearing out prematurely, so be sure to keep the fold button pressed!

Another not-so-obvious issue is to make sure the outer roll stop deploys fully before you exit the platform. Think about it. If you are in a hurry and the roll stop is not completely down on the ground, your weight when rolling off of it is going to put excessive stress on those parts and you could cause a wheelchair lift problem that is easily avoidable. Even if the tip of the roll stop is up just a little bit, take the time to lower it completely before you exit the platform.

Reason Number 2: Lack of Maintenance.

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance-I can't say those words enough! Your dealer should set up a maintenance program for you and your lift should be in their shop for a regular check-up at least twice a year. Every lift built after 2005 has a cycle counter on it that will tell us the total number of times you've used your lift, and all lifts should be maintained every 750 cycles. This is a short point. All you need to know is that if you don't maintain your lift, something will eventually stop working!

Reason Number 3: Broken Parts.

No matter what the product, we've all encountered that unexpected broken part that seems to go bad for no apparent reason. This actually represents a small percentage of wheelchair lift failures, and it can usually be avoided if the lift is maintained on a regular basis (see reason #2 above!). A typical situation might be a wiring harness that gets cut by a lift component. These type of wheelchair lift problems rarely happen out-of-the-blue, and with routine maintenance, your dealer should be able to see the problem starting to occur and fix it before it gets worse.

That about sums it up! The bottom line is that a properly operated and maintained wheelchair lift should give you years of reliable service. Read your manual and work closely with your dealer to make sure your lift is ready to go whenever you are. If you have any questions or are having an issue with your BraunAbility lift, please call our Customer Experience Group at 1-800-488-0359. Feel free to comment below!

Handheld BraunAbility lift control

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