Platform Lift for Wheelchairs: What is it?

Platform lift next to wooden stairs

What Is a Wheelchair Platform Lift?

In simple terms, a platform lift is a piece of equipment that, much like an elevator, helps people with physical disabilities reach different floors or height levels.  A platform lift is most often seen in homes or offices, but a version of a platform lift can be installed in large vehicles as well. 

Variety of Home Wheelchair Lifts and Choice

What makes a platform lift unique is the controls of the lift available within the lift itself, potentially allowing an individual to live independently in their home without assistance. Platform lifts are designed to be self-operated.
What’s the main difference between platform lifts and elevators? Price. Platform lifts are available for a fraction of the price of a stairlift. They may not be as high tech or performance-based as an elevator, but they serve the same purpose.

There are two types of platform lifts in the home mobility industry — vertical and inclined. 

Vertical lifts can extend 14 feet and are the closest resemblance to an elevator. These machines move straight up and down and are the more cost-effective of the choices. A vertical platform lift is not fully enclosed. In most cases, they’re surrounded by a protective cage around the platform. 

Inclined platform lifts are more versatile for open spaces. This machine can extend up to 164 feet and has a platform large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. The track of the machine extends, moving the individual up and down the stairs.An inclined platform lift isn’t meant for narrow space solutions. 

These machines are designed to provide access over straight and curved staircases depending on need. Regardless, a platform lift is versatile. 

You can even invest in a portable platform lift if you need some extra transportation means. Either way, the choice is in the hands of the individual. 

Variety of Wheelchair Platform Lifts for Automotive Use

When it comes to wheelchair lifts for automotive use, a vertical platform lift typically refers to a Dual-Arm Platform (DPA) wheelchair lift. This type of lift is installed on the side of a vehicle like a full-sized van, motorcoach or bus and lifts and lowers a wheelchair and its occupant into the vehicle cabin. It’s fully automatic, remote-operated and hydraulically powered. The lift platform features several safety features to keep the wheelchair user safe during operation. BraunAbility manufactures two types of platform lifts: the Century and Millennium series.

Is a platform lift ADA compliant? 

Every BraunAbility lift, including a platform lift, is ADA compliant. If a wheelchair lift is to be installed in a public transportation vehicle like a bus or van, it must be ADA-compliant. Yes, all BraunAbility Commercial lift products are ADA compliant. They must be to be an FTA, federally funded purchase on a van or bus.

How much is a wheelchair platform lift?

A BraunAbility dealer can quote the cost of a wheelchair platform lift and installation fees.

How high can an automotive wheelchair lift go? 

The operational height of a wheelchair lift depends on the type. BraunAbility UVL lift installed in a motorcoach can reach as high as 63 inches. A vertical platform lift (DPA) can travel up to 54 inches.

How much does an automotive wheelchair lift weigh?

A BraunAbility wheelchair lift typically ranges from 355 lbs. to 385 lbs.

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