What Type Of Vehicle Is Best Suited To A Wheelchair Ramp?

Millions of Americans use a wheelchair or provide care to somebody who does. A diverse range of mobility issues and physical disabilities make wheelchair use necessary. Some people are long-term wheelchair users, while others use one for a short period of time due to a temporary condition that hinders their mobility. Either way, being a wheelchair user does not mean that you can’t travel and live a full life.

In order to get in and out of their vehicle, most wheelchair users avail of a wheelchair ramp. A wheelchair ramp is an invaluable tool for millions of disabled Americans and their friends and families, making it easy to access a wide range of different types of vehicle.

Most wheelchair users, especially relatively new ones, have a lot of questions when they are thinking of buying a new vehicle, or installing a wheelchair ramp on a vehicle they already own – such as:

  • What is a wheelchair ramp and how is it used to make vehicles accessible?
  • How do I choose a wheelchair ramp?
  • What different types of vehicles are suited to having a wheelchair ramp installed?
  • What type of vehicle is best suited to a wheelchair ramp?
  • What is the best wheelchair accessible vehicle?
  • What are the best wheelchair ramps for cars?

Today we will answer all of these important questions.

Disabled Parking - concrete wheelchair ramp
Image by AndrzejRembowski on Pixabay: Wheelchair ramps come in many different types.

What Is A Wheelchair Ramp?

A wheelchair ramp is an inclined ramp that enables wheelchair users to move between two areas of different height. These ramps exist in several different forms. Concrete wheelchair ramps enable people to access buildings and pavements, while others provide access to vehicles (including public transport: 98% of buses in the US are fitted with a wheelchair ramp). Wheelchair ramps that are used to access vehicles such as cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks are usually made of wood, steel, or aluminum and can be stowed away when not in use.

How Is A Wheelchair Ramp Used To Make Vehicles Accessible?

Wheelchair ramps make vehicles accessible by providing a way for a wheelchair to roll up and into the vehicle. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles often have lowered floors to make the distance shorter. A wheelchair ramp that is fitted on a vehicle will usually hinge or fold inwards for easy storage when not in use.

How Do I Choose A Wheelchair Ramp?

Which wheelchair ramp you choose will depend on factors such as the size and dimensions of your wheelchair, what type of vehicle the ramp will be used with, and the size of the entrance to the vehicle.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a wheelchair ramp is whether you will be rolling up the ramp in your wheelchair or walking up the ramp behind your wheelchair. This will affect the length you need the ramp to be. If you will be rolling up the ramp in your wheelchair you will need one foot of ramp for every inch of rise. If you will be walking up the ramp behind your wheelchair you will need one foot of ramp for every three inches of rise.

What Type Of Vehicle Is Best Suited To A Wheelchair Ramp?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Wheelchair ramps are used on many types of vehicles, including:

  • Cars
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • Trucks
  • Buses

Smaller cars are sometimes more difficult to use a wheelchair ramp with, but ramps are very easy to use with vans, SUVs, and trucks.

What Cars Can Take A Wheelchair?

If your wheelchair is manual, it will fold up and can be transported in pretty much any car. If your wheelchair does not fold up, then the type of car that can take your chair will depend on its size. The best wheelchair-accessible vehicles for rigid-framed wheelchairs are minivans, vans, SUVs, and trucks.

Disabled Parking - SUV
Image by dimitrisvetsikas1969 on Pixabay: A wheelchair ramp is easy to use with an SUV.

What Are The Best Wheelchair Ramps For Cars, Vans, and SUVs?

The three main types of wheelchair ramps for cars, vans, and SUVs are:

  • Ramps that are permanently fitted into the frame of vans, SUVs, and trucks, either as an adaptation or during the original assembly of the vehicle. These ramps fold sideways into the vehicle for easy storage. They come in side-entry, rear-entry, in-floor, and fold-out varieties.
  • Suitcase ramps are deal for low to moderate rises. They are portable and lightweight and offer good access to cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks.
  • Multifold ramps allow rear-door access to vans, SUVs, and trucks. They are stable and easy to fold away and stow.

Featured image by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels