complete-9-tnWheelchair lifts, powered by screw drives and hydraulic drives, can make a home accessible to people with limited mobility. Several models are available that travel up and down straight and curved staircases.

Vertical platform wheelchair lifts carry a passenger vertically from one level to the next and come with two common lifting mechanisms, screw drive and hydraulic drive.

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Screw drive lifts consist of a motor, screw shaft, and a large nut. The motor spins the screw shaft, raising or lowering the nut, and the platform is attached to the nut.

Hydraulic drive systems consist of a reservoir pump, hydraulic fluid, and a piston. The hydraulic fluid is pumped out of the reservoir and into the base of the piston, making it rise. The fluid is released back into the reservoir to lower the piston.

With both screw drives and hydraulic drives, the lift travels up and down a rail system enclosed in the lift tower. The tower is supported with attachment to an existing wall or through a constructed hoistway. Because the drive system is contained within the lift tower, no additional machine room is required for installation.

Vertical platform lifts operate in enclosures that are covered with plexiglass panels or on open platform lifts that run up and down stairs and can work on straight or curved staircases. The enclosed models travel up to 14 feet, while the open platforms travel five feet. They have weight capacities up to 750 pounds. The platforms are generally 36 inches by 54 inches, but other sizes are available.

An inclined wheelchair lift transports a person in a wheelchair up and down along a staircase on a track that follows the stairs. An inclined platform wheelchair lift can be created that allows the wheelchair lift to negotiate 90-degree, 180-degree, and other turns.

Check with the manufacturer to determine which operating system your wheelchair lift uses.


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