complete-1You’re absolutely baffled that this simple machine can lift you and your wheelchair, vertically, from one level of your home to the next. It’s so quiet, so smooth, but how does it do it? Or, maybe you’re considering the purchase of a vertical wheelchair lift, but you’re not sure if maintenance will be a future issue. For whatever the reason, here is a breakdown of the basic parts found in a typical vertical wheelchair lift.

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Electrical Drive – Without the electrical drive, your wheelchair lift would be a pile of useless metal. The electrical drive is what fuels the lift, what gives it its lift, and what makes the Acme screw-drive carry you and your chair to the next level. It works very simply; a motor which is powered either by AC or DC current operates the gear mechanisms that raise or lower the platform. If you’re wondering why your ride is always so smooth and quiet, it is because electrical drives are designed that way.

Acme Screw Drive – Also called the worm gear drive. This gear is the part of the lift that literally lifts or drops you from one platform to the next. The threads in the screw drive system rotate, and as it rotates, you either ascend or descend. Think of it like a giant screw upon which you and your platform sit. The only difference is that you don’t spin in circles as the drive rotates; could you imagine how sickening that would be?

Non-Skid Deck – When you and your wheelchair are sitting on the platform, the last thing you want is to start rolling around. In order to prevent the wheelchair from rolling while the lift is operating, a non-skid mat is installed on the floor of the lift platform. Sometimes, these mats are removable and sometimes they are not; it all depends on the model.

Control Panel – A vertical lift will go nowhere unless you tell it to. In order to tell the lift whether you want to go up or down, a control panel is installed, so that the passenger, you, can control it. Most vertical lifts feature buttons that must be depressed for the lift to move. What does this mean for you? It means that as long as your finger is on the “down” button, the lift will descend. As soon as you remove your finger, the lift will stop.

Emergency Stop Button – Sometimes, emergencies happen. When they do, it’s good to know that you have full control over the wheelchair lift. In the case that you want the lift to shut down immediately, an emergency stop button can be found inside the platform. If pressed, all power will be shut off, and the lift will come to a halt.


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