hydro-9Independence and accessibility should be open to everyone. To those using wheelchairs and motor scooters, stairs frequently transform into a hindrance, preventing entry into a building or home. While ramps are a simple solution, they are not practical in every case, particularly when a building or home has long or steep staircases inside. A wheelchair lift, on the other hand, is an economical and efficient solution in more ways than one.

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In vertical and inclined options, a wheelchair lift bridges the accessibility gap inside a home or building. Installing one or more pushes a facility toward ADA compliance, while adding one to the interior or exterior of a residential structure eliminates the frustration associated with ramps.

A vertical wheelchair lift, in congruence with its name, offers a direct mobility solution, moving a passenger from one floor to the next. Stairways are circumvented, and the stress and work associated with navigating a ramp are eliminated.

Such systems lift a passenger to a height of six feet or greater. Height affects design: lifts up to six feet are not required to have enclosure, while those surpassing this point must be fully surrounded by walls. But, while no walls are necessary for smaller systems, a gate, with an interlock, is crucial at the upper landing to prevent falls. Larger systems require a full height door at the lower landing and a gate or door at the upper destination. In both cases, the doors must be flush with the inside wall and be equipped with interlocks, which prevent access to the enclosure when the platform is not aligned with the landing.

No matter the height, a vertical wheelchair lift operates by a screw or hydraulic drive. The former consists of a motor, screw shaft, and large nut, which is below the platform. To move the passenger, the motor spins the shaft, which raises or lowers the nut. A hydraulic wheelchair lift, however, uses a system of a reservoir, pump, fluid, and piston. When the fluid is pumped out of the reservoir and into the piston, the platform rises. As soon as the fluid is released back into the reservoir, the system lowers.

Vertical lifts are not practical for all locations. Inclined lifts, also called wheelchair stair lifts, provide a solution for navigating over stairs. A straight or curved track is installed alongside a staircase, and a non-skid platform takes the passenger up and down. To prevent the system from obstructing the stairs for other users, the platform folds up at both ends. No matter if a curved track is used, the inclined lift is equipped with battery chargers at both ends, operates during a power outage, and detects obstructions with safety sensors.

Apex Wheelchair Lifts, with sturdy and durable inclined and vertical designs, expand mobility and accessibility options in homes and workplaces of various sizes. For improving either of these aspects or offering a more convenient alternative to a ramp, explore all Apex Wheelchair Lifts offers and fill out our online form for a project quote.


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