hydro-8For businesses, ADA compliance goes beyond crucial – it’s a necessity for addressing the needs and physical abilities of all employees, clients, and customers. Yet, if a facility falls short or could improve upon its design, wheelchair lifts offer an efficient and economical solution. A cost-effective system that gets wheelchair and motor scooter users from point A to B without cumbersome ramps or restrictions, these lifts are made in vertical and inclined options, and each has assets that boost all-around accessibility in your building.

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Vertical wheelchair lifts essentially take passengers in a straight line from one landing to another. A staircase is not involved, but the system requires upper and lower landings, possibly equipped with gates or doors. Features vary with height. Smaller vertical wheelchair lifts – those that go no higher than six feet above the ground – do not require enclosure. Instead, a gate, with an interlock that unlocks when the cab approaches, at the upper landing is sufficient for fall safety.

Enclosure is mandatory for lifts going beyond six feet. Walls must surround the moving platform on all sides, and at the lower landing, a full-height door, one that is fully level with the inside of the enclosure, is required. A gate or door with similar features is additionally essential for the upper landing. For safety, interlocks must keep both doors from opening when the platform is not on the landing level.

For the platform to move, vertical wheelchair lifts employ a screw or hydraulic drive system. The former, part of the Apex Green, features a motor, screw shaft, and large nut, which supports the non-skid platform. The motor rotates the shaft to push up or lower the platform.

Apex’s Hydraulic lifts, unlike their elevator counterparts, are not supplemented by a pit and machine room. Instead, the system of a reservoir, pump, hydraulic fluid, and piston is contained. Fluid moves the system up or down: when pumped out of the reservoir and into the piston, it forces the platform up, and when the fluid flows back into the reservoir, it lowers the lift.

Not every facility is structurally equipped to handle one or more landings, indoors or outside. Operating much like stair climbers, inclined wheelchair lifts keep mobility between two or more floors possible. A rail, straight or shaped to the contours of the stairs, is installed for the platform to travel along. Inclined lifts are compact, with the platform folding up at both ends. Although curved lifts are custom designed, all systems present no installation difficulties and are equipped with safety sensors and battery charging stations at both ends.

From expanding mobility options to increasing features for wheelchair users to helping your facility achieve better ADA compliance, wheelchair lifts solve many accessibility conundrums and complaints. To get started on improving your building or home, contact us or get a project quote with our online form.


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