Ramping It Up – All About Wheelchair Van Ramps

Bi folding manual ramp

Just like it sounds, the bi-folding ramp folds in half as you close it.  The ramp usually features a handle on the side and a counter balance system to make it lighter to lift.  Learning the right technique to deploy the ramp makes it easier to open and close. A bi-folding ramp typically sits vertically upright when closed and on a side entry van, may have a feature to open it like a gate when wheelchair access is not needed.

Bi folding power ramp

A bi-folding ramp can be motorized to operate with a hardwired button or remote control. A power folding ramp is especially helpful for wheelchair drivers giving independence to more easily enter and exit the vehicle.

Lay flat folding ramp

In a rear entry van, there is an option to have a lay flat ramp. This allows easy access to the cargo area of the van without deploying the ramp.

In-floor manual ramp

An in-floor ramp slides under the main vehicle floor when not is use. This elegant solution allows easy access to the van when wheelchair access is not needed.  It is offered in some models with a power feature as well.

Ramps feature non-slip flooring for safety. The angle of the ramp varies by model, so manual chair users may want to carefully review the steepness of the angle for day-to-day use. All power ramps do have more moving parts that can mean more maintenance and service costs over time.  But regular maintenance for your ramp and van will protect your long-term investment.

Accessible vehicle consultant Shelley Pattenden demonstrates various wheelchair van ramp options in this video. View the video to see for yourself how they each operate!

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