How to choose the right wheelchair elevator

Freedom of movement is an integral part of modern life. Unfortunately, this opportunity is not available to everyone. For people with disabilities, the most ordinary stairs can be an insurmountable obstacle. The only way out of this situation is to install wheelchair elevators.

Types of lifting platforms for people with low mobility

Elevators differ not only in size and location, but also in their range of functions. For overcoming differences in height, inclined and vertical platforms are the best choice.

Vertical elevators are available as enclosed or open platforms. The former are equipped with a shaft fence, while the latter have none. Because of their versatility these mechanisms are installed inside both residential and office buildings.

If for technical reasons the installation of a vertical platform is not possible, an inclined elevator is used as an alternative. There are two types of these devices: straight platforms that move from one flight of stairs to another, and mechanisms that traverse several platforms in a row.

The movement of the tilting unit is carried out without detachment from the steps (the elevator "slides" on their surface). If necessary, the passenger can regulate the movement of the platform in manual mode. An interlocking mechanism prevents an emergency situation in the event of an unforeseen power failure. Forced evacuation of a person from the platform is possible without the use of special equipment.

Heavily assisted lifting equipment is divided into hydraulic and electric. Hydraulic and electric lifts are smooth-running, easy to install and easy to operate. Despite the high capacity, they are not practical enough for high heights and long spans. For the equipment of administrative buildings, hypermarkets and private households, electric platforms are ideal. The main advantage of these devices is their reliability and safety.

The optimal option for creating a barrier-free environment in conditions of limited space are mini crawler elevators. These devices represent a platform with a wheelchair attached to it. The mechanism operates on the basis of an electric drive or built-in battery. The main advantages of the tracked platform include speed, light weight and relatively compact dimensions.

A no less popular type of mobile elevators are the step-lifts. They traverse flights of stairs with a pair of wheels which lift, lower and lock the platform in place on a specific step. These devices are equipped with seats (with the possibility of installing a wheelchair). Similar to the tracked ones, the stairlifts are battery operated.

The main rules of selection

The selection of a suitable elevator for wheelchair access must take into account not only the comfort and speed, but above all the safety of the passenger. It is also important to consider the conditions of use, in particular the architecture of the building.

Basic features to consider when choosing a wheelchair elevator:

  • Dimensions. Optimal dimensions of the device for moving the disabled inside buildings - 960x1200 / 960x1040 mm. The minimum depth of the platform must be at least 1400 mm.
  • Carrying capacity. In the standard models the figure is 250-300 kg. In this case, not only the weight of the passenger, but also the weight of the wheelchair is taken into account. If it has an electric drive or battery the platform is critically weighted. To avoid traumatic situations, we recommend an elevator with a capacity of up to 350 kg.
  • Type of control. Most platforms have push-button or remote control.
  • Safety. The base of the platform should have a non-slip grooved surface, and either a handrail or fold-down rail.
  • Comfortability. Elevators for the handicapped must have a ramp for wheelchair access.
  • Protection. As an anti-vandal measure, it is better to opt for a platform equipped with special elements that protect against unauthorized access.

General criteria for selecting an elevator for the handicapped depend on 3 basic factors: safety requirements, budget, and the needs of the handicapped.

The company "SILACH-LIFT" specializes in the development and production of wheelchair elevators different types and configurations. Our products are reliable and functional. We are ready to provide professional advice on issues related to the production and installation of elevators at the customer's site.