There are many options for lifting and transporting scooters and wheelchairs. In the mobility industry, scooter/wheelchair lifts are among the most sold products because not everyone needs or can afford a fully converted van for wheelchair accessibility. When I looked on the Internet, I found well over a dozen companies that have solutions to stow and transport scooter/wheelchairs. In addition, each of those companies manufacturers multiple lifts in their line up of solutions. So, when you add it up, there are hundreds of scooter/wheelchair lifts on the market so one can quickly get overwhelmed with all the options.
I typed in “Wheelchair Lift” into Google and was given 3,560,000 results! I have been in this industry for over five years and learn something new everyday, and today was no exception. I found that stores like Sears and Amazon.com sell wheelchair lifts. I also discovered that uHaul actually makes their own wheelchair lift; it’s called the ‘Tilt ‘n’ Tote’, who knew?
On the surface, it seems like a pretty simple purchase; buy a lift that takes a wheelchair and puts it in the back of a vehicle. It can be simple, if you take some time and do your homework. Buying a lift over the Internet, or buying any mobility solution over the Internet is not something I recommend. Are their great deals to be had? Sure! But the question you really need to ask is, “Is this the right solution for me (my disability, my budget, my vehicle, etc.).” Saving money is great, when you are buying something that fits your needs. Believe me, no one enjoys a bargain more than me. However, saving money for the sake of saving money isn’t always the best decision, especially when you can’t utilize the product to its fullest.
My recommendation is to visit a local Mobility Equipment Dealer and discuss with them all your options. Many of these local dealers have lifts that they can demonstrate for you. They can go over what level of mobility you have to ensure the lift you purchase will work for you and will make your life easier. You can call NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) at 800-833-0427 or visit them on the Internet www.nmeda.org.