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Wheelchair Lifts

A wheelchair lift is a cost-effective accessibility solution that provides independence for wheelchair and power chair users and anyone else who has limited mobility. Lifeway offers wheelchair lift models that provide a smooth and quiet ride. The lifts we sell and install come from the top manufacturers in the industry, and we have the expertise to help you select the right equipment for your wheelchair access needs. We thoroughly understand all of the equipment we sell, and can advise where it will work best in your home or building.

About Vertical Platform Lifts

Vertical Platform Lifts (or VPLs for short), are very useful for helping a wheelchair user travel between levels. Vertical Platform Lifts are similar to elevators but use constant pressure switches. A VPL consists of:

  • Lift tower with either a hydraulic or ball screw drive mechanism
  • Platform with solid sides that is attached to the tower. When in use, the platform moves vertically up and down along the tower.
  • Key operated controls at the upper and lower landings as well as on the platform

Where Can they Be Used: Vertical Platform Lifts can be used both indoors and out and in residential and commercial settings. Short VPLs, often called “porch lifts” are used to provide access from ground level to enter homes. In a commercial setting, VPLs are enclosed in a “hoistway” – either a factory supplied enclosure or a constructed enclosure.

Capacities: VPLs have weight capacities ranging from 500 lbs to 750 lbs. The higher weight limits are helpful for powered wheelchair users as the chairs are often quite heavy. VPL platforms are typically 48″ long – but platforms up to 60″ are available for those with longer wheelchairs. Code limits VPLs to 12 feet of vertical travel and three stops.

About Inclined Lifts

Inclined Platform Lifts or IPLs are lifts that to carry a wheelchair user over an existing staircase on a level platform—a little like a flying carpet. The platform folds-up when the lift is not in use—so the stairs are open and passable. An IPL consists of:

  • Track: IPLs platforms travel on a track
  • Mounting: IPL track is either wall mounted track or supported by a post system that secures into the treads of the stairs
  • Platform: The rectangular platform can provide access from two or three sides and will include small ramps that fold up when traveling and down to roll-off at the bottom of the stairs. When not in use the platform can be folded up (manually or with power) against the wall to provide space for people using the stairs on foot. Depending on the options selected an IPL will take between 10″ and 13″ of the stairway width in the folded position.

Where Can They Be Used: Inclined Platform Lifts (IPLs) can be used both indoors and out and in residential and commercial settings. Like stairlifts, IPLs are available for both straight and curved staircases.

Options: IPLs can be equipped with folding arms to provide security as well as folding seats for non-wheelchair users.

Capacities: Inclined Platform Lifts (IPL) have a weight capacity of up to 450 lbs.

Will an IPL Fit? Despite their wonderful features and versatility IPLs aren’t as widely used in residential settings as you might expect. The most significant factor limiting their use is the amount of space they require.

The lower landing is of particular concern, as it must have room for the entire platform. A minimum of 55+ inches in front to the last step is required for the IPL platform to land. Additional clear space is usually needed to provide room for maneuvering a wheelchair. An IPL can fit on a staircase with a minimum clear width of 34″ – but the more space the better.

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