Are there advantages to a fold-out ramp over an in-floor ramp?
Trying to decide between a fold-out wheelchair ramp or an in-floor wheelchair ramp? Like with most things, there are pros and cons with both. To make a sound decision, don’t just look at the price tag. Weigh your needs along with the financial aspects. You’ll feel much better in the end if you do.
For instance, do you need more interior room for passengers? An in-floor ramp will provide more space since it is tucked into the floor of the wheelchair van. Fold-out ramps are housed in the doorway of the van when stored. That means a fold-up ramp will take up a small amount of interior space, so you’ll have slightly less passenger room.
On the other hand, if you drive alone, a fold-out ramp is a better choice. They can work automatically or manually. If you get an automatic fold-out ramp and it loses power, you can still operate it by hand. This means you will not get stuck in your vehicle, and you’ll have an even greater sense of independence.
Think about the climate when making your decision. Do you live in an area that gets a lot of precipitation? If so, rain, snow and leaves tend to collect on fold-out ramps during use and that stuff is often tracked in the vehicle. So watch out for that. But in-floor ramps aren’t in the clear either. Given their low positioning, they’re still at risk for corrosion or could freeze up in colder climates.
Do you go to a lot of places with tall curbs? Then an in-floor ramp would not be a good fit because they often can’t go over tall curbs or steep gradients. Fold-out ramps are more deployable. They can fold out onto sidewalks easily and have a lower ramp angle than in-floor options.
Does your van have sliding doors on both sides? An in-floor ramp will allow you to have rear access from either sliding door. Fold-out ramps tend to block passenger side sliding doors though. On the other hand, a fold-out ramp is housed below the sliding door’s window so you or your driver can see out the window with no problem.
Lastly, people like in-floor wheelchair ramps because they are hidden from view and tuck away neatly into the floor. While that’s nice, these ramps can cost considerably more than fold-out ramps. So if you’re watching your budget, a fold-out ramp is a more economical choice.
Need help in finding the right ramp for your wheelchair van? The Mobility Resource is here to help. Contact us today!