Auto lifts help give your wheelchair, power chair, or power scooter a lift. They come in handy when someone with limited mobility must move from one place to another and are the key to living an active and independent life. Auto lifts can be designed to fit on the interior or exterior of your sedan, van, SUV, or pickup track, and they are also known as automotive lifts or vehicle lifts.
Benefits of Using Automotive Lifts
- They provide a safe and easy way to transport mobility devices, such as wheelchairs, power chairs, or scooters
- They can be easily installed either on the inside of the back of your vehicle or on the outside on your vehicle’s hitch
- They improve quality of life for people with mobility challenges
- They can be operated manually or automatically
Interior Auto Lifts
Interior auto lifts allow you to transport a wheelchair, power chair, or scooter inside a vehicle. They can either be interior-mounted lifts or truck bed lift systems that are built to accommodate different types of mobility devices. Mobility experts can help you determine the best type of auto lift for your vehicle.
An interior mounted auto lift attaches inside the trunk of a van, SUV, minivan, or truck. This auto lift has a platform, or actuator, which secures and ferries the mobility device. They come in different compact designs to allow the mobility device to fit into the vehicle without consuming too much space.
Additionally, they are strong enough to transport the mobility device securely. They are also designed to allow for easy loading and unloading of the mobility device. The best auto lifts are easy to operate and compact and do not block the driver’s view of the road in any direction.
How to Choose an Interior Auto Lift
When choosing an interior auto lift, consider top brands in the mobility space, including Bruno, Harmar, and Mobility 101. You can choose either a platform style or a boom style interior auto lift.
Platform-Style Interior Auto Lifts
Platform-style auto lifts are attached to the trunk of your vehicle. Most models are easy to mount, but in some cases you will have to remove the vehicle’s rear seats and attach the lift to the existing seat holes.
Platform auto lifts slide easily out of the rear of the vehicle and automatically lower to the ground. This enables the power chair, scooter, or wheelchair to be easily loaded or unloaded.
Boom-Style Interior Auto Lifts
Boom-style auto lifts are suitable for most vehicles with a large trunk. The base of the lift is fitted to the floor of a truck or trunk. With the press of a button, the auto lift transports the mobility device into the vehicle and holds it securely in place while the vehicle is moving.
Boom-style lifts are usually installed on either the driver’s side or passenger’s side of a vehicle. They are placed close to the door to allow the user to easily enter and exit the vehicle.
Interior Auto Lift Compatibility
Auto lifts have different compatibility requirements. Before purchasing one, you should have a mobility expert consider the make and model of your car. This information will be used to determine all compatible interior auto lifts. Of course, the pros and cons of each auto lift should be factored in as well.
Exterior Auto Lifts
Exterior auto lifts allow you to transport a mobility device on the outside of your vehicle. They can be mounted on a hitch or on a truck bed lift system that can accommodate different types of mobility devices. Because they are fitted on the exterior of the vehicle, they help you save space within.
Of course, exterior auto lifts must be built with weather-proof materials. They consist of a platform that secures and carries the mobility device.
Exterior auto lifts come in sleek and contemporary designs. Though compact, they are designed to carry mobility devices securely. They should be fitted in a way that does not impede road visibility, which may mean having a convenient swing-away option for complete access to the back hatch, trunk, or tailgate.
The swing-away function should also accommodate uneven vehicle hitch receivers.
How to Choose an Exterior Auto Lift
When choosing an exterior auto lift, go for the top and most reputable brands, such as Harmar, Bruno, or Mobility 101. Exterior auto lifts can either be platform-style of boom-style.
Platform-Style Exterior Auto Lifts
Platform-style auto lifts are fitted to the rear of the vehicle using the vehicle’s tow hitch. If your vehicle does not have a hitch, one can be fitted for this purpose. The platform lowers automatically to the ground to allow for an easy entrance into, and an easy exit out of, the mobility device. Once it has been fitted in place on the platform the device is secured by sturdy nylon straps.
The best exterior platform lifts are designed with “swing-away” capabilities. This allows them to swing away from the vehicle at 180 degrees when not in use. Lifts with this feature give the user better access to the vehicle’s tailgate, trunk, or cargo hatch.
Boom-Style Exterior Auto Lifts
Boom-style auto lifts are suitable for use with most pickup trucks. The base of this type of lift is mounted on to the bed of the pickup truck, and the arm lowers out and attaches to the mobility device. With the push of a button, the auto lift moves the mobility device on to the vehicle and secures it in place.
Boom-style lifts can be installed on the driver’s side or passenger’s side of the pickup truck, so the lift’s location depends on the client’s needs and preferences. In any event, the auto lift should be fitted close to the door for easier access.
Compatibility of Exterior Auto Lifts
Each type of exterior auto lift has different requirements. Before buying one, consult with a mobility expert. This person will assess your vehicle and your mobility device before giving you options that are compatible with the make and model of your vehicle. They should also give you the pros and cons of using different types of auto lifts.