Buying a wheelchair ramp is a big decision, and you should put as much care into buying a ramp as you did when you purchased your chair.
When purchasing a wheelchair ramp, you should think about factors such as the type of wheelchair the person is using, the weight that the ramp will need to hold, and the portability of the ramp. Also, safety features, like edging and a non-slip surface, will ensure that everyone stays safe when using the ramp.
What Are Wheelchair Ramps?
A wheelchair ramp is an inclined plane that allows wheelchairs or other wheeled devices, like scooters and baby strollers, to easily and safely move between levels. People and businesses often place wheelchair ramps near a staircase, but sometimes they are set in place of the stairs.
There are three different types of broad wheelchair ramps categories: permanent, semi-permanent, or portable.
Manufacturers usually make permanent and semi-permanent ramps from concrete, wood, or aluminium. The difference between these two types of ramps is that permanent ramps are bolted onto or built into an existing structure while you can move semi-permanent ramps.
Portable ramps are often made of aluminium and usually fold for easy transport. Portable ramps are also sometimes used for vans to allow the person in the wheelchair to exit the vehicle easily.
Where to Buy Wheelchair Ramps?
You can buy wheelchair ramps at Go Mobility & Medical. With affordable prices and high-quality products, Go Mobility and Medical is the winner of the Irish Independent Retail Awards 2019 Bespoke Retailer of the Year.
They also offer nationwide delivery, so you can quickly get your product delivered to you anywhere in Ireland.
How Much Do Wheelchair Ramps Cost?
The price of a wheelchair ramp varies a lot depending on what type of ramp you want. For example, size and whether they’re portable or permanent affects the amount you’ll pay.
- An economy ramp costs between €140 and €330.
- Channel ramps are dual ramps, one for each wheel, costing between €150 and €1100.
- Folding ramps are highly portable and cost around €140 to €580.
- Threshold ramps are small ramps that help a person go in a door, and you’ll find them priced between €60 and €540.
Manual Wheelchair Ramp
Manual wheelchair ramps are for the standard push wheelchair and come in different sizes and types to fit your needs.
They can range in price from €140 to €1100. The cheaper options are usually shorter, only 2 feet long, and lightweight for easy transport. More expensive options closer to €1000 are longer, closer to six to eight feet long.
An important option to think about when choosing a manual wheelchair ramp is the gradient and length. The higher the incline, the more difficult it will be to get the person up the ramp. It would be best to think about the strength of whoever is propelling the wheelchair when choosing a gradient. So, if you need to get the wheelchair up several steps, then a longer option will be the best choice for you.
You should also think about portability if you need the ramp moved around, such as to be used when exiting a van. Foldable ramps make it much easier to manoeuvre ramps to different areas. Also, channel ramps are popular for manual wheelchair users. Channel ramps have two sections so that each wheel travels on a separate ramp. The benefit of this is that they are easy to move around since the ramp is in two pieces.
Powered Wheelchair Ramp
Since powered wheelchairs are different than their manual counterparts, you’ll need to consider their unique circumstances when buying a wheelchair ramp.
For one, powered wheelchairs are usually heavier than the standard wheelchair. Therefore, you need to take weight capacity into account. When purchasing a ramp, you have to think about the weight of the wheelchair and the person using it to ensure the ramp can hold all of it. Luckily, many models can carry up to 300kg.
Another essential aspect to think about when purchasing a ramp for a powered wheelchair is the surface. Since no one is pushing the chair, buying a ramp with a no-slip surface is paramount. Otherwise, the person risks sliding backward. Again, the amount of gradient will also be essential to ensure there is no slippage when using the ramp.
Finally, think about the edges of the ramp, especially if a person can not see well. Look for models that have either cautionary tape near the border or, even better, guards to keep the wheelchair from falling off the ramp.
Design standards differ by country, and many governments either set them or give recommendations. In most countries, the maximum incline allowed for public ramps is 1:12, which means for every 305mm of the ramp, there should only be a 25mm rise. Also, ramps should be no more than 9m to 10m long before a platform leads to another ramp.
Design standards are essential because they keep a wheelchair user safe on the ramp. A ramp that is too inclined will be hard to traverse and may cause a person to roll backward.
The Irish Wheelchair Association recommends that ramps be as shallow as possible with no more than a 1:20 incline. A ramp shouldn’t be more than 10m long with a rise of 500mm. The turning circle on landings should be unobstructed and have a turning diameter of 1800mm.
They also recommend ramps having a firm and level surface in front of them, a non-slip surface, and handrails at about 950mm in height.
What Is the Proper Slope for a Wheelchair Ramp?
For the most part, the proper slope for a wheelchair is between 1:12 and 1:20, but it would be best to consider certain factors when making a decision. For instance, if the person pushing the wheelchair, whether it’s the person in the wheelchair or someone else, isn’t that strong, then the slope should be low to prevent injury.