A growing number of people are discovering a new way to get around through modified vans designed especially for handicap use and wheelchair accessibility. These people are able to gain independence and an ability to move about freely due to certain modifications that can be made to many of today's leading consumer vans. These modifications can be very simple such as scooter lifts, or involve integrated computer technology to operate the vehicle and allow access to it.
One of the ways that the vans are able to accommodate wheelchairs is through a lift or loader system. The lifts are capable of helping those in wheelchairs gain easy access to the vehicle without relying on others. These lifts utilize hydraulic technology, so the ride is smooth and dependable. The scooter or wheelchair lifts are capable of lifting several hundred pounds, depending on the model, so even those with motorized wheelchairs will have no problem gaining access to the vehicle.
Scooter and wheelchair lifts are usually stored inside the van in many minivan-style modified vehicles. These vehicles are most typically single family, and do not usually require the same amount of modification that is typical in commercial vehicles. The scooter lift will store inside the door of the van and will fold out electronically once the door is opened, generally through a remote control or similar device so there is no need for extra help on hand. These scooter and wheelchair lifts have literally transformed the life of those in wheelchairs, because when used with other adaptive equipment, these lifts allow the wheelchair or handicap van to be accessible and functional to all.
One example of the extra equipment in addition to lifts is the wheelchair restraints that are simple and easily attached to a modified van. These restraints ensure the proper safety and comfort for the passengers to feel secure once they are in the van. Restrain systems are essential and used in conjunction with a special seating design that allows the seats to be easily removed, whether it is rear passenger, side passenger or even the driver's seat.
Commercial vans are also capable of being converted with lift technology. These lifts are generally more durable because the need to operate time and time again, sometimes hundreds of uses each and every day. These scooter lifts are generally used in conjunction with a floor lowering procedure, and are stored outside the vehicle so the maximum space inside can be utilized.