Mobile ramps can be a useful tool or complete trash. It’s important to look at what you’re getting into before you buy. You want to find a ramp that suits your needs specifically.
A mobile and foldable wheelchair ramp is a blessing. Not only do these mobile ramps increase mobility. Where they really shine is the increased independence they provide. When a physically challenged person realizes they’re no longer held back by the kind of climb most of us take for granted, it’s liberating.
A wheelchair ramp is a simple and straightforward product. But it can be a life-saver for a person with mobility issues.
What To Consider For Choosing A Wheelchair Ramp
All commercial ramps are relatively heavy, particularly for older folks, or anyone who suffers from a bad back. There’s not much we can do about it. We need these structures to be robust enough to support people and the heavy wheelchairs and motorized scooters they ride.
Ramp weight isn’t much of an issue for the young, healthy and flexible. They can move these things around quite handily. But for some people, handicap ramps are not the easiest things in the world to maneuver.
I do recommend wearing a thick pair of work gloves when setting the ramp in place or taking it down. The edges can be sharp, so it’s easy to cut yourself if you don’t wear protective gloves.
Before making a purchase there are several things, you should at least think about. Here are some of the questions you should probably consider:
- What is the primary need you hope to address by getting this ramp?
- Will it mostly be used at your front door, to get in or out of a vehicle, or both?
- How much assistance will be readily available whenever this ramp will be used?
- Will the width of the ramp fit inside the back or side door of the vehicle?
- Is there enough clearance on height to load or unload the passenger while seated in his/her wheelchair?
- What is the height difference (the rise) between the ground/ floor and the highest point the ramp needs to reach?
- Is there enough room for the ramp to spread out when fully extended?
- Is one ramp enough, or will you need another?
As you can see, there is a lot to think about. Now let’s look at a few specific models that come highly recommended.
Prairie View Industries Portable Six-foot Multi-Folding Ramp
That may be the perfect ramp for you if you only need to gain 12 inches or less.
At this height, it’s easy to move any wheelchair or scooter, occupied or unoccupied. It makes it particularly useful as there’s no need to worry about getting a physically challenged passenger out of their wheelchair. Just be sure to lock the chair into position when loading it into a vehicle. Click here for the best wheelchair mechanism you’ll find anywhere!
It’s a fairly compact unit that folds down from 72 inches to just over 38 inches, for easy storage. It does have an 800-pound weight capacity, which is solid and should be more than enough for most.
The Prairie View product is quite practical for loading wheelchairs and scooters into and out of vehicles that have a large opening – typically at the side or back door – and are relatively low to the ground. Some minivans are ideal for this, though they don’t seem to be making them much anymore. It can work well and other vehicles too, like SUVs, because it’s designed to clear the bumper with its extended lip. It would also work at home quite easily if the rise is 12 inches or less.
This lip extension sits firmly and securely on the interior of your vehicle rather than sitting dangerously on the bumper. So it’s safe and secure, without doing any damage to the vehicle.
What buyers prefer about the Prairie View Industries Portable Wheelchair Ramp is that it separates into two sections. That makes it easy to carry, as each section has its own handle. It is portable, yet lightweight (though “lightweight” is a relative term) and built tough.
With a 30-inch wide stable platform that provides full support, it’s large enough to fit any style or configuration of wheelchair or scooter.
The structure is welded for extra strength, and the whole surface area is covered with anti-slip material for maximum traction – even when it’s wet. That’s an important safety feature no decent ramp would be without.
Not only is this ramp robust and mighty, but it’s also quite rugged too. Some home users leave their ramps outside year-round, where they are subjected to rain, snow, sleet, and the harsh UV rays of the sun. Surprisingly, they report seeing little to no clear sign of weather-related damage.
Known for the quality and stability of its products, this brand of wheelchair ramp might be a good fit for you. That is, if the difference in elevation between the ground and your vehicle or home is 18 inches or less for unoccupied equipment, or 12 inches or less for occupied wheelchairs.
If the rise you need to cover is greater, you’ll likely be better off choosing a longer ramp. If would be nice if this one ramp served all purposes. But safety comes first. And you don’t want to put anybody at risk by having a steeper slope than you should.
Prairie View also manufactures this ramp in additional sizes including seven, eight and twelve-foot versions. All but the twelve-footer boast an 800-pound weight capacity. The twelve-foot model is limited to 600 pounds, due to the increased span it covers.
Take some measurements to see what you’re dealing with. The six-foot model may be all you need. Some say it’s perfect for a two-step porch. But it’s too small for anything more.
The Prairie View Portable Six-Foot Ramp – For Your Car, Home & Outdoors
Here is what people most like about it:
- This product is well-made, solid, and surprisingly strong, considering its weight.
- Users feel safe and secure enough when using it.
- When not in use, it’s easy to remove and store.
- The fold-up feature is another helpful advantage. Folding the ramp up makes it easy to fit into a van or SUV, or to put it into storage when it’s not going to be used for a while.
7-Foot Titan Multi-Folding Wheelchair Ramp
Fully extended, this ramp spans 30″ x 84″ and weighs 46 pounds. It features a solid frame construction of aluminum and it folds up to a size of about 8″ x 15″ x 46″.
This ramp is made for wheelchair and scooter traffic, not for solo walking. It’s the even weight distribution and wide span of wheelchairs and scooters that deliver the stability. But walking transfers one’s body weight from one foot to the other, causing an uneven distribution of that weight and increasing vibration and instability.
To make the Titan even more compact, you can temporarily remove the pins holding it together separating the pieces altogether. Some buyers like to set up one part first then connect it to the next with the pin, which locks it all together.
This 7-foot Titan has been known to stand up to three steps and to connect equally well to numerous vans and SUVs. For full-size trucks, the rise is typically higher, requiring a longer ramp.
Do not leave your Titan ramp out as a permanent ramp. It’s not designed to take the beating that will likely be handed it when left outdoors for extended periods. The aluminum won’t rust, but it will oxidize. The rivets and pins, however, are made of steel and are highly susceptible to rusting. When these elements rust, the strength of the ramp could be compromised – and that’s never a good thing.
The 7-Foot Titan Folding Ramp – The Popular Temporary Transport Aid
Buyers like the way that Titan ramps are made. They find them to be quite stable, with more than adequate weight capacity. They can also be set up and taken down again fairly easily. It’s an excellent quality product at a fair price. What more could you ask?
Titan 8-Foot Aluminum Wheelchair Ramp
Here’s another quality mobility ramp that’s superb for lifting wheelchairs or scooters onto porches, decks, raised patios. Whatever your needs are, this might be all you need for climbing or descending a few steps at home – or away from home.
Weighing in at 53 pounds and measuring 30″ x 96″ when extended, the Titan also folds up to a more compact size of 8″ x 15″ x 52″.
Its aluminum structure makes it light enough to setup and takedown without excessive effort. It also means that it’s ideal for wheelchairs and scooters – but is not intended for walking.
The unique way the Titan folds up makes it easy to relocate and convenient to store in the shed or garage.
For some, the 8-foot length is just what they need. But many only find this out the hard way – after trying to get by with a shorter ramp. That’s why it’s so important to consider the slope required to span the two different elevations.
You can check this out by cutting a piece of lumber at 8 feet and placing it wherever the ramp will go. If you’re sure it will do, try reducing the size to 7 feet and test that. Will that work? You can try again at the 6-foot mark. The idea here is to find the right size for your purposes.
If it’s too steep, you may have difficulty, particularly while helping someone in a manual wheelchair. A longer ramp might be the answer. But “bigger” usually means heavier too. So keep that in mind.
The surface of the ramp is covered with a tread material to guard against any slipping.
Because it spans 8 feet and is made of aluminum, there’s quite a bit of flex while walking on it.
But it’s important to remember that the way these mobility ramps are designed is to distribute the weight across the width of the entire ramp. They are made to accommodate all wheelchairs and scooters. Walking up the middle places all your weight in the middle, causing more movement than you would normally get.
The 8-Foot Aluminium Ramp – A Quality Commodity At Home & Outdoors
It can be slightly awkward to carry and heavy for some people. But you should know that this is a quality product. It has some bounce to it when fully extended to 8 feet. But that extra length might work out perfectly for you.
It’s a strong and solid ramp capable of handling several hundred pounds, without any issue. It’s compact and relatively lightweight. Yet it’s quite sturdy too. The fact that it’s affordable makes this wheelchair ramp a certain winner.