- 03 Oct, 2020
Mobility scooters and wheelchairs need to be able to move smoothly between different levels, including up and down steps and over thresholds. The best solution to this problem, after accessible building and infrastructure design, is often to use ramps. Mobility scooter andwheelchair rampsmake it much easier to get between different levels so that users can get around with ease and aren't excluded. They can include permanently installed ramps and temporary or portable ramps, which can be deployed whenever they are needed.
A ramp for your mobility scooterorwheelchair makes your life easier, especially when you have a portable ramp that you can take with you when you travel. It can really change everything for you when you get a ramp (or several ramps) that work for you.
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How Can Mobility and Wheelchair Ramps Benefit You?
Who can benefit from using ramps? Anyone who uses an outdoor mobility scooter or a wheelchair will find that having the right ramp will make a difference in their life. It's helpful to have ramps to get around at home or when you visit other people, as well as when you're traveling around. Of course, businesses can also benefit from having ramps available for when they are needed, but many choose to have ramps, elevators, and other features built into their premises.
A ramp makes it easier for you and your wheelchair or mobility scooter to get over a threshold or to move from one level to another. Even getting over a threshold between indoors and outdoors or between two rooms can be tricky when you use a wheelchair or scooter. Navigating steps and level changes is even more difficult and sometimes impossible. But a ramp makes the path smoother, allowing you to easily get where you need to be.
What Types of Ramps Are Available?
Wheelchair and mobility scooter ramps are available in several types and styles to meet different needs. Some ramps are designed to be permanent or semi-permanent installations. Others can be stored when not in use and deployed when they are needed. Lightweight, portable ramps are also an option and are excellent for transporting in your car so that you can use them wherever you go.
If you're looking at permanent and removable ramps to try and decide which option is best, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, if you need a ramp at home, consider installing it permanently. It's much easier to have your home set up for your needs, and having to get out a ramp whenever you need it will quickly become annoying. Being able tomaintain your independenceat home is important, and being able to get around without help (or with less help) can really help you to feel comfortable in your home. However, sometimes that might not be the most convenient option. It might be better to use lightweight, portable ramps that you can easily move around.
Portable ramps are a great option if you want to be able to make environments outside of your home more accessible too. Many of them fold and come with useful carry bags or handles, so you can pack them into your vehicle or carry them around. They can also be good to use at home if you want to have one or two ramps that you can move around. Portable wheelchair ramps and scooter ramps are designed to be lightweight, making them easier to carry and move. Business owners may also prefer to use a portable/temporary ramp system because it means they will not need a building permit to install it.
Let's compare some commonly available types of ramp and how they can be useful.
"Lego-style" threshold ramp
Lightweight, allow water to flow through, can be used inside and out
Aluminum threshold ramp
Lightweight and non-slip, with a high weight capacity
Rubber threshold ramp
Durable and stay in place, with a very high weight capacity
Foldable for easy storage and transport, can support a lot of weight, non-slip and strong construction
Telescoping track ramp
Lightweight and telescope down for storage and transport
Temporary or permanent for paths and walkways
Secure and non-slip, can be used for one or two steps, also available with handrails
Longer ramps/runs in homes and businesses - permanent
Can be used for longer runs for accessible alternative to steps or steep slopes, can be configured to specific needs, and can feature handrails
Portable ramp system for homes and businesses
Rolls up to store away, portable and storable, links can be added and removed to lengthen or shorten the ramp
Get a ramp made to your exact specifications so that it meets your needs
Even the best ramps available won't be suitable for every purpose and every user of a wheelchair or mobility scooter. That's why it's important to consider your needs and understand your options before you decide which type of ramp is right for you.
Permanent vs. Portable/Temporary Ramps
The main choice that you need to make when choosing ramps for wheelchairs and mobility scooters is whether you want a permanently installed ramp or one that can be moved. Of course, if you choose a portable or temporary ramp, you could choose to install it in one place and leave it there until such time as you need to move it elsewhere.
Permanent ramps - advantages and disadvantages
Installing a permanent wheelchair/scooter ramp definitely has benefits. It means that your home (or business) is accessible to everyone at all times. Generally, people who don't use mobility aids or use aids other than a wheelchair or scooter are capable of using a ramp. On the other hand, getting over thresholds or up steps and stairs can be difficult or even impossible for people using wheelchairs or mobility scooters. There is also the option of having both steps and ramps so that people can use whichever works best for them.
There are also disadvantages to having a permanent ramp. Not being able to remove the ramp means that you need enough space to have it permanently installed. It's possible that you might also need abuilding permitor license to build the ramp. These things can make it inconvenient to have a ramp permanently installed, even in your own home. It can also be more expensive to have permanent ramps put in, especially if you have to pay for installation.
Portable/temporary ramps - advantages and disadvantages
A portable ramp can be moved around so that you can deploy it when and where it's needed most. That means you could have one or two ramps that you move around and that you can even take with you when you travel. Portable ramps can help with everything from navigating thresholds and steps to getting your wheelchair or mobility scooter into your vehicle. They're designed to be lightweight and can fold up, roll up, or be taken apart into multiple pieces. Many portable ramps come with carry bags, straps, or handles.
One disadvantage of a portable ramp might be that it has a lower weight capacity compared to a permanent ramp. Many of them still have high capacities, but it's important to check how much weight they will hold. A heavy motorized chair or mobility scooter combined with the weight of its driver could be too much for some ramps. Another issue with portable ramps is that they take time to set up and put away. You also will often need someone to help you do this, which means you might not be able to get around as independently as you might like.
Can be installed permanently
Requires a lot of space
Requires a building permit
High weight capacity
Easily stored and transported
Key Concerns: Weight Capacity, Construction, Ease of Use, and More
What do you need to think about when you're looking for the right permanent or temporary ramp? There are a few key considerations to take into account before you decide which ramp is right for you.
Any ramp that you choose needs to be able to take the weight of the wheelchair or mobility scooter that it's intended for, as well as the person who uses it. While manual wheelchairs can be very lightweight, depending on their design, powerchairs and mobility scooters tend to be heavier. Some smaller options can be under 100lb, but there are models that weigh several hundred pounds, even without batteries or any other accessories. And that's without the weight of the rider. That's why it's important to know the weight capacity of a ramp and how much you need it to be able to hold.
Construction and durability
Of course, any ramp that you buy needs to be durable and long-lasting. Looking at the materials and how the ramp is made can help you to determine how durable it is. The weight capacity of the ramp is one factor, but you can also consider how the ramp is constructed and how it's used. If it is in multiple parts, how do you put it together, and how quickly can you do it? Another thing to think about might be how easy the ramp would be to repair if it happened to break.
Ease of use
A ramp that's designed to make life easier should be simple for you to use. Whether you are getting up or down it under your own power, using an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter, or being pushed by someone else, it shouldn't be a huge effort. If the ramp needs to be deployed and later put away, this should be easy too. Some ramps can be a little trickier to master than others. For example, track ramps require you to get your wheels situated on two separate tracks, which requires you to position them in just the right place.
Size and weight
This factor is particularly important if you want a portable wheelchair ramp. If it needs to be moved and stored when it's not in use, you don't want it to be too heavy, and you don't want it taking up too much space. Most ramps come in multiple sizes to meet your needs, but it's also important to know how compact they are when you're not using them. Can the ramp be folded or in some way made smaller so that it takes up less space? Weight is another thing to consider, especially if you will be carrying your ramp by hand, on your mobility scooter, or in your vehicle.
Lastly, it's essential to think about what you need a ramp for. You might need a ramp for your home, but it could also be foryour car, RV,or even to access a stage or another raised level. Not all ramps are for use at home, and even those that are can have different purposes. You might need a ramp to help with rolling over a threshold, or you might need one to navigate a step or a number of steps.
Ramp Lengths and Slopes
For a ramp to be the right fit for your needs, it should be the right length, and it needs to have the right slope too. If the ramp is too steep, it will be too difficult to get up and down it, or it will take more effort than necessary. You might also want to consider what slope gradient is comfortable to walk on, especially if you're considering installing a permanent ramp. The length and the slope are linked together since you need more ramp to create a more gentle slope. This will help you to choose a ramp that works for both people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters and for those walking, including anyone using other mobility aids.
The ADA requires businesses to make sure their ramps have a maximum 1:12 slope ratio, and it's a good rule to follow for your home too. This means that for every one inch of rise, you need one foot (12 inches) of ramp. This helps to ensure that the slope isn't too steep and that it's safe for all to use. So a 5-foot ramp, for example, would be suitable for a rise of up to 5 inches. Use this guide to help you choose which ramp is right for you.
The Best Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Ramps
Once you know what you're looking for in a mobility scooter or wheelchair ramp, you can get started on finding the right one. We've gathered some of the best options and some of our best sellers to help you discover what's available and which ramp could be the one that meets your needs.
PVI Ramps Standard Threshold Ramp
Getting over thresholds is a common problem for people at home and elsewhere when using their wheelchair or scooter. This standard ramp from PVI Ramps is the ideal solution to the problem. It's designed for use in doorways that swing inward and provides an anti-slip, high-traction surface that makes getting over thresholds easier than ever.
This ramp comes in seven different sizes, from 8" x 32" all the way up to 24" x 36". These sizes are suitable for thresholds from ¼" to 4". The ramp is made from lightweight but durable aluminum, so it will last a long time and has a maximum weight capacity of up to 300lb single axle or 600lb for two axles. The smallest ramp weighs a mere 3lbs, and the largest is only 15lb.
The PVI threshold ramp also has a limited lifetime warranty, so you can be sure it's going to last a long time.
Roll-a-Ramp Wheelchair/Scooter Ramp
As you might guess from the name, the Roll-a-Ramp system can be rolled up when it's not in use and rolled out when you need it. It's a flexible but strong ramp, which you can quickly deploy or store. Another excellent advantage is that you can add links to the ramp at any time to make it longer or remove them if you want to make it shorter. That makes a Roll-a-Ramp ideal if you need a ramp that's suitable for a number of different areas around your home or business.
Roll-a-Ramp ramps are custom-built to match your situation. They're a good option for businesses, but also for personal use. As a temporary ramp, you can use them at home when you don't need or want a permanent ramp. It can also be used for visiting family and friends or for RVs. It has a huge weight capacity, supporting up to 1,000lb, and is super durable. It's made from 6061 aerospace aluminum and has a Rockwell T6 hardness. Meanwhile, the weight of the ramp itself averages only 6lb per foot of ramp.
The flexibility of the ramp also means that it can even be turned into multiple ramps. You can simply detach sections from the ramp and attach an Approach Plate to turn it into another ramp.
Keen Healthcare EZ-Access Suitcase Trifold As Ramp
If you have looked at some portable ramps and felt that they are too small, you might find that this one does the trick. This large ramp measures 8' x 29.5" and is a great choice for steps, raised landings, or larger vehicles such as SUVs. It has a unique three-fold design, enabling you to fold it up and store or transport it. The self-adjusting bottom transition plates make it easy to convert from ramp to ground, and the ramp can be separated into two different sections too. The applied anti-slip surface keeps wheelchairs and scooters secure.
The built-in carry handle makes this ramp easy to transport, with each section weighing 25lb for a total weight of 50lb. The strong aluminum construction gives the ramp an 800lb capacity, which is suitable for most people. It's also designed to be compatible with the Top Lip Extension.
Healthsmart DMI Retractable Lightweight Portable Wheelchair Ramps
These dual portable ramps are an excellent option that can be deployed in a range of situations. They can be used to help navigate steps, curbs, and vehicles. The telescoping design means they can be extended when needed and retracted when you need them to be compact for storage and transport. They adjust from 3' to 5' using a push-button mechanism, and the inner track is 4" wide for wheels, with track rails that measure 2.25" high. Each of the ramps has a weight capacity of 330lb, for a combined capacity of 660lb.
The lightweight ramps weigh 6lb each and come with a nylon storage bag for easy transport. It's a great ramp for travel, which you can use whenever and wherever you need to.
Drive Medical Single Fold Portable Wheelchair/Scooter Ramp
When you're looking for an affordable, portable wheelchair ramp, this option from Drive Medical is a good choice. It comes in five different sizes, from 2' to 6', and folds neatly in half to fit into its handy carry bag. The total weight capacity of 600lb makes it comparable to plenty of other ramps, and it's durable with lightweight construction. The ramp has perforate slots, which keep water from collecting on the ramp, so it can even be set up in the rain.
Roll-a-Ramp RV Ramps/Trailer Ramps
Using a wheelchair or mobility scooter shouldn't stop you from seeing the country or even the world. For those who love to travel on the open road, the RV/trailer ramps from Roll-a-Ramp are perfect. Trailers and RVs often have high entrance points and can require very specialized ramps to get in and out. Roll-a-Ramp Portable RV system is the only ramp system that's designed specifically for RVs and trailers.
Setting up the ramp can take just 20 minutes, and when you're done with the ramp, you can easily store it until your next stop. The sturdy ramp has a 1,000lb weight capacity, and, like other Roll-a-Ramp options, you can add sections to make it longer. You can choose this ramp system with handrails and support stands, and it also comes with Quick-Connect pins for easy setup.
EZ-Access Gateway 3G Ramp with Two-Line Handrails
If you need a ramp that offers extra stability, the Gateway 3G Ramp with Two-Line Handrails from EZ-Access can help. The handrails and loops provide more support for wheelchair and scooter users, as well as for people walking who might need some more stability. It's seamless and slip-resistant with smooth and continuous handrails to make it not only practical but stylish too. This ramp is a good choice for either temporary or semi-permanent access, and it's ready to go after attaching the handrails and loops. It's easy to move if you want to relocate it.
This ramp is designed to stand in all weather conditions. It won't rust, and its raised ribs on the surface create good traction and prevent slipping. The adjustable bottom transition plate allows for smooth ramp-to-ground transitions. The ramp is available in a number of sizes, from 3' to 10', all featuring 2" curbs except for the 9' and 10' ramps, which have 4" curbs.
Safepath Products EZ Edge Recycled Rubber Threshold Ramp
Smooth thresholds are a must for your home, and this threshold ramp from Safepath Products is an eco-friendly option. It's made from recycled rubber taken from recycled tires and offers an excellent value ramp that's great for doorways, entryways, and any other areas of transition. They can be used for other purposes too, such as roll-in showers. There's no upper weight capacity, so you don't have to worry about breaking or damaging the ramp in any way. It's quick and easy to install and will adhere to any surface, from concrete to tile.
There are two sizes for this threshold ramp: 1.75" x 45.75" or 1.75" x 81.25", which comes in two separate pieces.
EZ-Access Adjustable Threshold Ramp
Sometimes an adjustable ramp is the best option for thresholds. You might need to provide a transition over a threshold, but you don't know the exact measurements that you need. Or you might want a ramp that can be used with multiple thresholds. This adjustable ramp comes in 12", 24" and 36" options, and the height can be adjusted to meet your needs.
Its adjustable legs and pivoting footpads allow you to use it with varying angles and heights, as well as on different surface types. You have about 2" of vertical adjustment to help you get the right height on the ramp. It can also be used for doors that swing both inward and out, and it's made from high-strength aluminum. It won't rust or corrode, so it can be used outdoors too.
Roll-a-Ramp Boat Ramps
Boaters will love to know that Roll-a-Ramp also offers boat ramps, which can be used for getting safely on and off your vessel. They come in 22", 26", 30" and 36" widths at 5' long, and you can also add more ramp sections as and when you need them. Just like other Roll-a-Ramp systems, they support up to 1,000lb, which means they can be used for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. They're popular for getting passengers, pets, and supplies on and off boats, both with private boat owners and tour operators. Optional handrails can be added for more stability too.
PVI Ramps Rear Door Van Ramp
Vans and other large vehicles are very useful if you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter. They leave plenty of room in the back for you to store your chair or scooter. However, getting your wheelchair/scooter and perhaps even yourself into the back of a van isn't easy. This ramp from PVI ramps is designed to solve that problem. The two sizes are designed to accommodate either a 14" or 16" rise and are easily installed, although a conversion kit may be required if there is a threshold.
When you're not using the ramp, it mounts vertically inside the doorway to save space. It can be operated by one person and has three sections, which are operated with a spring assist. Its durable welded construction is anti-slip and has a high traction surface, and it can accommodate chairs and scooters with various wheel configurations. It has a weight capacity of 800lb and has an optional slope reducer for ease of entry.
Safepath Products EZEdge Transition Wheelchair Ramp (½" Height)
Wheelchair ramps don't have to be expensive, and sometimes you just need a simple solution to a simple problem. These low-level threshold ramps from Safepath Products are affordable, made from recycled rubber, and make it easy to transition from one height to another. They're super easy to install and are ideal for doors and entryways. They come with a 10-year guarantee and have no weight restrictions, so they're suitable for everyone.
EZ Access Signature Series Suitcase Ramp
This lightweight aluminum ramp is easy to carry, with its single-fold suitcase design. It's 2'5" wide and comes in lengths from 2' to 8'. It quickly folds out and can be folded away just as quickly too, for anyone who doesn't want to wait around. The ramp supports up to 800lb and offers a slip-resistance surface that's great for stairs, decks, and more.
Find Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Ramps at Scooters 'N Chairs
When you need ramps for your mobility scooter or wheelchair, Scooters 'N Chairs can help you. Our extensive range includes some of the very best brands offering quality ramps for various purposes. You can find ramps suitable for different needs, from home use to vehicles and ramps for businesses too. Browse our range or get in touch if you want to find out more about what we can do for you.