With the English summer finally getting into full swing it’s time to plan those weekend trips and for people with mobility issues this can be a frustrating time. The desire to get out and explore is not always met with a reality that is smooth and simple. However, with the humble mobility scooter the possibilities are endless. Mobility scooters are a lifeline to all sorts of new adventures and explorations, from the natural world to the big city. All that one needs is a competent driver and the mechanism for getting the mobility scooter into their car. Surprisingly there are a variety of different options when it comes to tools for this particular and seemingly simple job. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Get a folding scooter
Traditional mobility scooters were not made to be folded, however there are a wide range of modern day mobility scooters that are foldable and therefore much easier to transport around. Of course, if you were thinking of using a folding scooter without a mechanism for hoisting it into the car you would be relying on somebody being able to lift the scooter, folded, into the boot of the car. Another potential option to get around this that works for both foldable and non-foldable scooters is a telescopic ramp. Such ramps can be extended to fit the scooter when needed and then folded to go back into the boot of the car.
Getting a wheelchair accessible vehicle
For most, owing to budgetary constraints, this is a last resort, but should funding allow then a WAV is highly recommended. They are, quite simply built for the task of getting scooters in and out of the boot. They benefit from fitted folding rams and the user of the scooter can simply reverse out of the boot on arrival!
The various hoists
By far the most common and in many ways easiest option involves some kind of hoist, of which there are several distinct types. The main kinds of car hoists for mobility scooters are two-way, four-way, six-way and telescopic, each with practical advantages and disadvantages depending on circumstance.
Aimed at those owners of lighter scooters, such hoists are powered to move upwards and downwards and as such need a horizontal push to get the scooter into the boot. This can be an issue for some.
Four-way hoists can move vertically and also swing the scooter into the car. Better for those without the means to give the scooter a good push but also far more adaptable. For instance, if you are going to be parking on hills they help you to overcome the extra force required due to gravity!
The ultimate ‘normal’ car hoist, the six-way gives optimal manoeuvrability as the swinging arm is also telescopic, moving in and out under power. You are given extra assistance in this manner when manoeuvring the scooter into the boot.
There is one hoist that takes things to another level – the telescopic hoist. This will actually pick up the scooter and load it into the boot of a vehicle in one movement. Obviously more costly, but incredibly convenient.