Portable wheelchair ramps are the most versatile and probably the most practical type of ramp in the accessibility world today. If you are looking for a ramp that can be used almost anywhere whether it's to navigate a doorway, ascend stairs or get over a curb you will be happy with the convenience, portable and price of handicap ramps.
What sets portable ramps apart from permanent ramps is they are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, often to various locations. They may need to be set up and taken down multiple times throughout the day and it can become very tedious to handle a heavy ramp that doesn't fold or have a convenient handle for carrying.
The aircraft grade aluminum that is used with some portable wheelchair ramps is incredibly durable without the added weight that can be found with other permanent ramps. It's common to find a temporary wheelchair ramps made from aluminum that weighs under 20 lbs that can support wheelchairs or other mobility devices that weigh more than 1,000 lbs.
If you travel often and you prefer being mobile you will find that a portable ramp is ideal because of the many types of situations and variety of places they can provide access. We'll take a look at the different features and types of portable wheelchair ramps that will make life a whole lot easier including ramps with carrying handles and velcro straps for securing the ramp during transportation.
Lightweight. Compact. Easy to use.
All portable ramps whether they are designed for wheelchairs, walkers or power scooters are constructed with the same goal in mind. They need to be lightweight so they can be moved from one place to another while also being easy to set up and take down. Some are made so they can be folded or separated into multiple pieces and a suitcase style ramp has a built in handle to make carrying as easy as possible which we will discuss below.
A suitcase wheelchair ramp is named for the way it folds either in half or in quarter. It's carried similarly to how you would carry a suitcase with a convenient attached strap or handle that allows for easy transportation and portability. A suitcase style ramp can be purchased in either single fold or multi-fold depending on the length and are usually available in lengths of 2-8 feet.
A folding wheelchair ramp is intended to allow the user to fold down the ramp either in half or into four sections. In some models they will simply separate by removing a pin or unhinging so they can be carried in two conveniently lighter sections. If your space is limited either in your vehicle or around your home it can be very convenient to be able to store or transport your ramp in a much smaller package.
Almost all folding wheelchair ramps are made from aluminum for the strength and lightweight material. They are ideal for stairs, vehicles and just about anywhere you need them throughout your day and because they are transported conveniently you can be sure to have your ramp any time you need it.
A single fold portable wheelchair ramp can also be referred to as a bi-fold ramp because of the way it folds down in half along the center lengthwise. They can commonly be found in 2-6 foot lengths with ratings upwards of 800 lbs and weight between 10-30 lbs.
A double fold wheelchair ramp or tri-fold ramp is folded along lengthwise and in half along the width. This side to side and end to end fold creates a much smaller and more convenient way to carry and transport the ramp. This allows for the ramp to be longer and can commonly be found in lengths of 5-12 feet and weight 30-75 lbs.
Track or channel ramps are a great option when looking for a portable wheelchair ramp that is very versatile and easy to set up, take down and transport. The telescoping option available in some models mean you can change the length of the ramp depending on the rise or when space is limited. They are the lightest ramp you can but they do have some limitations.
The individual tracks can be difficult to align on uneven ground that can lead to an unstable ramp surface. The tracks can spin out when using a motorized scooter which can lead to injury or damage to your mobility device. It is recommended that you use this type of ramp with caution and only for rises that aren't very significant. They also can't be used with 3 wheeled scooters because their is no support for the middle wheel.
If you are looking for something different than the traditional styles of portable wheelchair ramps there is a relatively new product on the market that rolls up instead of folding down. A roll up wheelchair ramp is designed to be portable and is customizable by removing or adding sections of the ramp to lengthen or shorten when needed.
The durable aluminum material supports weights up to 1,000 lbs and comes with a 10 year warranty. The heavy duty craftsmanship and side rails results in a very safe ramp to use almost anywhere. The only downside we have heard about this ramp is that it can be cumbersome to set up and gloves are recommended to avoid being cut or nicked by sharp edges during installing and taking down.
A portable wheelchair ramp will allow you access to just about anywhere and increase the quality of life for anyone restricted to a wheelchair. There are no rules for slope and ramp length when it comes to temporary wheelchair ramps but common sense should be used to avoid injury. Portable ramp manufacturers recommend at least 1 foot or ramp for every 2 inches of rise, which works out to twice the slope required for a permanent ramp.
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