How to Choose a Wheelchair Ramp

While shopping for wheelchair ramps, we want you to be as informed as possible about your options. There are some key factors to take into consideration as you decide to invest in a wheelchair ramp that is best suited for your unique needs:

Information about your mobility device
1

Information about your mobility device

Without knowing specific information about your mobility device you run the risk of selecting a ramp that is too small, or can’t handle the weight of your scooter or wheelchair. Jot down its length and width, as well as what you think the total combined weight of the device, accessories, user, and caregiver (if applicable) will be. Most dimensions and weight can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website. That way, you will have a good idea of the minimum dimensions and weight capacity you will need. If you are interested in track ramps, which accommodate just for the wheels of a wheelchair or scooter, measure the tire width as well. Also, please note that most manufacturers have a maximum allowable incline for their mobility devices – that means no wheelies on the ramp!

The vertical rise
2

The vertical rise

The rise is another name for the height of the step, or steps, that you will be rolling over. Knowing this piece of information will allow you to calculate the length of ramp you need so that the incline won’t be too steep. The current ADA guidelines are that for every 1” rise, you should have 12” of ramp, however some situations might require a more gradual incline, or a steeper one. Threshold ramps are a nice solution to the typical rises you might find in your home, and provide an appropriate incline for wheelchair or scooters.

Location
3

Location

Most ramps are capable of handling indoor or outdoor weather, so location is more about the environment and surroundings. If you need a small residential ramp to help pop over doorways and small steps in your home or outdoor area, a threshold ramp might be just the ticket. For tall rises and commercial settings, larger ramps might be a better fit. In either case, you will have to take note any environmental features that might interfere with the placement of the ramp, such as a curved sidewalk, awkward door, angled patio step, etc. If your ramp will butt up against a doorway, you will have to make sure the top of the ramp is designed with flattened side rails or an extended lip so that the door can still be opened with the ramp in place.

Portability
4

Portability

Whether you’re traveling next door or states away, if you know you want to take your ramp with you then you need a portable solution. Ramps that fold in half or in quarters are a great answer, as they tend to be sized to fit into most vehicles. They usually come with handles. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, modular wheelchair ramps can come in longer lengths and will be able to cover taller rises. They can usually be disassembled and moved if needed but aren’t designed to be a quick and easy ramp solution like some of the lighter models.

Additional features
5

Additional features

Ramps are available in several surface styles, including a grit coat, integrated traction lines, or heavy duty punch plate traction. Some ramps also come with mounting holes and pins for a permanent or semi-permanent installation. Lip extensions at the top of some ramps help ease the transition beneath the ramp and the connected surface. Handrails are also an option on some ramps, which are nice if you don’t always use a mobility device or want to accommodate others that need an extra hand. For a completely modular or custom ramp solution, we recommend calling Discount Ramps knowledgeable ramp specialists at 888-651-3431 and they will be happy to assist you.

Wheelchair Ramp Styles

Modular Handicap Access Ramps

Designed to fit any home or business applications and meet ADA codes, these ramp systems can be custom-ordered in a variety of different configurations to ensure that the ramp meets your exact needs. These ramps are not considered to be portable but can be disassembled and moved as needed.

Portable Wheelchair Ramps

Lightweight, compact, and easy to set up, the portable wheelchair ramps come in multiple varieties (see below) so you can find one that fits your style, budget, and storage constraints. Portable ramps are most commonly used for loading onto porches and steps and into vans.

Solid & Threshold Ramps

Perfect for maneuvering manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, and mobility scooters over short rises or through doorways around the home or office. These ramps have been thoroughly tested to withstand daily, repetitive use.

Wheelchair Van Ramps

Designed to assist you with loading a scooter or power chair into a full-size van, minivan, or SUV, and available in multiple styles. The wheelchair van ramps can mount inside the rear of your vehicle. Portable folding ramps are available for rear and/or side door loading and are available with handles for portability.

Portable Wheelchair Ramps Styles

Single Fold Wheelchair Ramps

A more affordable option and available in 2'-8' lengths, these ramps are sometimes referred to as Suitcase Ramps because they look like a suitcase when being carried by the handle. Commonly used for short inclines or loading an unoccupied power chair into the side of a minivan.

Multi-Folding Wheelchair Ramps

Lightweight, compact, and easy to set up, the portable wheelchair ramps come in multiple varieties so you can find one that fits your style, budget, and storage constraints. Portable ramps are most commonly used for loading onto porches and steps and into vans.

Multi-Folding Manual Wheelchair Ramps

Designed for manual wheelchairs only, telescoping wheelchair ramps slide into themselves to offer adjustable lengths up to 10' for loading onto various vertical heights. They are compact and light for ease of transport.

Wheelchair Track Ramps

Designed for manual wheelchairs only, track ramps are sets of two narrow ramps that are placed parallel to each other, similar to railroad tracks. They are much more compact and therefore easier to store than full-width wheelchair ramps.