Mobility is everything. And everywhere you look, new concepts, ideas, and modes of transportation are constantly being envisaged about how to address mobility around the country.
For the estimated 200,000 Australians who regularly use wheelchairs, mobility scooters and powerchairs, however, mobility isn’t as much about new concepts and ideas as it is about day-to-day convenience and independence. With curbs, steps, and thresholds being the kinds of persistent obstacles they’re required to navigate to access buildings, transportation, and frequently their own homes, mobility’s a necessity.
Fortunately, the need for charting courses around obstacles, or simply writing off participating in certain activities or being able to reach various locations doesn’t have to be an option. The equipment needed to make sure that everyone has the benefit of access and mobility is readily available, and it’s equipment that the user can take with them wherever they go.
The Advantage of Portable
Australian standard AS1428 has been instrumental in guiding much of the progress that’s been made on making buildings, transportation and sections of infrastructure more continuously accessible, but it’s an ongoing process. There are a lot of structural, and even institutional dimensions involved with equalizing access, but that’s why an entire range of portable folding ramps and lift solutions are available right now for wheelchair and mobility scooter users to take immediate control of where they’re able to go, and how they’re going to get there.
Portable solutions are lightweight, and manufactured from high-quality aluminium for superior strength. Inherently, they even do away with the need for constructing temporary access ramps, so it’s no surprise that they’re able to offer advantages that permanent installations simply can’t.
Unlike the questionable surface treatments that are sometimes applied to permanent ramps, portable solutions are protected by either non-skid grip-tape, or are formed with punch-plate, treaded surfaces. They also feature raised sidewalls which, together, allow users to ascend or descend them safely under all conditions, and with no concerns over slippage or lost footing.
Although portable ramp systems are normally purchased by wheelchair and mobility scooter users, they’re equally well suited for loading cargo vans, motorcycles, lawnmowers or any other effort that needs to go from one level to another. They’re sturdy, and with typical load capacities between 270kg – 400kg, they can reliably support most heavy items. Even if you’re looking for a portable dog ramp, they’re great for the family pet at home or on the road.
Portability is the whole key to mobility, and portable ramps come in a range of types and lengths to accommodate all kinds of inclines, surface transitions, and environments.
- Suitcase style. These fold-in-half ramps come in lengths up to 1.8m, and weigh a maximum of 13.5kg.
- Foldable ramps. These 4-panel ramps vary from 1.2m – 2.4m, and weigh a maximum of only 24kg.
- Telescopic ramps. These ramps extend between 1.2m -2.1m, and weigh only 11.6kg.
- Threshold ramps. These single-piece, height-adjustable ramps are compact and weigh a maximum of only 10.5kg.
- Boardwalk ramps. These platform-style ramps come in lengths of up to 3.6m, and weigh only 51kg.
The advantage of ramps being portable is that with their ergonomic grip handles and convenient carry bags, they’ve been designed specifically to be taken up easily, stowed away conveniently, and to be moved quickly from one location to the next. With no extraordinary building standards to be met, and no special construction permits or right-of-ways to be obtained, portable ramp access affords users the independence to go wherever they want to go.
If investing in foldable and portable ramps for homes and businesses are the keys to independence for wheelchair, scooter and powerchair users, then folding lifts are the pinnacle of mobility solutions.
Designed for use with cars, utes, or vans, and boasting 220kg carrying capacities, hitch-mounted lift platforms are constructed entirely from steel for durability; and with their 50mm x 50mm square tube hitches, still weigh only 40kg. They’re also powder coated for a long-lasting finish, and available with optional 7-pin trailer plugs for rear-mounted, and license plate lamps.
Ideally, these space-saving mobile carriers with their 1.5m long twin fold-out ramp sections are perfect for transporting all types of mobility devices with the benefit of:
- A left-hand fold-down ramp that allows for curbside loading and unloading;
- Easy roll-on and roll-off, especially for mobility scooters and powerchairs; and,
- An assembly mechanism that folds completely up and out of the way when not in use.
Folding carriers are suitable for any wheeled device that can fit within the dimensions of their carrier platform; and with a wealth of tie-down points available to secure whichever type of device is being carried, these systems allow users to go places that they previously may not have imagined were possible.
The Final Word
It’s all about mobility at the end of the day; and wheelchair, mobility scooter and powerchair users don’t have to find their freedom of movement restricted because of limitations on access.
More is being done to make buildings and venues more accessible, but in the meantime, folding ramps and lifts are the solutions that can be counted on to ensure that mobility is a concept that every citizen can enjoy.
If you or someone you know needs a mobility solution, now’s the time to consider how beneficial a portable folding solution could be.