MOBILITY EQUIPMENT STORAGE
If you need to transfer out of your mobility device to travel, or if you require other bulky equipment, you’re going to need somewhere to store it while you’re on the road.
When planning how much storage space you need, make sure to take into account all of your equipment not just your wheelchair. Walking frames, commodes, ventilators and emergency equipment all take up space. Heavy items like oxygen bottles will need to be properly secured to prevent them becoming hazards in case of an accident.
Your car choice will go a long way to ensuring that you have room to store all your gear. Station wagons and minivans have more storage space than sedans or hatchbacks, but if your equipment is particularly bulky you might to consider a full sized van. There are also a number of vehicle modifications that can increase your car’s storage space, including tow bar mounted carriers, roof racks, trailers, and storage boxes.
Tow Bar Mounted Wheelchair and Scooter Carriers
Tow bar mounted wheelchair and scooter carriers come in a variety of designs depending on the size and weight of the mobility aid you wish to carry. Foldable manual wheelchairs can be mounted on a rack very similar to a standard bike rack, while larger aids like scooters can be carried on a tray with extendable ramp. Tow bar mounted carriers do not have their own wheels, therefore the entire weight of the mobility aid and the carrier rest on the tow bar. The combined weight of your mobility aid and carrier should not exceed the vehicle manufacturers’ rated allowable down force. Larger tow bar mounted carriers, such as those designed to hold scooters, add a significant unsupported weight to the rear of the vehicle, which can affect road handling, and increase space required for parking.
Roof racks are usually combined with roof hoists, allowing users to easily store their wheelchairs on the roof of their cars. Roof racks are available with or without covers, providing protection from the weather. Roof racks are only suitable for use with foldable manual wheelchairs. They raise the overall height of the car, which should be taken into account before installation.
Trailers can be specially designed to carry mobility scooters or power wheelchairs. They carry the weight of the trailer and mobility device on the tow bar, but also feature their own wheels to more evenly distribute the load. The combined weight of the trailer and mobility device should not exceed the manufacturer’s vertical load rating. Trailers should include a fold-up ramp, allowing for easy loading and unloading and you and/or your carer should ensure that you are familiar with the loading and unloading procedure. Trailers increase the parking space required by a vehicle, and drivers should make sure that they are comfortable reversing and parking with the trailer attached.
Storage boxes are a great way to store general mobility equipment. They secure all your gear safely, making them easy to find and ensuring that they don’t become hazards in case of an accident. They are available from small sizes perfect for storing wheelchair restraints, up to large boxes that can hold manual wheelchairs or walking frames. Storage boxes can be fitted to the vehicle internally or externally, depending on their size.
What is in the A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars?
Buying a car is a big investment, but if you do your homework, you can get a vehicle that meets all of your access needs now, and in the future. To help you with this process, we have developed the Blue Badge Insurance A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars. This guide is designed to answer all your questions about buying, owning and maintaining a disability converted vehicle.
Some of the topics covered in the guide are: Accelerators, Access, Brakes, Driver Assessment, Driving Controls, Funding, Accessible Hire Cars, Insurance, Joystick Controls, Lifting Systems, Storage Lifts, Imported Mobility Vehicles, Maintenance, NDIS, Occupational Therapists, Parking, Pedal Extensions, Ramps, Restraints, Second Hand Vehicles, Spinner Knobs, Under-insurance, Vehicle Certification and compliance and much more.