Ruby Diversified Industries inc.
Serving all of California
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|Products . Portable Wheelchair Ramps . Literamp . Choosing a ramp|
Choosing a portable ramp for your wheelchair or scooter is simple, but there are details you need to address. Below are selection criteria that generally come up with a ramp that works based on our experience. We first begin with an introduction as to exactly what portable wheelchair ramps are or you can go directly to the selection criteria.
What are portable wheelchair ramps.
Types of Wheelchair Ramps and Scooter Ramps
There are basically two types of ramps for people in wheelchairs or scooters - permanent and portable.
Permanent ramps are made of wood or concrete. They are the handicap accesses for court houses, libraries, schools, and other government buildings.
Most, if not all permanent ramps are built to an 12:1 slope, i.e. 12 inches of ramp length for every inch of vertical rise, or 4.8 degrees. This is required by a federal law known as the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
Permanent ramps are rare for private or residential use due to the high cost and space constraints. This is where portable wheelchair ramps come into play.
What are Portable Wheelchair and Scooter Ramps
A portable wheelchair ramp is a light-weight, flat piece of wood or metal specifically designed to allow wheelchairs to access elevated heights such as vehicles and stairs. If the ramp can also be used by a 3-wheel scooter, it's also called a portable scooter ramp. Most of these ramps, including all LiteRamp™ products, can be used by both wheelchairs and scooters.
Although they come in different styles, materials and confusing names (threshold ramps, panel ramps, rollup ramps, suitcase ramps, single-fold ramps, tri-fold ramps, multi-fold ramps, track ramps, 1-piece ramps, 2-piece ramps, etc.), all portable wheelchair ramps must have the following characteristics:
Are Portable Wheelchair Ramps right for you?
Compared to permanent ramps, portable wheelchair ramps do have limitations:
We would not recommend portable wheelchair ramps for:
Make sure your wheelchair or scooter fits on the ramp with at least a 10% and ideally a 20% or more safety margin. If the ramp is to be used on the side door of a van or SUV, make sure the door opening is wide enough for the ramp (30 inches for our ramps). Most but not all minivans have 30 inch door opening. If side entry is a problem, consider using our ramps on the back door. LiteRamp ™ ramps can be used on the back doors of almost all vans, trucks, and SUV's.
Ramp Length and Incline
Ramp length is important because it determines the angle or incline, given the vertical height, or rise you are using the ramp for. The sections below will help you to choose a proper incline. But to get an idea, you can use the calculator immediately below to see how it works: first, type in your vertical rise in inches, then, type in a ramp length in feet, click the calculate button and the incline will be displayed. Or you can leave the ramp length empty, type in an incline, and let the calculator figure out the ramp length for you.
Recommended Inclines for Manual Wheelchairs
Pushing a manual wheelchair up a ramp requires physical strength. A longer ramp makes it easier since there is less incline. As a starting point, we recommend a 6:1 ratio (6-inch ramp length for each inch of rise), or 9.6 degrees. You can go higher or lower on the incline using your own judgment. The table below is a snapshot of the 6:1 ratio:
After you have chosen a ramp length, there are still a few things to check. Sometimes you have to make a turn before getting on the ramp or after having gotten off the ramp. Do you have enough room to make the turn? For example, the ramp is used indoors, or lands on a deck or a driveway with a wall nearby.
Another thing is to make sure the ramp will properly sit on and clear all the stairs it is used on. This is important if the ramp is used on multiple stairs. If you cannot find a reasonable length ramp that will clear all the stairs, you may have to go with several shorter ramps instead of using one ramp. The calculators below will show you the minimum ramp length required to clear 2 or 3 stairs:
If you still have questions?
We're here to help. Please give us a call at our toll free number at the top of this page and we'll be happy to answer any further questions you might have.