5 Types of Wheelchair Ramps
In the UK alone, 1.2 million people use wheelchairs. Around 80,000 use it regularly, says the NHS statistics. Still, if you go out and ask a wheelchair user, you will find that the rolling space is not adequate as walking. Though the government has made many regulations in 25 years, however, ramps and lift access are in undersupply.
The provision of even the basic ramps is inadequate. Hence, the demand for portable ramps like aluminium ramps remains high among wheelchair users and carers. Most of them install permanent and semi-permanent ramps to deal with day-to-day obstacles.
There are various types of ramps that can help solve these problems. Let us find the one suitable for you.
These are often used to provide a smoothless transition from one room to another. They create a sloped surface over the door so that a wheelchair can roll up and over without any hindrance. These ramps are made from synthetic fibre, fibreglass, and aluminium.
Some ramps sit flush with the top on the side, while an identical one is used on the other side, if the floor is not even there.
You can even go for a synthetic rubber material ramp. It is heavy and has high friction, and thus would stay in one place without any fixing. It’s non-slip, meaning it’s safe for people walking across the threshold.
Another similar design is Outdoor Fibreglass Threshold Ramp. It’s made of non-corrosive fibre that makes it suitable for outdoor and garden use.
Overall, these ramps are light in weight and can be easily installed and removed.
- Aluminium Ramps
These are the most preferable in the wheelchair ramp category, especially in the portable one. They are light in weight, rigid, non-corrosive, and cost-efficient. Previously when metal was used for ramps, its downside was heavyweight and tendency to rust. So, fibreglass was the preferred option. However, as aluminium became widely available, it suppressed the fibreglass and became the preeminent portable solution.
- Folding Ramps
These kinds of ramps are viable for transportation as you can fold them for easy storage. Generally, they are larger than the threshold. Besides, they are light, easy to carry, strong, and adaptable to the obstacles they need to tackle.
They are mostly available in length of 10ft and can be folded in the middle. While some separate in two halves, each half can again fold in half once more.
While choosing the ramp, remember to look for one that’s long enough to tackle the obstacle.
- Channel Ramps
They also have another option in the folding category. Channel ramps come in two sections and are supposed to be aligned accurately when not in use.
Here, each section is narrow and has raised edges so that wheels on one side could roll. The raised edge prevents the wheelchair from slipping off.
The folding ones are hinged in the centre. It makes each side lightweight and easy to transport. They are generally used while moving electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters through a vehicle with adequate capacity.
Channel ramps are ideally made of aluminium. They have a milled pattern or grained plastic surface on a rolling surface. This surface, in turn, improves friction and reduces the chances of slipping.
- Suitcase Ramps
They are designed in the form of a suitcase. Here, the two halves of the ramp fold in the middle, and have a handle on one side that allows carrying it like a suitcase.
You can find numerous suitcase ramps ranging from 2ft to 7ft in height. Most of them don’t slip on the rolling side.
How to Choose a Wheelchair Ramp?
No matter what, you need a ramp for – wheelchairs, rollators, mobility scooters, or other mobility aids, you must consider access ramps.
Next, measure any impediment that your ramps might have to overcome. Check the gradient, scale, and space needed to lay. Lastly, cross-check it with your requirements and choose one.
Make sure that your wheelchair ramp has a minimum 1:6 gradient. For transportation, opt for a foldable ramp or a foldable channel ramp. You can even use suitcase ramps if you need to carry them. For a portable solution, prefer aluminium or threshold.