Location: San Francisco, California
I currently have an Invacare ATM electric wheelchair that I've been using occasionally whenever I have to move over long distances.
Although the thing breaks down into 3 pieces and the heaviest item (battery) weighs 34 lbs, I've become interested in looking at some type of arm lift for my Toyota Highlander that I can have installed.
The first issue that I have is that I normally change cars every 3 to 4 years so I would need something that can be transfered from the old car to the new one or a relative inexpensive one that I can just dispose of. The second issue is that my existing Highlander has a 3rd seat arrangement that folds up and down and may not securely hold a lift arm if it is attached to it. I may be wrong on this since I have no prior experience with this type of equipment.
Can anyone provide me any suggestions on this?
I used a lift for several years with my van. The third row seating had to be removed because there wasn't enough room for a chair and the seats. Most lifts will pick up 300#, but the heavy duty ones will even pick up more. The lifts are pretty easy to install and only take up a small footprint when not in use. Most lifts can also be disassembled pretty easily (except for the base plate. Removing the lift if you change vehicles is not very time consuming (2-3 hours at most to remove and install in the new vehicle) if you use a qualified service (someone that knows what they are doing).
A couple of thoughts to consider:
1. Entrance height is important. When the arm lift is assembled and swinging, is there enough room for the lift and chair to easily swing in?
2. There are two basic types of arm lifts.
a. I had the manual swing and found that to not be convenient on hills or even grades with a slight rise or fall. 250# or so is difficult to move when gravity is working against you.
b. For that reason I recommend a lift with a power arm that mechanically swings the chair in and out of the vehicle.
I hope this helps. R/Bruce
I have a Toyota Sienna van with a Freedom Lift curbsider. I cost $3600 installed, but Toyota paid $1000 toward adaptive equipment in the new van. The van was necessary because the lift required 36" of clearance. It gives me total freedom to go anywhere without needing assistance. I use it to lift my Golden Companion II scooter.
Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614