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Vehicle Aids

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Introduction

One of the biggest obstacles that many Persons With Mobility Impairments often encounter, is getting their independence back and being able to drive a vehicle again or even being able to be transported in their own vehicle, owning your own vehicle offers many benefits for Persons With Mobility Impairments.

Once you have decided what type of vehicle would suite you & whether you will be driving from your wheelchair, or will be transferring into the vehicle, you will need to decide on what Vehicle Aids you will require, to become as independent as possible. Thanks to advances in technology, there are a variety of different types of equipment & adapted vehicles available, which are supplied by companies such as Pro Mobility, Sitwell, Shoprider, Mobidrive, Prima Care, Skyjacks & Simplify Wheelchair Seating. These "Vehicle Aids, along with Organizations such as the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), QASA & Rolling Rehab, can help get you back on the road safely, thus giving the independence back to many persons with disabilities.

With the assistance of the links to web-sites such as Auto-mobility & Rolling Rehab (see links on the left of page & below), the article below, will assist you to choose what type of "Vehicle Aids" would suite you & also put you into contact with the companies that supply them.Auto-Mobility

"Auto-Mobility is a comprehensive hub to driving in South Africa, for people with physical disabilities. Auto-mobility addresses vital information to potential drivers with disabilities and offers information on a range of vehicle adaptations, giving solutions and opportunities to become mobile and independent. Auto-mobility covers specific dimensions, features and benefits of selected vehicles." Visit: www.auto-mobility.co.za to find out more.

"Rolling Rehab is an organization that is passionate about assisting people who have a disability & want to drive. "We understand thatRolling Rehab being unable to drive in South Africa is like having a prison sentence, so our aim is to assist people to get back their independence through safe driving. We offer an independent consultancy service where we do a holistic assessment of the individual’s needs and abilities, and advise whether they are safe to start driving or to continue driving after an accident or illness. We also make recommendations on what vehicles and adaptations are best suited to their needs. We believe that defensive driving is an essential skill for any driver who has reduced physical abilities and therefore we organize a number of defensive driving days throughout the year in partnership with an advanced driving academy." Visit: www.rollingrehab.co.za to find out more

Types Of Vehicle Aids

As mentioned above, there are a wide variety of different types of Vehicle Aids to choose from, which can not only help you to drive the vehicle, but also access or exit the vehicle, whether you travel in you wheelchair or not. Each person is unique & therefore requires a different solution. Organizations such as Rolling Rehab can assist you to choose the right equipment to suite your needs and companies such as Pro Mobility, Prima Care, Simplify Wheelchair Seating, Mobidrive, Sitwell, Skyjacks & Shoprider offer a wide variety of solutions and can also advise you on what Vehicle & Vehicle Aids would best suit your needs. Some of these companies can also install and service this equipment if the need arises.Pro Mobility

"Pro Mobility: are Authorised Agents for Autochair and Ardoo Products in South Africa, we provide leading-edge services and solutions to those with mobility and agility impairments or limitations. With first class service and support, we cater individually to each of our clients to find the best accessible solutions according to their mobility needs."

Pro Mobility has their main branch in Durban, but have opened branches in Johannesburg & Cape Town. You can contact them on: Cell: +27 (0) 83 775 0611 or Email them on: clinton@pro-mobility.co.za or via their web site: www.pro-mobility.co.za Durban Address: PO Box 2123 Westville, Kwa-Zulu Natal, 3630, South Africa.

"Shoprider™: Represents the range of electric mobility scooters and wheelchairs manufactured by the Pihsiang Corporation in Taiwan. Pihsiang's manufacturing plants have been certified for ISO 9001, ISO14001 and ISO 13485 standards.

For the last 30 years Shoprider SA has been serving the Southern African market from Centurion in Gauteng, and as the businessShoprider and market has grown, we have added representatives in key areas. Shoprider SA carries a full range of stock items which is held at our centrally located, workshop/showroom in Centurion. Shipment of parts and scooters to anywhere in the Southern African continent is not a problem. We believe that our after sales service and support give Shoprider South Africa the competitive edge when it comes to customer satisfaction and our ongoing commitment to quality control. We keep a full compliment of spares on site at all times to ensure that our customers are not left stranded. Our technicians are fully trained, offering in-house service and manufacturing where needed. All our work is guaranteed. At Shoprider South Africa, we are passionate about providing you with the perfect portable scooter or wheelchair, giving you the personalised mobility and flexibility you need. In partnering with top European and US manufacturers, we have expanded our services to include vehicle conversions for easy and practical transporting of your portable mobility scooter or electric wheelchair. You can contact Shoprider at: Tel: (012) 653 1168 or Email: shoprider@icon.co.za or www.shoprider.co.za or Address: 70 Jakaranda street, 13 Diamond park, Hennopspark, Centurion, Gauteng.

Sitwell Technologies: are Specialists in the provision of Mobility & Assistive Aid Equipment for persons with physicalSitwell disabilities. Sitwell Technologies represent all local suppliers as well as a number of International manufacturers of equipment, providing an unbiased view of all products available to the South African market. Their approach to Mobility is about providing a holistic solution to each individual’s needs. Sitwell Technologies are based in Johannesburg but can provide products throughout South Africa. You can contact them at: Tel: (+27) 11 440 8226 or email: mobility@sitwell.co.za or www.sitwell.co.za Address: 41 11th Avenue, Highlands North, Johannesburg.

Simplify Wheelchair Seating: specializes in providing a wide variety of products and services for persons with Mobility Impairments in Cape Town. Simplify Wheelchair Seating is owned and run by Antoinette Pienaar who has been in the wheelchairSimplify Wheelchair Seating business for the last 8 years. “I believe in providing an honest and reliable service to our clients and their families in the comfort of their own homes, we will visit you in your home to access what you require and will provide you with the best products to suit your needs at very competitive prices, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that your life is as comfortable as possible. We supply and Service a variety of products including Mobility aids, Transfer aids, Pressure care products and Bathroom Aids. We also stock spares for these products and specialize in providing seating and positioning to make sure that you correctly positioned in your wheelchair. Please feel free to contact us for a quote or assessment, you can contact me on my cell: 084 866 5763 or landline : 021 981 0569 or contact me via my website at: www.simplifywheelchairseating.co.za or on my facebook or via email: simplify.wheelchair.seating@gmail.com

Mobidrive: Being mobile is one of the most essential needs for any disabled person. Mobidrive portable hand controls for disabled drivers was designed by a paraplegic for paraplegics. Mobidrive provides you with the opportunity to become mobile again in a fast and cost effective efficient way. With our portable hand controls you can experience a lifetime of driving freedom in a matter of minutes, they are easy to install on left-hand drive, as well as right-hand drive motor vehicles and can be adjusted to fit any car and used by disabled as well as able-bodied people. Mobidrive Portable hand controls can easily be transferredMobidrive between vehicles and are designed for use in vehicles with automatic transmissions by individuals with normal upper body strength and coordination, they are engineered from durable stainless steel and should last a lifetime, as they are also easily transferred from one vehicle to another and fit all makes and models.

Don’t let your disability stop you from driving a car, contact Mobidrive on: Cell: +27 76 500 7216 or send your inquiries to: jan@mobidrive.co.za. Alternatively visit our website to purchase our products or to find out more: www.mobidrive.co.za. We currently ship our portable hand controls worldwide.

Skyjacks Wheelchair & Commercial Lifts (Pty) Ltd, has been developing and manufacturing Wheelchair Lifts and Commercial Lifts for the South African market since 1999. Our product was developed by Victor Panaino who has been designing and manufacturing hydraulic lifting systems for 20 years. Our extensive knowledge of product development, business and manufacturing systems has proven itself in the challenging environment of South Africa. Our business ethos is to design lifts around the market requirements, specializing in customer feedback analysis, in-house on the floor design testing and stringent quality checks. We can proudly state that our Wheelchair Lifts and Commercial Lifts have been manufactured from world class materials by our companies trained personnel.Skyjacks

We offer on site fitment and servicing for all our products including:

  • Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts
  • Single Arm Wheelchair Lifts
  • Double Arm Wheelchair Lift
  • Wheelchair Tie-down Systems & Safety Belts

On site fitment and servicing is offered on all our products in all major cities in South Africa, contact Skyjacks at: Tel: +27 (0)11 902 0191, Cell: +27 (0)60 989 5840 or email: derek@swclifts.com or visit their website at: www.swclifts.com

Prima Care: specializes in providing a wide variety of products and services for persons with disabilities in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and throughout South Africa! They are a Home care, Hospital & Medical Equipment Provider and have Health Care Consultants with many years of experience and extensive knowledge to assess your needs and help you choose the products best suited for you. “We pride ourselves in supplying high quality products from trusted and well known German and other suppliers. These products include a variety of Pediatric Equipment, Adjustable Beds, Hospital Beds, Home Care Beds, Mobility Scooters, Oxygen Concentrators, Alternating Pressure Mattresses, Anti-Bedsore Mattresses, Ripple Mattress, Walkers, Rollators, Mobility Aids, Wheelchairs, Wheelchair Cushions, Wheelchair Ramps, Power Wheelchairs, Rise Recliners, Grab Rails, Bed Rails, Shower Aids, Commodes, Toilet Aids and much more. Our locations are staffed with certified fitters who offer private services in our stores or in the convenience of your own home. We also supply speedy delivery of our products and good after sales service, with trained technicians and a vast range of spare parts available to ensure that our products exceed their life span. Prima Care also rent out a variety of products to those clients that may only need the product for a limited period of time, therefore accommodating our clients’ needs to ensure their funds are maximized to their full potential. Please feel free to contact a Prima Care professional to assist, you can contact us on: +27 (021) 555 1596, via email: info@primacare.co.za or visit our web site at: www.primacare.co.za to see our extensive catalog of products which we deliver country wide to your door!

If you will be driving the vehicle, you will need to choose Hand Controls to suite you, your disability & the type of vehicle you have chosen.

If you are a person with a disability and you want to get back on the road again, there are a couple of things that you will need to consider. This article will provide you with the information you will need to know to be able to choose the correct vehicle aids to suite you & get you back behind the wheel, or on the road again.

Hand Controls

There is a wide range of specialist controls, from simple attachments such as wider mirrors and steering knobs to more elaborate controls that make it possible for almost anyone to drive as long as they meet the requirements for a driver's license. Some types of driving controls can be permanently fitted, while others are portable and do not require specialist fitting. Foot pedals can be raised, or replaced with hand-controlled devices. Hand Controls are used for those individuals that have the ability to drive, but have limited or no use of their legs. Hand Controls can be fitted to most types of vehicles. There are a wide variety of companies, who supply different types of driving controls, that will work with each individuals needs, making driving safe for all drivers.

Vehicles can also be imported with Hand Controls already fitted, such as this Renault Kango, which is demonstrated in the video on the right of the page. This vehicle is fitted with a Space Drive system and is electronically controlled with a mini steering wheel and an electronic brake and accelerator. These controls allow it to be driven from a wheelchair with very little effort and it is therefore ideal for high level Quadriplegics. Similar vehicles withKango Drive from wheelchair controls such as these can be imported by Geoff Dear of Cape Mobility. This particular vehicle is available for persons who would like to learn to drive from their wheelchair in the Johannesburg and Pretoria area. The vehicle was generously donated by Geoff Dear from Cape Mobility. To view more information about this vehicle and how it works visit Auto Mobility or click on the YouTube video clip on the right. If you would like to find out more information about how you can purchase a similar vehicle, you contact Geoff Dear from Cape Mobility on: www.capemobility.co.za.

It is important for any person with limited body function to find the correct Positioning and Set-Up in order to optimize their driving performance. Once they are correctly positioned in the vehicle, then suitable Driving Controls can be chosen according to the drivers physical strengths and the type of Mobility Impairments that they have. There are a variety of different solutions for Persons Driving With Disabilities, including the following Hand Controls and Accessories, which are supplied by companies such as Shoprider and Mobidrive.

Shoprider Hand Controls

Image Courtesy of Shoprider

Carospeed Classic Hand Controls by Shoprider: is a universal floor-mounted hand control that moves the accelerator and brake pedals to an intuitive hand control, whereby you pull for gas and push to brake. Each Carospeed Classic comes fitted with a hill holder to hold the brake pedal down, in this way hands are freed at traffic lights to change gears or tune the radio. The Cruise control is an optional extra and its set function is activated using the same button as the hill-holder. Carospeed Classic is available in three versions:

  • Standard model with only the basic accelerator and brake functions.
  • Indicator model with integral indicators for right and left.
  • E model with integral electrical functions for right and left indicators, windscreen wipers, washers, horn, high and low beam and set function for the cruise control, in the knob.

These Products that which enable you to safely and independently drive your vehicle  are available from Shoprider, who also sell various other Accessories that can also assist, including Steering Wheel Spinners, Left Foot Accelerator Pedal and Pedal Extensions. Contact Shoprider to find out more, on: Tel: (012) 653 1168 or Email: shoprider@icon.co.za or www.shoprider.co.za or Address: 70 Jakaranda street, 13 Diamond park, Hennopspark, Centurion, Gauteng.

Mobidrive Handcontrols

Image Courtesy of MobiDrive

Mobidrive Portable Hand Controls: can easily be transferred between vehicles and are designed for use in vehicles with automatic transmissions by individuals with normal upper body strength and coordination. The Dual Gas & Brake Hand Controls can be operated Single Handed and are Fully Adjustable and quickly installed with “No Damage To The Vehicle”. Mobidrive Portable hand controls offer the following other benefits and features:

  • Push-Thumb Accelerator and Curved Push-Handle Brake hand control mechanism allow for easy one handed pedal control.
  • Curved Push-Handle allows for both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Complete metal build resulting in incredible strength.
  • Intuitive design allows for comfortable driving minutes after installation.
  • No installation cost and therefore useful for drivers who don’t want to pay high installation fees.
  • Fits large trucks, cars, vans and even golf carts & can be installed by anyone who has use of their fingers and hands.
  • Useful for drivers who switch their hand controls between cars & can be taken on holiday and put into rental cars.
  • Useful for drivers who don’t live near a Mobility Dealership & who share a car.
  • Designed for right handed pedal operation.
  • You can test drive any automatic vehicle before deciding to purchase it.
  • When selling your car you can remove the hand controls and refit in the new car.
  • Controls are collapsible and can fit in small suitcase or bag for easy transport.
  • Controls are not in your way when transferring in or out of the vehicle.
  • Start driving straight away!

To view more information about how to use these Hand Controls, click on the YouTube video clip on the right (Using Mobidrive Portable hand controls: 1:24). If you would likeMobidrive Youtube to find out more information about how you can purchase these Hand Controls, contact Mobidrive on: Cell: +27 76 500 7216 or send your inquiries to: jan@mobidrive.co.za. Alternatively visit their website to purchase their products or to find out more: www.mobidrive.co.za.

To find out more about the correct Positioning, Set-Up and Driving Controls for different disabilities, Click Here.

There are three categories of hand controls: primary, secondary and auxiliary:

  • Primary controls are the essential controls that are required for driving and include the steering, accelerator, brakes and gears. These hand controls make it possible to adjust the acceleration as well as apply the brakes.
  • Secondary controls operate the other functions of the vehicle which are required for safe driving such as indicators, park brake, hooter and wipers.
  • The Auxillary controls include the ‘comfort’ features of the car such as the radio and air conditioning.

Driving Controls can be either mechanical or power-supported via electronics, pneumatics or hydraulics. Finding your ideal Driving Controls may take some time, but whatever your mobility needs are, there are controls available to help regain the freedom you deserve. Click on the links below to find out what type of Hand Controls would suite you:

Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Hand Controls
Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Upper Limbs
Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Lower Limbs
Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Upper & Lower Limbs
Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Spinners
Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Left Foot Accelerator Pedals
Auto-Mobility: Driving Controls - Clutch Conversions

To find out more about Adaptive Driving Controls, visit  Auto-Mobility: Adaptive Drving Controls.

These and similar products are available to purchase from Companies such as Shoprider, Pro Mobility , Cape Mobility and Mobidrive. You can contact them for more information.

If you will need assistance to transfer into your vehicle.

Transferring Into A Vehicle With Assistance

Turny Evo

Image Courtesy of Shoprider

Some persons with Mobility Impairments may require assistance to transfer into or out of a vehicle, this may require the assistance of 1 or 2 people to manually transfer that person, but this can be made easier thanks to a number of different types of equipment including:

  • Transfer Boards
  • Transfer Turntable
  • Swivel Seat For Car Seat
  • Swivel Seats
  • Top Slider
  • The Ardoo Caresafe 140 hoist
  • The Smart Transfer Person Lift

This equipment is available in South Africa to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility, Sitwell, Shoprider, Prima Care, Ability Assist & Simplify Wheelchair Seating. Contact them on the links provided or read the article below to find out more about this equipment:

Transfer Boards

Kidney Shaped Transfer Board

Image Courtesy of Ability Assist

Transfer boards are excellent while learning to transfer and are also being used a lot more to prevent overuse syndrome in the shoulders. This enables the individual to slide across the board instead of having to lift their full body weight. When being assisted with transfers, it also means that the helper does not need to lift the full body weight of the individual being transferred. Standard transfer boards are available from most wheelchair companies.

Other options to the standard transfer board include the:

  • Kidney Shaped Transfer Board, is made for seated transfer between two surfaces, such as between a bed and wheelchair, or from wheelchair into a car. It allows stable transfer without needing to make large movements, and requiring less upper body strength for movement. The curve in the kidney shaped board allows the board to wrap around the wheel on the wheelchair, making it easier to secure. To find out more visit: Ability Assist
  • Quadrislide, which is a transfer board that has a seat that moves on a track of two rows of marbles, which reduce the friction and enables it to slide easily between two surfaces. It is particularly useful when transferring between surfaces of different heights, such as a car transfer. To find out more visit: www.transferboard.co.za 
  • A Transfer Platform / Tip Up Plate is a board that is fitted next to the driver’s seat which swivels down into a horizontal position between the driver’s seat and the wheelchair, and provides a fixed transfer board. When not in use it can either be removed or swivelled up into a vertical position between the door and seat.
Transfer Turntable

Image Courtesy of Sitwell

These and similar products are available to purchase from Companies such as Pro Mobility, Simplify Wheelchair Seating, Sitwell Technologies, Prima Care and Ability Assist, you can contact them for more information or visit our "Hoists, Lifts, Ramps & Transferring Aids" page to find out more about manual transfer equipment, or visit Auto-Mobility: Transfer Into a Vehicle- Transfer Devices page.

Transfer Turntable

Transfer Turntables can be an invaluable aid for a carer or relative. They provide a smooth, easy and constant rotation when transferring a user to and from a bed, chair, commode or car. Transfer Turntables are Strong, lightweight and portable & are ideal for functional standing and seated transfers, they reduce the need for awkward lifting and the risk of injury to carers. They give a full 360-degree rotation, are gripped and have an anti-slip upper surface for safety. The Turntable diameter is 405mm (16″) and have a weight of 1kg (2.2 lbs). The maximum user weight is 120kg (19st).

Devilbiss Drive Swivel Seat

Image Courtesy of Sitwell

This product is available to purchase from Companies such as Sitwell Technologies and Ability Assist, you can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Swivel Seat For Car Seat

The Devilbiss Drive Swivel Seat for Car Seat cushion is ideal to assist with transferring from a vehicle, they can be used on a wide range of seats. The top disc rotates a full 360 degrees over the bottom disc. They are suitable for many applications and the slip resistant underside enables secure positioning.
The Devilbiss Drive Swivel Seat for Car Seat cushion has been developed to aid people who have mobility problems to turn on a number of different types of seats including dining chairs or car seats. The fleece cover is warm and comfortable and removable for machine washing and the diameter is 40cm (16″).
This product is available from Companies such as Ability Assist and Sitwell Technologies, you can contact them for more information.

Swivel Seats

Swivel Seat

Image Courtesy of Shoprider

There are a couple of different types of swivel seats available, which can make it easier to transfer into or out of a vehicle. These Swivel Seats, swivels the car seat outwards for easy access from and to the wheelchair. The Swivel Seats that available in South Africa include:

  • The Turnout
  • The Turny Evo

The Turnout: Swivels the car seat outwards for easy access. The Turnout swivels the seat outside the vehicle in order to make it easier to transfer from a wheelchair. It is available in a manual or electrical version for either left or right side installation. This product is available from Companies such as Shoprider, you can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

The Turny Evo: The Turny Evo is a seat lift that will allow the user to get seated outside the vehicle, before being comfortably lifted to a safe position inside. Having the car seat completely outside of the vehicle and at a height of choice can be very helpful when getting seated or making the transfer from a wheelchair. The unique feature of the Turny Evo is its programmable movement path. This allows the Turny Evo to be individually tailored to each user and vehicle combination and enables many driver’s side installations. This product is available from Companies such as Shoprider, you can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

There are a variety of different types of other Transfer Tables & Swivel Seats, which are available in South Africa, which can assist you with these types of transfers, visit our "Hoists, Lifts, Ramps & Transferring Aids" - Transfer Belts, Turntables, Turning Cushions, Swivel Cushions, etc. page, to find out more about these types of manual transfer equipment, or visit: Auto-Mobility: Swivel Seats to find out more about Swivel Seats.

Top Slider

Top Slider

Image Courtesy of Shoprider

The Top Slider is a Portable Person Lifting Aid which is fixed to a pair of Thule carriers (not included) on a vehicle with a roof railing. The passenger is lifted by a self-locking lift mechanism and moved in or out of the vehicle by sliding along the vertical bar, which is fixed to the roof rack. When the lift procedure is ready, the vertical bar and the support pillar are stored inside a tube on the roof rack. The Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts can be retrofitted to most models of sedans and hatch back vehicles. The wheelchair lift is securely mounted onto roof racks and the control toggle switch is positioned near the vehicles steering controls for ease of use by the driver. It has been designed to be operated by an independent disabled person who wants to be able to transfer without the need of assistance. Companies who supply this product generally offer on site fitment and servicing of it. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Shoprider, you can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

The Ardoo Caresafe 140 Hoist

The Ardoo Caresafe 140 hoist is one of the lightest, most compact, folding portable disability hoist on the market. It is versatile and enhances and improves the quality of life for both the carer and those being cared for. The unique one piece design is easy to erect or fold in 30 seconds or less, no tools are needed. The hoist raises people from their front rather than overhead which enables a much smaller footprint, making it very portable and easy to manoeuvre and store in tight spaces. The clever design allows the hoist to be adapted for use as a stand aid.

Ardoo Hoist

Image courtesy of Pro Mobility

The latest evolution of the Ardoo 140 Hoist is the Ardoo Hoist Stand Aid Combo, which is a simple hook on plate with knee pad. It converts the hoist to a stand aid for immediate use. It is deal for users who have good and bad days, where they may use the stand aid in the mornings but may need the hoist in the evenings.

The Ardoo Caresafe 140:

  • can be used in the home, a hotel & in the car.
  • Can be easily taken on day trips and holidays with friends or family.
  • allows it to be used in tight spaces, such as a bathroom, and can lift a supine person from the floor.
  • It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • Safely transfers a person into a car, wheelchair, stairlift, or onto bedside, toilet etc.
  • Easily folded and placed in the boot/trunk of a vehicle by one person, or can be taken in the hold of an aircraft.
  • No need to move downstairs and incur expensive construction costs as the Ardoo 140 can be successfully used with a Stair Lift.
  • Can be easily converted into a stand aid (kit available).
  • It enhances and improves the quality of life of the wheelchair user and carer.
  • The Ardoo Caresafe 140 can be used with most slings on the market.

This product is available to rent or buy from companies such as Pro Mobility. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

The Smart Transfer Person Lift (Milford Lift)

Smart lift

Image courtesy of Pro Mobility

The Smart Transfer Person Lift (Milford Lift) is designed to smoothly transfer users from a wheelchair directly into a standard car seat, meaning there’s no need to change your vehicle.  Whether you want to get behind the wheel or travel as a passenger, The Smart Transfer Person Lift will transfer you from your wheelchair and into your car seat by gently lifting you up using a comfortable sling and lowering you into position. The Smart Transfer Person Lift, which was previously called the Milford Person Lift, is strong, versatile and easy to detach when not in use. The Smart Transfer Person Lift can also be used with the Smartbase for use in the home, on holiday or even in the office. It can get people onto the standard car seat in virtually any make or model of vehicle. It is simple to install, assemble and operate, there is no extra lifting required and it can lift up to 150kgs. It can be used in and around the home and be used for the drivers’ seat, or for front and rear seat passengers. This lift:

  • Is simple and easy to operate
  • is easily transferred to your next vehicle
  • has a lifting capacity of 150kgs
  • is manufactured in the UK
  • Has XS-XL slings sizes available
  • is available to buy in South Africa from Pro Mobility

How It Works: The sling can be placed on the seat before users are seated or whilst they are in the wheelchair. After securely attaching the sling to the 4-point lifting attachment, simply press the up button and then guide the person into the car. The sling can then be unclipped and the lift stowed away, ready for travel.

You can get more out of your The Smart Transfer Person Lift by using it in the home, at work or on holiday, simply by attaching it to the SmartBase unit, which is a sturdy, portable mobility solution. It is highly adjustable, superbly manoeuvrable and supplied with a rechargeable battery unit. The portable Smart Transfer Person Lift SmartBase enables you to use the Autochair Smart Transfer Person Lift to transfer a person from one seated position to another, e.g. wheelchair to armchair, toilet, bed, commode, etc. at home, in the office or even in a hotel. The lift’s arm mechanism is designed to fit securely and easily into the SmartBase, which can also be folded down for easy storage and transportation.

Wall Mount: The Smart Transfer Person Lift can be wall mounted in a fixed position almost anywhere in the home or the office where The Smart Transfer Person Lift is required for an upright wheelchair to seat transfer. The Wall Mount for The Smart Transfer Person Lift can work on most wall surfaces, including stud walls, brick walls and even on partition walls, as long as the wall has sufficient material to support the weight of the person being transferred. In some rare situations, the use of additional material(s) can be used to help strengthen the wall and spread the load. The Smart Transfer Person Lift is typically used in bathrooms to aid lifting a person with a disability from their wheelchair either into a bathtub or onto a toilet seat, shower seat or vanity seat. This product is available to buy from companies such as Pro Mobility and Shoprider. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

If you will be needing assistance to load you mobility aid.

Assistance Loading Mobility Aid Into Vehicle

Persons who are able to drive and transfer themselves into their car, but are unable to transfer their Mobility Aid into their car, may require a Vehicle Aid to assist them to do this. There are a variety of these Vehicle Aids which can assist you, including:

  • Roof Top Lifts
  • Hoist For Loading Mobility Aids Through The Sliding Door
Chair Topper

Image Courtesy of Shoprider

You should find one that suites you and your vehicle as well as the type of Mobility Aid that you use, being able to drive and transfer yourself and your wheelchair is the final touch to being independent.

Roof Top Lift

Persons who use a folding manual wheelchair and need help to load their wheelchair into their car, may find that a Roof Top Lift is an option for them. A Roof Top Lift is a hoist that lifts the wheelchair onto the roof of the car & stores it there. When using a Roof Top Lift, the need to store your wheelchair in the trunk, passenger seat or backseat is eliminated, thus allowing family and friends to enjoy the comfort of your vehicle. These Roof Mounted Lifts are designed to be operated & used by independent Persons With Disabilities, who want the ease of stowing their wheelchair away without assistance. Roof Top Lifts can also prevent injury, as long term loading of wheelchairs may often cause strains and injuries. Roof Top Lifts, do however only work with folding manual wheelchairs & can also add a lot to the fuel consumption of the vehicle due to wind resistance caused by the wheelchair or the compartment in which the wheelchair is stored.

Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts

Image courtesy of Skyjacks

There are 2 types of Roof Top Lifts which are available in South Africa & can be purchased from companies such as Pro Mobility, Skyjacks and Shoprider, who sell some of the following types of products:

  • Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts - (pictured right) can be retrofitted to most models of sedans and hatch back vehicles and are securely mounted onto roof racks. The control toggle switch is positioned near the vehicles steering controls for ease of use by the driver. Unfortunately this Vehicle Aid does leave the wheelchair exposed to the elements during transport.
  • A Chair Topper - Is designed to fit a wide variety of vehicles, it automatically folds and stores a conventional folding wheelchair inside a stylish, weather-resistant car-top compartment.

Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts: Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts (RML) from Skyjacks (pictured above right) can be retrofitted to most models of sedans and hatch back vehicles. The wheelchair lift is securely mounted onto roof racks. The control toggle switch is positioned near the vehicles steering controls for ease of use by the driver. Skyjacks Roof Mounted Lifts are designed to be operated by an independent disabled person without the need of assistance.

Roof Mounted Wheelchair Lifts are used primarily by independent persons with disabilities who want ease of stowing their wheelchair. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Skyjacks. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote. Skyjacks offer on site fitment and servicing for all our products.

Chair Topper®’s: The Chair Topper®’s universal mounting systems ensure this wheelchair lift will fit most cars and light trucks. Once you've transferred onto your car seat, you can stow your Manual Wheelchair in the car boot, back-seat area of your car, or your car roof. You're independent as you don't need help to do this. These hoists can be fitted to either the driver's or the passenger's side of the car.

How It Works

  • Transfer to your car seat
  • Use a switch to bring the hoist mechanism to the car door
  • Hook your wheelchair on by hand
  • The hoist then lifts the chair on to the roof or transfers it to the back of the car and secures it safely.
  • You usually have to attach the wheelchair to the hoist
  • Some are easier than others - with some rear-loading systems you just need to position the wheelchair in the right place

NB: for all of them you need to be able to twist into position to use them. This product is available to buy from companies such as Shoprider. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Loading Mobility Aids Through The Sliding Door

Vehicles that have sliding doors can accommodate other Vehicle Aids which can assist you to load Scooters, Motorized Wheelchairs or Manual Wheelchairs into your vehicle. Companies such as Shoprider can supply a hoist that pulls or lifts the Mobility Aid into the vehicle behind the drivers seat. The door width should be 80mm wider than the width of the Mobility Aid, and 150mm higher than the height of the Mobility Aid. To find out more about this type of equipment, visit the link below:

link: Auto-Mobility: Assisted Loading & Transporting Wheelchairs-Loading Through Sliding Door

If you have assistance to load your Wheelchair, Scooter or Motorized Wheelchair, but you need to transport them.

Rear Wheelchair Carriers & Powered Wheelchairs & Scooter Lifts

Tail Lift

Image Courtesy of Shoprider

There are a number of options for Persons with Mobility Impairments, who have assistance from someone to load their Mobility Aid once they have transferred into the vehicle. These options require that the Wheelchair or Scooter is loaded & transported at the back of the vehicle, either in the boot or on a unit attached to a hitch on the back of the vehicle. This may require drilling into the trunk or storage space of the vehicle, or wiring the unit directly to the car battery. It is recommended that you get a reputable auto mechanic to do this, but some suppliers include the option of expert installation, and will coordinate the entire installation process.

There are a few of these types of options available, including:

  • Tail Lifts & Wheelchair Racks
  • Boot Hoists

Tail Lifts & Wheelchair Racks

Tail Lifts: A Tail Lift is a mobility scooter or Motorized Wheelchair lift that is mounted on the tow bar of a vehicle. Generally these lifts are power operated and the scooter will remain outside the vehicle on the lift during transport. Shoprider can install a range of tail lifts, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Wheelchair Racks are available for people who want to transfer a manual folding wheelchair. There are a few of these types of options available, in South Africa,

Some of these & other products are available to buy from various other companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more or view more information about these types of lifts, by clicking on the following link: Auto-Mobility: Assisted Loading & Transporting Wheelchairs.

Boot Lifts

Boot Lifts

Image courtesy of Shoprider

Boot Lifts are products that allow you to comfortably and safely stow your Mobility Aid in the boot of the vehicle. This means that the scooter or wheelchair will need to be foldable so that it can fit into the boot. Boot Lifts include products such as:

  • Carolift
  • Hercules Automatic Scooter Lift For Your Mobility Scooter
  • The Olympian Hoist

Carolift

AutoAdapt have a range of boot lifts, including the flexible Carolift 40, which allows you to pick up Wheelchairs from behind or even beside the vehicle, it lifts up to 40 kg. The jointed hoist arm folds both directions. Powered lifting/lowering and with manual rotation allows to assisted folding to and from the storage position. It fits almost all car models and has easy installation thanks to the smart mounting base. One size fits all, so no need to cut or work the hoist. It is EMC and crash test approved and CE-marked. This telescopic wheelchair hoist has powered lift and swivel for loads up to 180kg. All motors are fully programmable, including the speed, acceleration and deceleration. It fits almost all car models. Adjustable height, rotation 360˚ and hoist head angle/length. Adjustable inner and outer rotation stop position, optional quick release for foldable hoist head. This product is available to buy from companies such as Shoprider. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Hercules Automatic Scooter Lift For Mobility Scooters

Automatic Scooter Lift

Image courtesy of Prima Care

The Hercules Automatic Scooter Lift For Your Mobility Scooter is a motorized lift which assists you to lift your Mobility Scooter in & out of the car with ease. This new innovative lifter now makes transporting your Mobility Scooter easy. The Hercules is a foldable and portable lifter designed to make it easier to lift the Scooter by automatically hoisting it, then enabling you to guide it into your car, truck or van. The lift is powered by the battery on the Mobility Scooter, with one simple plug into your Scooter, it is ready to use. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Prima Care, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

The Olympian Hoist

The Olympian Hoist is ideal for lifting mini scooters or wheelchairs effortlessly into the back of a car at the touch of a button, it can be easily detached to save valuable space in the boot. The Olympian Hoist is simple and easy to operate, it is ideal for scooters and wheelchairs & it:

  • Lifts and loads in just 60 seconds
  • Is easily transferred to your next vehicle
  • Has a lifting capacity of 40kg and 80kg options
  • Allows for maximum boot space when not in use
  • Is Manufactured in the UK & is available in South Africa
  • MPVs; 4x4s; Estates; Vans Saloons Convertibles.
Boot Hoist (Pro Mobility)

Image courtesy of Pro Mobility

Each of these products vairy in price & capabilities, so it is important to chose one that meets your needs, including one that will work with your vehicle. These products are available to buy from companies such as Pro Mobility. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote or view other similar types of lifts that are available: Auto-Mobility: Assisted Loading & Transporting Wheelchairs.

Alternatively you can Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

If you remain in your wheelchair, while driving or being transported.

Vehicle Aids For People Who Travel In Their Mobility Aids

Persons who will be remaining in their wheelchair while being transported, will require a Vehicle Aid to be able to load their Mobility Aid and themselves into the vehicle. There are a number of companies in South Africa such as Shoprider which can do a lowered floor conversions (pictured right) on vehicles such as the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi, Crewbus or Trendline. Contact Shoprider to find more about Lowered Floor Conversions, or visit our Vehicles With Lowered Floors-Passengers section.

In these smaller vehicles where Lowered Floor Conversions are done, a Ramp would be used, but in the bigger vehicles, there are two options available and these are:

  • Wheelchair Lifts For Vehicles
  • Wheelchair Ramps For Vehicles

Both of these options have their Pro's and Con's and the decision of which one to purchase, should be based on the:

  • amount of independence you require.
  • type of vehicle you are using.
  • type of Mobility Aid you use.
  • amount of money the you are able to spend.

You will also require a Wheelchair Restraint System installed in the vehicle to make sure that you and your Mobility Aid does not move around in the vehicle, while you are being transported.

Wheelchair Lifts For Vehicles

Wheelchair Lifts also known as Hydraulic Lifts are fully powered devices designed to raise persons in Wheelchairs or sometimes Scooters into a vehicle which has adequate internal height and a doorway which is wide enough. There are a variety of Wheelchair Lifts available, depending on the type of vehicle that you will be using & the entry point, as well as the weight & size of the Mobility Aid that you will be using. Wheelchair Lifts come in various sizes and can either be installed on the side or back of the vehicle. Some Vehicle Lifts come with an extension, which gives extra space to load a longer Motorized Wheelchair or Scooter.

Advantages of using a Wheelchair Lift versus a Ramp, is that a Wheelchair Lift can be controlled by the person in the wheelchair therefore making them more independent. The appropriate Hand Controls, along with a Wheelchair Lift to get you and your wheelchair into the vehicle, make it possible for persons with even severe Mobility Impairments to be able to drive and become completely independent. There are two types of Wheelchair Lifts installed on Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles, they are:

  • Single-Arm Wheelchair Lifts
  • Dual-Arm Wheelchair Lifts

Single-Arm Wheelchair Lifts

Single Arm Wheelchair Lifts

Image courtesy of Skyjacks

Single-Arm Wheelchair Lifts are only used in side-entry applications. They take up less interior space and leave the passenger entry open; however, they have less lifting capacity than Dual-Arm Wheelchair Lifts. These Wheelchair Lifts are available in South Africa and can be purchased from companies such as Skyjacks, who stock the following products:

Single Arm Wheelchair Lifts SWL300-S-15: The Single Arm Wheelchair lift (SWL300-S-15) from Skyjacks (pictured above right), has a robust design and can be fitted to a host of vehicles. This wheelchair lift is specifically designed to be mounted into the side door area with it’s smaller dimensions, however if required, it can also be fitted into the rear door area. This Single Arm Wheelchair lift is powered by the vehicles existing electrical battery. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Skyjacks and is load tested on fitment by a qualified SWC technician. Contact Skyjacks to find out more or to receive a quote. Skyjacks offer on site fitment and servicing for all their products and also supply and install wheelchair Tie Down systems.

Alternatively you can Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Dual-Arm Wheelchair Lifts

Dual-Arm Wheelchair Lifts have a lift capacity up to 800 pounds and consume more interior space and therefore block the side entry. For these reasons, they are often mounted in the back of the vehicle for rear-entry applications. Wheelchair Lifts are equipped with a safety lift interlock, which is designed to prevent operation of the Wheelchair,  Van or Wheelchair Lift in unsafe situations.

These products are available to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility Skyjacks and Shoprider, who sell and install the following Hydraulic Lifts:

Double Arm Wheelchair Lift

Image courtesy of Skyjacks

AMF-Bruns and AutoAdapt Hydraulic Lifts: Are supplied by Shoprider in South Africa, these lifts run off a hydraulic system with manual override in case of an electrical problem and can handle loads of up to 450kg. For more technical details, please visit the manufacturer's website: Autoadapt or AMF Bruns, or contact Shoprider to receive a quote.

Double Arm Wheelchair Lift SWL350-L-15 A&B: The Double Arm Wheelchair Lift (SWL350-L-15 A&B) has a robust design and can be fitted to a host of vehicles. This Wheelchair Lift (pictured right) is specifically designed to be mounted into the rear door area or small vans. With small lifting arm design changes, the B version lift fit can be fitted into large buses with a floor height of up to 1.48 meters. The Double Arm Wheelchair Lift models are powered by the vehicles existing electrical battery. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Skyjacks and is load tested on fitment by a qualified SWC technician. Contact Skyjacks to find out more or to receive a quote. Skyjacks offer on site fitment and servicing for all their products and also supply and install wheelchair Tie Down systems.

You can also visit Auto-Mobility: Assisted Loading and Transporting to find out more about these and other similar types of lifts that are available. Alternatively you can Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

While some Wheelchair-Accessible Vans use a powered lift to assist the occupant in boarding, a Wheelchair Ramp is usually less expensive for this purpose.

Wheelchair Ramps For Vehicles

A Wheelchair Ramp for a Vehicle is an inclined plane installed to permit persons using Wheelchairs, Scooters, Walkers or other Mobility Aids to easily access slightly larger motor vehicles, such as a Kombi's, Vans or even a vehicle such as the Volkswagen Caddy. Wheelchair Ramps are ideal for persons who have assistance to get into & out of the vehicle, as most types of Ramps sold in South Africa, are not automatic. These Ramps that are available to be purchased in South Africa from companies such as Pro Mobility, Sitwell, Shoprider, Prima Care & Simplify Wheelchair Seating are less expensive than Wheelchair Lifts, but serve a similar purpose. Many of these Ramps that can be used for vehicles, can also be used in or outside of a home to navigate steps. Wheelchair Ramps for Vehicles come in a variety of different types, including:

  • Roll-A-Ramp: Automatic Ramps
  • Roll-A-Ramp: Manual Ramps
  • Roll-Up Ramps
  • Telescopic & Channel Ramps
  • Folding Ramps
  • Solid Ramps

Roll-A-Ramp: Automatic Ramps

One type of Automatic Ramp that is available in South Africa, is the "Roll-A-Ramp®" called "Powered Folding Van Ramps". They are much less costly than a lowered floor conversion or a Wheelchair Lift and can be installed into many different types of vehicles. They are the perfect option for those who want a Ramp that folds in and out automatically. Made from 6061 Aircraft Aluminum, the average weight is 5-pounds per 1-foot of ramp. The Ramp deploys at the touch of a button. You can choose from either the pendant cord model, or the more popular wireless remote option. Some of these & other Ramps are available to buy from various companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more or view more information about these types of Ramps.

Roll-A-Ramp: Manual Ramps

Roll-A-Ramps® also come in a manual version, which is portable and never permanent. It rolls up like a sleeping bag, which makes it easier to transport and convenient to store. They are the perfect solution for people who want an alternative option to heavy, inconvenient, or permanent ramps. These Ramps are custom made to the length you need for your individual situation. The Ramp can be separated into shorter sections and is easy to use, and simple to set up or take down. They are made from 6061 Aircraft Aluminum and have an average weight of 5-pounds per 1-foot of ramp. Some of these & other Ramps are available to buy from various companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more or view more information about these types of Ramps.

Roll-Up Ramps

Devilbiss Drive Roll Up Wheelchair Ramps

Image courtesy of Sitwell

An example of Roll-Up Ramps are the Devilbiss Drive Roll Up Wheelchair Ramp. They provide a quick and easy solution to obtain access. It can be used as a portable or fixed ramp. It rolls up to a compact size, with a weight capacity of 300kg (47st). They can be used for both vehicles & houses & are narrow enough for most doorways, but wide enough to be suitable for most Scooters and Wheelchairs. They are 70cm (27″) wide and are lightweight with an excellent check plate grip surface. Due to the fact that they are portable, they do not require any fitting or installation. The Aluminium finish prevents stains and corrosion, and the fixed height design means the ramps can be simply placed over most doorways and can be easily removed when required. The ramps come complete with anti-slip pads on the underside of the ramp to offer protection to the floor surface whilst preventing slippage. These Ramps are available in three sizes:

  • 60cm (1.9ft)
  • 80cm (2.6ft)
  • 100cm (3.2ft)

This product is available to buy from companies such as Ability Assist, Prima Care & Sitwell Technologies, contact them to find out more, or to receive a quote. Alternatively you can Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Telescopic & Channel Ramps

Telescopic & Channel Ramps are available in various sizes & lengths, they are normally made from Aluminium to make them light & easy to transport. These ramps are long enough to be used to comfortably get into a vehicle or to get up a couple of steps but can then fold down and pack away, some of these Ramps includes a small, convenient bag. These and other Telescopic Ramps are available to be purchased from companies such as Prima Care, Simplify Wheelchair Seating & Pro Mobility, who sell some of the following types of Telescopic Ramps: 

Channel Ramp

Image courtesy of Prima Care

Wheelchair Channel Ramp: These Wheelchair Channel Ramps (pictured right) are easy to use and lightweight for carrying, the telescopic two-piece ramp extends to 2.1m (7ft) in length to accommodate use in a variety of settings. Then retract again for ease of storage and transportation. This Channel Ramp has been designed for use with manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs or scooters. It allows access up or down steps, over door thresholds or up into the back of vehicles. These lightweight Telescopic two-piece ramps extends to 2.1m (7’) in length to accommodate use in a variety of settings, then retract again for easy storage or transport, the slip-resistant coating improves wheelchair grip & the folded dimensions are 100cm x 26cm x 6.5cm, they have a weight capacity of 272kg & are available to be purchased from companies such as Prima Care & Simplify Wheelchair Seating, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Adjustable Telescopic Portable Wheelchair Ramps: These Adjustable Telescopic Portable Wheelchair Ramps are u-shaped, rust-resistant aluminum ramps with non-skid treads, easily extend for use with steps, curbs or vehicles. The 3-section design contracts for easy storage in a nylon carrying bag, which hangs over the wheelchair handles. The 5-foot telescoping wheelchair ramps are completely adjustable and have a push-button locking mechanism, they have a generous 660 lb. weight capacity and are latex free & are available to be purchased from companies such as Simplify Wheelchair Seating, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

These & other products are also available to buy from companies such as Prima Care, Simplify Wheelchair Seating & Pro Mobility, contact them to find out more about these and other similar types of Ramps or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Folding Ramps

Just like threshold ramps, folding ramps provide a simple and safe way to navigate through doorways, raised landings, curbs, and into vehicles. Moreover, these ramps, however, fold up for added portability. These portable folding ramps for homes are free-standing structures with modular designs. There are various different types of these Manual Folding Ramps, including the:

Devilbiss Drive Smart Wheelchair Ramp

Image courtesy of Sitwell

Wheelchair Manual Ramps from Shoprider: Sometimes the best solutions is the simplest and it does not get much simpler than a manual ramp. These aluminium ramps by FEAL are very lightweight, easy to use and simple to operate. They have no electrical parts and no maintenance parts. They come in a wide range of sizes to suit any need. Contact Shoprider to find out more.

The Devilbiss Drive Smart Wheelchair Ramps: These Devilbiss Drive Smart Wheelchair Ramps (pictured right) are lightweight Aluminium Ramps, which fold in half for ease of storage and handling & carries like a suitcase when not in use. When folded out they are 184cm (6ft) long. They have a striking metallic colour finish and anti-slip high traction surface. This Smart Ramp has been designed for use with Wheelchairs, Motorized Wheelchairs and Scooters and can be used to obtain safe access to Motor Vehicles, buildings and other previously inaccessible locations. The 76cm (30″) width makes this ramp suitable for MPVs of up to 70cm (27.5″) in width and the lightweight aluminium construction gives them a weight capacity of 200kg (32st). These Devilbiss Drive Smart Wheelchair Ramps are available to purchase from Sitwell Technologies & Prima Care, contact them to find out more.

The Folding Aluminium Ramp: This Ramp folds in half to be carried like a suitcase, it is compact in size for easy storage. The high strength lightweight aluminium construction and extruded non-skid driving surface is designed to bridge the gap over steps, curbs and rise landings. The Single fold for Scooters and all Wheelchair types allows a safe incline of up to 30 degree slopes. These Ramps have a weight carrying capacity of 250 kg and the a length of 1,5 meters as well as a width of 73 cm when open and a width of 37 cm when folded. The weight of the Ramp is 12,5 kg. These Folding Aluminium Ramps are available to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility and Sheer Mobility, contact them to find out more.

These & other products are also available to buy from companies such as Prima Care, Simplify Wheelchair Seating & Pro Mobility, contact them to find out more about these and other similar types of Ramps or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Solid Ramps

Solid Ramps are portable & normally lightweight and are temporarily attached in place to prevent them from slipping. These Ramps are usually made of aluminum, for their lightweight and cannot fold. Their length is therefore limited to the width of the vehicle, as they need to be transported in the vehicle. These Ramps must be carefully designed in order to be useful, due to their restriction in length. A less steep rise can be easier for a wheelchair user to navigate, as well as safer, it should also be wide enough to easily navigate. Lips on the sides of the ramps assist in this & help prevent your Mobility Aid from coming off the edge of the Ramp. When using this type of Ramp, it helps to park next to a pavement for loading and offloading, which reduces the angle.

Contact companies such as Pro Mobility, Sitwell Technologies or Shoprider, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if they cannot assist you. To find out more about these & other types of ramps for Vehicles, you can also visit  Auto-Mobility: Ramps

Wheelchair Restraint Systems

Wheelchair Restraint Systems are the devices used to secure a person and their Mobility Aid into a vehicle, if they are going to be transported while remaining in their Mobility Aid. These Vehicle Aids are extremely important to prevent the Mobility Aid from moving around and to secure the person in their Mobility Aid, especially during an accident or an emergency stop. There are a wide range of Wheelchair Restraint options to choose from, with each having it's pro's & con's, depending on whether you are driving or will have somebody assisting to secure you in the vehicle. The most important thing to remember is safety, so it is important to double check all of your connecting points before departing. This is not only necessary for the person in the Mobility Aid, but also for the safety of everyone else in the vehicle. Some Mobility Aids are manufactured with special hooks that can be used in the securing process. If these hooks don't exist, it is important to use a part of the Mobility Aid that is strong and secure & will not be damaged by the securing process. There are variety of different types of these Wheelchair Restraint Systems which are available to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility, Sitwell, Skyjacks and Shoprider, who sell some of the following types of products:

Wheelchair Tie-Downs

Wheelchair Tie-down System

Image courtesy of Skyjacks

"Wheelchair Tie-Downs” are the straps and hooks that connect Mobility Aids to the floor of a vehicle. Some people also refer to these as Wheelchair Restraints. These are most often used as a 4-point tie-down system. They are connected to strips of aluminum bolted to the floor of a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. This is known as an “L-Track”. The L-Track has a grooved channel and machined holes about every two inches so that the Tie-Downs can quickly be attached to the floor in its desired position. As an alternative, some people use “floor anchors” with only one or a few holes for attaching each of the straps. Specially designed locking pins at the end of the straps are then moved from one hole to another to help with anchoring the Mobility Aid securely. For safety reasons, two Tie-Downs in the front and two in the back are required. Metal “J- hooks” on the other end of the straps are used to attach the straps (or belts) to the frame of the Mobility Aid. These straps are then adjustable for a taught fit, thus keeping the Mobility Aid in place during the ride. These products are available to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility, Skyjacks and Shoprider, who sell some of the following products:

Wheelchair Tie down System & Safety Belts: These Tie Down Systems & Safety Belts are strong and durable and can be fitted to a host of vehicles. These Tie Downs (pictured right) are specifically designed to secure each of the four corners of the wheelchair. The ties must always go through the frame and not the wheel of the chair. Each tie goes through the frame at each corner and then attached with the carabiner back to the clasp bolted to the floor of the vehicle at that corner. Once the rear ties are in place, the front ones follow the same procedure but are adjustable to pull the chair tight so that the chair cannot move. After that the lap belt (pictured below) then goes around the waist of the wheelchair bound person and is also adjustable, much like a seatbelt system in a car. These products are available to purchase from companies such as Skyjacks and are safety tested on fitment by a qualified SWC technician. Contact Skyjacks to find out more or to receive a quote. Skyjacks offer on site fitment and servicing for all their products.

Contact companies such as Pro Mobility, Skyjacks or Shoprider, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if they cannot assist you.

Retractable Or Manually Adjusted Tie-Downs

Retractable Tie-Downs are much more user-friendly to work with and they take much less time to secure the person in their Mobility Aid and into the vehicle. Unlike a manual strap, the mechanism inside of each retractor is self-tightening. Retractable Tie-Downs assist the person in the Mobility Aid to become much more independent as they don’t require much effort to get the straps nice and tight, or to release them once you have reached your destination. These products are available to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility, Skyjacks and Shoprider, and include the product listed above. Contact them to find out more, or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Wheelchair Seat Belts (Or Securement)

Wheelchair Seat Belts are not unlike most automobile seat belt systems, they may have a strap that goes across the chest area and one that goes across the waist. The difference is that in some cases, the lap belt and shoulder belt are combined together with a single or dual-retractable device and L-Track connectors. This type of setup is designed specifically for wheelchair riders, who typically need longer straps if tied down in the middle of the vehicle. These and similar products are available to buy from companies such as Sitwell Technologies, Ability Assist, Pro Mobility, Skyjacks and Shoprider, who sell the following products:

Safety Belts

Image courtesy of Skyjacks

Sitsafe Vehicle travel posture support: Is a supportive harness that fits into the car or on the airplane seat and is perfect for travel. It is easy to fit and use and is cost effective and vehicle safe. This product is available to buy in South Africa from companies such as Sitwell, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Wheelchair Safety Belts: These Safety Belts from Skyjacks are strong and durable and can be fitted to a host of wheelchairs. They are sold by Skyjacks with the Tie Downs system listed above and are specifically designed to secure the person in their wheelchair. Once the Tie-downs are in place and the chair cannot move the lap belt (pictured right) then goes around the waist of the wheelchair bound person and is also adjustable, much like a seatbelt system in a car. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Skyjacks and is safety tested on fitment by a qualified SWC technician. Contact Skyjacks to find out more or to receive a quote. Skyjacks offer on site fitment and servicing for all their products and also supply and install the wheelchair Tie Down systems listed above.

These and other similar products are also available to buy from other companies such as Pro Mobility, Sitwell Technologies or Shoprider, contact them to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Harnesses, Headrests, Seat Belts & Straps

Bodypoint Pivofit Upper body positioning

Image courtesy of Sitwell

There are a wide variety of other different types of Seat Belts, Straps, Harnesses & Headrests, which are designed and used to keep you safe in your Wheelchair, improve your posture and give you extra support when travelling in a vehicle while in their wheelchair. Each person is unique and therefore their needs are different, what works for one person, will not necessarily work for another. Various types of this equipment is available to purchase from companies throughout South Africa, including Sitwell, Prima Care and Simplify Wheelchair Seating, who sell products such as:

Bodypoint Pivofit Upper Body Positioning: The Bodypoint Pivofit Upper body positioning strap (pictured right) distributes pressure across a 25% greater surface area than a traditional H-style harness, the PivotFit Shoulder Harness has a body-contouring shape for optimal support and a comfortable fit. The curved Laminar pads follow the contours of the shoulders and ribcage, with a low-placed sternum strap to reduce the risk of strangulation while providing easy adjustability. The new swivel buckle is twice as strong as competitive models and allows for precise pad placement for an individualised fit. It is available in a non-stretch version for more aggressive control, and a dynamic version which allows controlled movement to reduce spastic tone. The elimination of the lower D-ring prevents hot spots at the ribcage, while the high-strength swivel buckle equalises tension without bunching. It is easy-to-tighten & the sternum strap accommodates clothing changes and ensures a snug fit. This product is available to buy in South Africa from companies such as Sitwell, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

The Bodypoint Evoflex Hip Belt Lap/pelvic Belt: The Bodypoint Evoflex Hip Belt Lap/pelvic Belt that stays up. The advantages of retractable belts, without hardware against the hips. The stiffened end straps stay upright when unfastened, without catching in wheels, these straps pivot forward and back for easy transfers or part-time belt use. They can be used on chest, legs and/or trunk, and are compatible with the sub-ASIS pads from Sitwell. These are a great solution for active users who dislike webbing belts, the mounting hardware is included free with your order. This product is available to buy in South Africa from companies such as Sitwell, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of Seat Belts, Straps, Harnesses & Headrests, which are designed and used to keep you safe in your Wheelchair, improve your posture and give you extra support, visit our Seating & Positioning - Harnesses, Headrests, Seat Belts and Straps page to find out what other products are available in South Africa that will suite you to assist with your Seating & Positioning, which are available to purchase from companies such as as Prima Care, Sitwell, Mobility Aids & Simplify Wheelchair Seating. Please feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions.

Wheelchair Docking Systems

Wheelchair Docking Systems are used by many people in wheelchairs who drive their own vehicle from their wheelchair, but can also be used by wheelchair passengers. This system is basically a rectangular metal device that is mounted to the floor. It has a spring-loaded electronic hook that grabs on to a metal bolt (or pin) that is mounted to the bottom of the wheelchair. When the bolt is rolled into the docking device, the hook automatically closes around it, keeping the wheelchair in place. Wheelchair seat-belts are then used along with the Docking System for additional securement. Docking Systems generally include a push button, which is an electronic controlled module and is mounted on or near the dashboard notifying the driver and passengers when the wheelchair is locked down properly. The control module or quick release button on the docking device is then used to unlock the docking mechanism when reaching your destination. These and similar products are available to buy from companies such as Sitwell Technologies, Pro Mobility, Skyjacks and Shoprider, contact them to find out more, or to receive a quote, or visit: Auto-Mobility: Docking Stations to find out more about Docking Stations & other securement systems, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Flooring

Wherever a wheelchair is going to be used inside a vehicle it is recommended that a suitable floor surface is used. Carpets provide a lot of resistance to the wheels and they quickly show wear and tear from the wheelchairs. The step well in larger vehicles may need to be filled in to prevent the possibility of the wheelchair wheel falling into the gap. Wooden, aluminium or rubber floor linings can offer a good solution. Aluminium floors should preferably be black as they can result in a lot of reflection when the sun shines on them. These adaptions are available to purchase from companies such as Pro Mobility and Shoprider, contact them to find out more, or to receive a quote, or visit: Auto-Mobility: Flooring to find out more about Flooring, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if these companies cannot assist you.

Car Seating Solutions For Children

RECARO Monza Nova 2 Reha

Image courtesy of Sitwell

There are also a wide variety of different types of Car Seating Solutions, which are designed to keep your child safe in the vehicle, improve their posture and give them extra support. These different types of Car Seats are available to purchase throughout South Africa and are sold by various companies, they include products such as:

Recaro Monza Nova 2 Reha: The Recaro Monza Nova 2 Reha (pictured right) is a lightweight booster seat which exceeds the highest safety standard. The weight limit of the child is 22 - 65 lb & the height limit is 27 - 57″. The Recaro Monza Nova Reha car seat swivels to make transfers easier & it meets the US – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards And Regulations & the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe-regulation for child restraint system, as well as the DEKRA (tests for “Special Needs Restraint”) which also includes testing of all rehab accessories & has a manufacturer’s guarantee. This product is available to buy in South Africa from companies such as Sitwell, contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of Seating solutions that are specifically designed to assist children with Mobility Impairments when they are being transported in a Vehicle, visit our Seating & Positioning - Car Seating Solutions For Children page to find out what other products are available in South Africa that will suite your child, or visit our Pediatric Equipment - Pediatric Seating & Positioning Aids page to find out more about Pediatric Seating & Positioning Aids that have been designed to assist children & are available to purchase from companies such as as Prima Care, Sitwell, Mobility Aids & Simplify Wheelchair Seating, or Contact Us if you have any questions.

Disclaimer

To view more information about these Assistive Devices and others, view the menu on the left or feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about the products and Services listed on this page and we will point you in the right direction.

Please note that the FREE services and website that we offer is privately run & funded and is not run or funded by the Government. We therefore rely on advertising and donations to continue to supply and improve this Free service. The Companies, Clubs, Schools and Organizations that have their logos on this site, have advertised or made donations to the Website and have therefore assisted us be able to continue to offer this free Service. Please support them as they have supported Us and please contact us if you can advertise with us or would like to make a donation!

References

silver
Pro Mobility
Shoprider
Rolling Rehab
Simplify Wheelchair Seating
Sitwell
Mobi Drive
Skyjacks
Prima Care

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