If you’re looking to buy a platform lift, you may be feeling a little disoriented by the number of options available. This is because platform lifts differ depending on whether they are intended for residential or commercial use. What’s more, some lifts are specially designed to suit what or who they are transporting, which could include wheelchair users, multiple numbers of people, heavy-duty goods, or small items such as food dishes.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help you decide which type of platform lift suits your needs.
1. THE INCLINED STAIR LIFT
Inclined stairs lifts comprise of a level platform firmly attached to a diagonal runner against the wall side of a staircase. They are fairly common in a domestic setting and can help carry a wheelchair up several flights of stairs. They come in a variety of sizes and styles and can be used indoors or outdoors and in domestic or commercial buildings.
2. THE LOW-RISE VERTICAL LIFT
The low-rise vertical lift is one of the simplest and most common types of platform lift and can transport wheelchair-using passengers from one level to another in a vertical direction. Typically, they can provide travel up to 1 metre and can be used indoors or outdoors. Most will also provide space for an accompanying wheelchair attendant.
THE OPEN PASSENGER PLATFORM LIFT
Open passenger platform lifts are great if you need to transport a handful of people up a number of floors. Offering up to 9 metres of travel, this type of platform lift offers a comfortable ride for wheelchair users and their accompanying attendants, as well as a great way to transport retail goods.
Open lifts can be found in a number of settings including domestic spaces, residential care facilities, retail environments, and educational establishments. They also come in a range of sizes that can be tailored to your needs or those of your organisation.
THE CABIN LIFT
A cabin lift is an enclosed platform lift that moves vertically. Whilst this may sound just like the kind of enclosed lifts you’re used to using on a daily basis, it is important to note that cabin lifts do not offer the same speed capabilities or capacity levels as their commercial counterparts. Rather, they are compact lifts perfect for domestic spaces or small commercial buildings. Typically, they can travel up to 19 metres (about eight stops) and do not require significant building alterations to allow for installation. They can be installed in outdoor or indoor spaces, making them a flexible option for homeowners and small business owners alike. In fact, they can be fitted to blend in with colour schemes and interior design schemes, making them a great option for those hoping for a little flair and style!
THE GOODS LIFT
Goods lifts are specially designed to transport goods packed on to trolleys or pallets. Indeed, they are commonly used in commercial environments to help make the movement of stock around warehouses, retails stores, or distribution centres safe, easy, and quick. This is a great option if you work in an industry requiring lots of heavy lifting.
THE SERVICE LIFT
Service lifts are those lifts that can carry plates of food around catering environments quickly and easily. They can travel up to around 15 metres and are very useful in busy hotels and restaurants. Even better, they are quick to install and can handle up to about 300kg of weight.
A FINAL THING TO CONSIDER
If you’re looking to install a platform lift in a commercial or residential environment, remember to have a look at the Equality Act 2010 first. This will ensure that you provide enough access to those in wheelchairs and ensure that you do not discriminate against those with impaired mobility. Adjustments you could be expected to make include the addition of lifts, signs, ramps, and special types of lighting.