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Service and Repair for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and/or Accessible Ramp/Lift?

Are you having trouble with your wheelchair van, ramp van, braun ability van, vantage mobility van, eldorado, amerivan, ricon lift, braun lift, grey market van, ams Legend, Edge, Edge II, Freedom, FR ?

No Worries We Can Fix It!

Even if you have had other Toyota dealer, Dodge dealer, Ford dealer, Honda dealer or a different adaptive mobility equipment dealer try and fix it. Call us, we can help.

Almost all wheelchair van and lift problems can be attributed to three main things. I would like to talk a little about each one and what you can do to be proactive in preventing problems that could stop your lift from operating.?

Reason Number 1: Operator Error. It may not be P.C. to bring it up, but many issues are caused by the user hurrying, not taking the proper precautions, or simply attempting to operate the van or lift in a situation it is not designed for. Let me expand on this a little.

We all know the obvious things an operator can do wrong. Lowering a lift on to extremely uneven ground or folding a platform into a van door that is not fully opened, if you have manual doors. The things that you need to think about are the issues that aren’t so obvious, but can still cause damage. Things like making sure you fully fold the platform when you are putting it in the stowed position. A lot of times people tend to release the fold switch too soon because the lift makes excessive noise when it cinches tight. Far from being a problem, that noise is a good thing What you’re hearing is the electric actuator “ratcheting,” which tells you that the lift is fully stowed and will not rattle as much while you’re driving. A tightly stowed platform will prevent certain lift components from wearing out prematurely, so be sure to keep the fold button pressed!

Another not-so-obvious issue is to make sure the outer roll stop deploys fully before you exit the platform. Think about it. If you are in a hurry and the roll stop is not completely down on the ground, your weight when rolling off of it is going to put excessive stress on those parts and you could cause problems that are easily avoidable. Even if the tip of the roll stop is up just a little bit, take the time to lower it completely before you exit the platform.?

Reason Number 2: Lack of Maintenance. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance – I can’t say those words enough! Your dealer should set up a maintenance program for you and your lift should be in their shop for a regular check up at least twice a year. Every lift built after 2005 has a cycle counter on it that will tell us the total number of times you’ve used your lift, and all lifts should be maintained every 750 cycles. This is a short point. All you need to know is that if you don’t maintain your lift, something will eventually stop working!

Reason Number 3: Broken Parts. No matter what the product, we’ve all encountered that unexpected broken part that seems to go bad for no apparent reason. This actually represents a small percentage of wheelchair lift failures, and it can usually be avoided if the van or lift is maintained on a regular basis (see reason #2 above!). A typical situation might be a wiring harness that gets cut by component. This type of issue rarely happens out-of-the-blue, and with routine maintenance your dealer should be able to see the problem starting to occur and fix it before it gets worse.

That about sums it up The bottom line is that a properly operated and maintained wheelchair van or lift should give you years of reliable service. Read your manual and work closely with Automotive Innovations to make sure your lift is ready to go whenever you are. If you have any questions or are having an issue with your wheelchair van or lift feel free to call us at 508-697-6006.

Service and Repair for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and/or Accessible Ramp/Lift?

Service and Repair for wheelchair accessible vehicles, ramps and lifts
Are you having trouble with your wheelchair van, ramp van, braun ability van, vantage mobility van, eldorado, amerivan, ricon lift, braun lift, grey market van, ams Legend, Edge, Edge II, Freedom, FR ?

No Worries We Can Fix It!

Even if you have had other Toyota dealer, Dodge dealer, Ford dealer, Honda dealer or a different adaptive mobility equipment dealer try and fix it. Call us, we can help.

Almost all wheelchair van and lift problems can be attributed to three main things. I would like to talk a little about each one and what you can do to be proactive in preventing problems that could stop your lift from operating.?

Reason Number 1: Operator Error. It may not be P.C. to bring it up, but many issues are caused by the user hurrying, not taking the proper precautions, or simply attempting to operate the van or lift in a situation it is not designed for. Let me expand on this a little.

We all know the obvious things an operator can do wrong. Lowering a lift on to extremely uneven ground or folding a platform into a van door that is not fully opened, if you have manual doors. The things that you need to think about are the issues that aren’t so obvious, but can still cause damage. Things like making sure you fully fold the platform when you are putting it in the stowed position. A lot of times people tend to release the fold switch too soon because the lift makes excessive noise when it cinches tight. Far from being a problem, that noise is a good thing What you’re hearing is the electric actuator “ratcheting,” which tells you that the lift is fully stowed and will not rattle as much while you’re driving. A tightly stowed platform will prevent certain lift components from wearing out prematurely, so be sure to keep the fold button pressed!

Another not-so-obvious issue is to make sure the outer roll stop deploys fully before you exit the platform. Think about it. If you are in a hurry and the roll stop is not completely down on the ground, your weight when rolling off of it is going to put excessive stress on those parts and you could cause problems that are easily avoidable. Even if the tip of the roll stop is up just a little bit, take the time to lower it completely before you exit the platform.?

Reason Number 2: Lack of Maintenance. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance – I can’t say those words enough! Your dealer should set up a maintenance program for you and your lift should be in their shop for a regular check up at least twice a year. Every lift built after 2005 has a cycle counter on it that will tell us the total number of times you’ve used your lift, and all lifts should be maintained every 750 cycles. This is a short point. All you need to know is that if you don’t maintain your lift, something will eventually stop working!

Reason Number 3: Broken Parts. No matter what the product, we’ve all encountered that unexpected broken part that seems to go bad for no apparent reason. This actually represents a small percentage of wheelchair lift failures, and it can usually be avoided if the van or lift is maintained on a regular basis (see reason #2 above!). A typical situation might be a wiring harness that gets cut by component. This type of issue rarely happens out-of-the-blue, and with routine maintenance your dealer should be able to see the problem starting to occur and fix it before it gets worse.

That about sums it up The bottom line is that a properly operated and maintained wheelchair van or lift should give you years of reliable service. Read your manual and work closely with Automotive Innovations to make sure your lift is ready to go whenever you are. If you have any questions or are having an issue with your wheelchair van or lift feel free to call us at 508-697-6006.

Buy my wheelchair van in new england

Buy my wheelchair van in new england

buy my wheelchair van in new england newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Do you have a clean late model VMI, Braun or Eldorado wheelchair van you want to sell?

Bring it to us and if it’s in good shape and we can agree on a price we’ll write you a check for it

Photos
You’ve got photos so make the most of them! Assuming your Handicap Van is in good condition, you should take pictures of the handicap van to show us how clean it is both inside and out.

Exterior
Given that you can email us photos a good idea is to allocate at least 3 to the exterior of the handicap van you want to buy, taken from angles that reveal the handicap van in its best light. I.e. rear ¾ shot, full side shot, full front of ¾ front/side shots – what ever angles suit your Handicap Van best.

Interior
A good interior shot that shows the condition of the dash board and front seats as a minimum is highly recommended. If the wheelchair van has a clean, well presented interior you will want us to see it, as this is an area where wear and tear will be evident on the handicap van if not looked after. If the interior is damaged then it is up to you wether to photograph it, if you are selling a handicap van as is at a corresponding price and wish to give buyers a realistic appraisal of the handicap vans condition then yes, other wise it might be best to focus the camera on some of the handicap vans better attributes.

Accessories 
If the handicap van is fitted with after-market or factory accessories that will enhance the handicap van in the eyes of the buyer then ensure these are obvious in the exterior and interior photos. It may be a good idea to have a close up shot of a certain handicap accessible modification such lowered floors and handicap ramps.

Pre-existing damage/scratches 
If your handicap van has dents or scratches on the body work it is probably a good idea to show them in photos as they will then have a good idea of the Handicap Vans condition.

VIN Number: Include the VIN so we can run a Carfax on it.

Buyer / Seller Scams
We’ve been alerted to a scam which operates in the following way: An overseas buyer offers to buy your car. They will want to send you a cheque for an amount in excess of the purchase price of your car and will ask you to send the change back to them or to pay the change to a local shipping agent. There are several variations on the theme. If you get an offer like this from overseas, we recommend that you be alert to a possible scam.
Another scam operates as follows: Typically a car/bike/boat, etc will be offered for sale at a very low price. The seller will say that the item is located overseas or in a location that makes it difficult to inspect the item. The seller will ask you to send them a deposit or pay for the item before they will arrange to send it to you. If you get an offer like this, we recommend that you be alert to a possible scam.

We wish you the best of luck in selling us your handicap van!

2011 Toyota Sienna SE vs. 2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L vs. 2010 Dodge Caravan SXT

toyota wheelchair van newenglandwheelchairvan.com HONDA wheelchair van newenglandwheelchairvan.comdodge wheelchair van newenglandwheelchairvan.com

2011 Toyota Sienna SE vs. 2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L vs. 2010 Dodge Caravan SXT

Three Minivans Square Off in a Contest Almost too Close to Call

Building a minivan, on the other hand, especially for us American types and our super-precious children, is a most difficult feat. Think about it. After more than two decades of trying, both Ford and General Motors threw in the towel.They simply couldn’t compete with Chrysler and its Grand Caravan. Which, when you stop and think about it, is crazy, especially considering how very competitive GM and Ford are with every other niche Chrysler occupies. Speaking of niches…Hyundai, the new king of inserting itself into every single segment but cannot build a competitive minivan for the North American market. Sure, Kia makes the Sedona, but when’s the last time you saw one of those? What about Volkswagen? Nope, it can’t sell minivans in the U.S. either, so it rebadged a Caravan as a Routan. Go figure.
There are two companies, however, that can go toe-to-toe with what’s arguably Chrysler’s best-engineered product. Toyota and Honda, the once-upstart Japanese brands, are now almost as American as apple pie. Honda’s Odyssey is now in its fourth generation, while the Toyota Sienna enters its third. Purists will insist Toyota’s minivan heritage continues farther back than that.
The Dodge’s 4.0-liter V-6 is noticeably the slowest motor here, and it also returns by far the worst gas mileage, 17.4 mpg by our mixed freeway/backroad yardstick. Still, most of us thought its transmission shifted very well, and appreciated the ability to manually shift any of its six gear ratios. That’s quite unlike the Honda, which offers no shift-it-yourself ability (there is an overdrive-off button that locks you into direct drive, aka third gear), with its standard five-speed automatic. You can get an Odyssey with a six-speed, but you still can’t choose your own gears, and it’s available only in the Odyssey Touring, which starts at $41,535.
Here’s why: The Odyssey’s high-tech, VVT 3.5-liter V-6 with cylinder deactivation managed 21.1 mpg over 11 laps of our roughly 30-mile mixed driving loop. The Toyota Sienna, meanwhile, with its comparatively low-tech (i.e., no cylinder deactivation), 3.5-liter V-6, managed 21.3 mpg. And the Toyota makes 17 more horsepower than the Honda, 265 compared with 248. Equipped with the six-speed and cylinder deactivation, the Odyssey would have likely added 1 mpg (as the Touring does in city and highway EPA ratings).The point is that fuel economy matters to minivan buyers: Why not try and stand out? Also, we imagine the take rate will be quite low, but you can get the Sienna with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder. Even that motor comes with a six-speed.
This point-counterpoint could go on forever, as this market segment really is that cutthroat. 

2010 Dodge Caravan SXT 2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L 2011 Toyota Sienna SE
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front engine, FWD Front engine, FWD Front engine, FWD
ENGINE TYPE 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN SOHC, 4 valves/cyl SOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 241.2 cu in/3952 cc 211.8 cu in/3471 cc 210.9 cu in/3456 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.3:1 10.5:1 10.8:1
POWER (SAE NET) 251 hp @ 6000 rpm 248 hp @ 5700 rpm 265 hp @ 6200 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 259 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm 250 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm 245 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
REDLINE 6000 rpm 6200 rpm 6500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 18.2 lb/hp 18.1 lb/hp 16.7 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic 5-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIOS 3.16:1/2.07:1 4.31:1/2.64:1 3.94:1/2.39:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springs Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springs,anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 16.9:1 16.4:1 15.5:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 3.1 3.5 3.4
BRAKES, F;R 11.9-in vented disc; 12.0-in disc, ABS 12.6-in vented disc; 13.1-in disc, ABS 12.9-in vented disc; 12.2-in disc, ABS
WHEELS 6.5 x 17 in, cast aluminum 7.0 x 17 in, cast aluminum 7.0 x 19 in, cast aluminum
TIRES 225/65R17 100T M+S
Bridgestone Turanza EL400
235/65R17 103T M+S
Continental ContiProContact
235/50R19 99V M+S
Dunlop SP Sport 7000 AVS
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 121.2 in 118.1 in 119.3 in
TRACK, F/R 65.5/64.8 in 68.1/68.2 in 67.7/67.7 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 202.5 x 76.9 x 68.9 in 202.9 x 79.2 x 68.4 in 200.2 x 78.2 x 68.9 in
TURNING CIRCLE 39.1 ft 36.7 ft 36.9 ft
CURB WEIGHT 4580 lb 4478 lb 4417 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 56/44% 59/41% 56/44%
SEATING CAPACITY 7 8 8
HEADROOM, F/M/R 39.8/39.2/37.9 in 38.3/38.3*-39.4/38.0 in 41.0/39.7/38.3 in
LEGROOM, F/M/R 40.6/36.3/31.8 in 40.9/40.9/42.4 in 40.5/37.6/36.3
SHOULDER ROOM, F/M/R 63.0/64.7/62.0 in 64.4/63.5/60.9 in 65.0/64.6/61.1 in
CARGO VOLUME BEHIND, F/M/R 140.1/83.7/32.3 cu ft 148.5/93.1/38.4 in 150.0/87.1/39.1 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.6 sec 3.1 sec 2.6 sec
0-40 3.9 4.3 3.8
0-50 5.5 6.1 5.5
0-60 7.6 7.9 7.1
0-70 10.1 10.1 9.1
0-80 13.5 13.2 11.5
0-90 17.3 16.5 14.4
0-100 22.4 20.3 18.4
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 4.1 3.8 3.4
QUARTER MILE 15.9 sec @ 86.5 mph 16.1 sec @ 89.1 mph 15.4 sec @ 92.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 128 ft 125 ft 121 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.67 g (avg) 0.73 g (avg) 0.74 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 30.5 sec @ 0.52 g (avg) 29.4 sec @ 0.56 g (avg) 28.6 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1500 rpm 2400 rpm 1800 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $29,195 $35,230 $31,575
PRICE AS TESTED $32,575 $35,230 $34,418
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/yes Yes/yes Yes/yes
AIRBAGS Dual front, f/m/r curtain Dual front, front side, f/m/r curtain Dual front, front side, driver knee, f/m/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/100,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles N/A N/A
FUEL CAPACITY 20.0 gal 21.0 gal 20.0 gal
EPA CITY/HWY ECON 17/25 mpg 18/27 mpg 18/24 mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.98 lb/mile 0.92 lb/mile 0.96 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular Unleaded regular Unleaded regular
*SAE certified

Call us with any of your mobility  van needs at 508-697-6006

CAPABLE, DURABLE, VERSATILE, STYLISH Dodge Grand Caravan Review

images

Getting the family across town, moving furniture, camping out, or towing a boat: whatever you need, the Grand Caravan can help make it happen.

THE INDUSTRY STANDARD IN
SAFETY & SECURITY.

Over 45 safety, security, and technology features – such as Electronic Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection help ensure that your drive won’t be unintentionally exciting.

What’s New for 2012-2013

For 2012 & 2013, the Dodge Grand Caravan lineup receives revised trim levels, including a new, lower-cost base model dubbed the American Value Package.

Introduction

At its debut back in 1984, the Dodge Caravan introduced American families to a new, extremely space-efficient vehicle: the minivan. The larger, “Grand” version debuted a few years later. It was a huge hit that remained a strong seller through the years, despite rivals that sprouted like so many dandelions on a suburban lawn. The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan isn’t the dominator it was so many years ago, but it’s also much improved compared to past iterations.

Dodge refreshed the Grand Caravan in 2011 to bring about increases in engine performance, fuel economy, driving dynamics and cabin quality. Specifically, the V6 provides class-leading power along with decent fuel economy, the handling is fairly agile for such a big vehicle and the cabin boasts not only solid materials quality but also the clever Stow ‘n Go feature that allows both the second- and third-row seats to fold flat into the floor.

Nevertheless, the Grand Caravan still finds itself in an uphill battle against a couple of very tough competitors. Lined up tire-to-tire against the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan (and its Chrysler Town & Country twin) comes up a bit short in terms of engine refinement, ride quality and passenger comfort, even though the Dodge has the advantage in all-out cargo-carrying ease thanks to those Stow n’ Go second-row seats. As such, unless you plan to frequently switch your minivan from people mover to cargo van, we suggest cross-shopping the competition.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a minivan that can seat up to seven passengers. It is offered in five trim levels: American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT, Crew and R/T.

The AVP comes with 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, power front windows, dual-zone air-conditioning, second-row Stow ‘n Go bucket seats, a conversation mirror and a four-speaker audio system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

The SE adds body-color door handles/side molding, tinted rear windows, triple-zone climate control (with rear air-conditioning), a front floor console, floor mats and a six-speaker audio system. The optional SE Plus group includes alloy wheels, body-color mirrors and front/rear power windows. The available UConnect group includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The SXT is essentially an SE with the SE Plus group. But the SXT offers more in the way of options, such as a power liftgate, power sliding doors, power-adjustable pedals, remote start and a rear DVD entertainment system.

Stepping up to the Crew trim level gets you foglights, a roof rack, chrome body-side accents, power sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, a larger center console, an overhead console, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, a trip computer, a 115-volt power outlet, a touchscreen display and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio and digital music storage. Optional is a Media Center package that includes the upgraded audio along with a larger display screen, a back-up camera and a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather.

The sporty R/T lies at the top of the lineup with 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-color grille, performance-tuned suspension and brakes, leather first- and second-row seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, a back-up camera and a premium Infinity sound system.

Various other option highlights (some depending on trim level) include automatic headlights, automatic wipers, running boards, a trailer tow package, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors, a blind-spot warning system, second- and third-row sunshades, heated second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

In Edmunds testing, the 2012 Grand Caravan accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds — average for a minivan. Fuel mileage estimates stand at 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan include active front head restraints, driver knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front-seat side airbags, antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control. Optional features include a blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors, and a rearview camera.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Grand Caravan Crew came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet — an average distance for a minivan. The R/T with its better brakes stops in a strong 119 feet. In government crash testing, the Grand Caravan was given an overall score of four out of five stars, with four stars for overall frontal-impact and five stars for overall side-impact testing. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Dodge Grand Caravan was awarded the highest possible rating of “Good” in the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Grand Caravan’s interior features quality materials and solid build quality that make it equal to — if not better than — rivals such as the Sienna. There is a total seating capacity of seven, which is in contrast to the eight possible in the Odyssey and Sienna. In terms of comfort, the front seats are supportive, but even drivers of average height have noted that the driver seat doesn’t slide far enough rearward. The bottom cushions of the second-row seats are somewhat low to the floor, but they are tilted back slightly to make the seating position comfortable for passengers with long legs. The third row is tilted even farther back, which may make it a bit strange for children and smaller adults. Taller adults may find limited headroom back there.

Unlike other minivans that require the removal of the middle row of seats to achieve maximum cargo capacity, the Grand Caravan benefits from its Stow ‘n Go second-row seats that fold flat into the floor. Operating these seats is fairly simple — only a quick tug of a strap and a few gentle yanks are required to make them disappear into the floor. The third-row seats fold into a deep cargo well, but require several more steps to transform. Luggage space behind the rear seats is a generous 33 cubic feet. Stowing all seats opens up 143.8 cubes, comparable to other minivans.

Driving Impressions

In terms of acceleration and handling, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a contender. But segment leaders like the Odyssey and Sienna are still steps ahead as they boast greater refinement in terms of powertrain performance and overall ride quality, both of which are smoother than the Grand Caravan’s. For example, the Dodge’s responsive six-speed automatic transmission does an admirable job of keeping power on tap, but sometimes its gearchanges can be jarring. The steering is slightly heavier and the suspension is a bit less compliant compared to its competition.

 Reviewers like how much cargo the 2013 Grand Caravan can carry. It also has clever features, like second row seats that fold into the floor, that reviewers say make the interior flexible.  However, some reviewers also complain that those folding seats are uncomfortable. Standard features on the base model are sparse and include dual-zone climate control and an auxiliary audio input jack.  Available features on higher trims include Bluetooth, navigation, a rearview camera, a rear-seat entertainment system and USB ports.

Give us a call with any of your Dodge Grand Caravan wheelchair van questions 508-697-6006

is there a problem with your wheelchair van or vehicle lift?

are you having trouble with your wheelchair van, ramp van, braun ability van, vantage mobility van, eldorado, amerivan, ricon lift, braun lift, grey market van, ams Legend, Edge, Edge II, Freedom, FR ?

No Worries We Can Fix It!

VMi New England Service Department Massachusetts

even if you have had other toyota dealer, dodge dealer, ford dealer, honda dealer or a different adaptive mobility equipment dealer try and fix it. call us we can help.

Almost all wheelchair van and lift problems can be attributed to three main things. I would like to talk a little about each one and what you can do to be proactive in preventing problems that could stop your lift from operating.?

Reason Number 1: Operator Error. It may not be P.C. to bring it up, but many issues are caused by the user hurrying, not taking the proper precautions, or simply attempting to operate the van or lift in a situation it is not designed for. Let me expand on this a little.

We all know the obvious things an operator can do wrong. Lowering a lift on to extremely uneven ground or folding a platform into a van door that is not fully opened, if you have manual doors. The things that you need to think about are the issues that aren’t so obvious, but can still cause damage. Things like making sure you fully fold the platform when you are putting it in the stowed position. A lot of times people tend to release the fold switch too soon because the lift makes excessive noise when it cinches tight. Far from being a problem, that noise is a good thing What you’re hearing is the electric actuator “ratcheting,” which tells you that the lift is fully stowed and will not rattle as much while you’re driving. A tightly stowed platform will prevent certain lift components from wearing out prematurely, so be sure to keep the fold button pressed!

Another not-so-obvious issue is to make sure the outer roll stop deploys fully before you exit the platform. Think about it. If you are in a hurry and the roll stop is not completely down on the ground, your weight when rolling off of it is going to put excessive stress on those parts and you could cause problems that are easily avoidable. Even if the tip of the roll stop is up just a little bit, take the time to lower it completely before you exit the platform.?

Reason Number 2: Lack of Maintenance. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance – I can’t say those words enough! Your dealer should set up a maintenance program for you and your lift should be in their shop for a regular check up at least twice a year. Every lift built after 2005 has a cycle counter on it that will tell us the total number of times you’ve used your lift, and all lifts should be maintained every 750 cycles. This is a short point. All you need to know is that if you don’t maintain your lift, something will eventually stop working!

Reason Number 3: Broken Parts. No matter what the product, we’ve all encountered that unexpected broken part that seems to go bad for no apparent reason. This actually represents a small percentage of wheelchair lift failures, and it can usually be avoided if the van or lift is maintained on a regular basis (see reason #2 above!). A typical situation might be a wiring harness that gets cut by component. This type of issue rarely happens out-of-the-blue, and with routine maintenance your dealer should be able to see the problem starting to occur and fix it before it gets worse.

That about sums it up The bottom line is that a properly operated and maintained wheelchair van or lift should give you years of reliable service. Read your manual and work closely with Automotive Innovations to make sure your lift is ready to go whenever you are. If you have any questions or are having an issue with your wheelchair van or lift feel free to call us at 508-697-6006.