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After going through Part 2, it probably seemed like we could go on forever with the questions. Truthfully, we probably could…but we won’t.

Part 3 – What are your options?

Instead, here is a table with some concrete examples that may help you identify those quality of life options that would be perfect for your facility (or those that you could live without). As you look at the pros and cons, start thinking about them as they relate to your facility. After all, product differences mean nothing unless you can relate them to what’s important for your facility.

COMPONENT PROS CONS
DRIVE TYPE
Screw Drive Less expensive Can be noisy; Needs regular greasing; Needs tall housing
Direct-Acting Hydraulic Drive Can be quiet; Low maintenance; Can have a low profile More expensive; Can have height limitations
Chain Hydraulic Drive Can be quiet; Low maintenance; Needs tall housing More expensive
WARRANTY
Shorter Less expensive Indicator of shorter life expectancy, lower quality
Longer Indicator of longer life expectancy, higher quality More expensive
APPEARANCE
Machine Tower Less expensive May block lines of sight
Upper Landing Machine Cabinet Leaves open lines of sight More expensive
Low Profile Leaves open lines of sight More expensive; Height limitations
INSTALLATION
“Pitted” Eliminates entry ramp Demolition of existing floor required
No Installation “Pit” No demolition of existing floor; Some types eliminate entry ramp Some types may require entry ramp
ENTRY
Ramp-to-lift Increases lift footprint; May require power gate operators
Floor-level Does not increase lift footprint; Easy lift entry May require demolition for a “pit”
FINISH
Standard Finish Less expensive Aesthetics may not match perfectly
Custom Finish/Colors Improved aesthetics More expensive (usually)
VISIBILITY
Open Sides Open lines of sight; Less expensive Reduced protection from falling
Sheet Metal Panels Protection from falling; Less expensive Blocks lines of sight
Clear Windows Open lines of sight; Protection from falling More expensive
DURABILITY
Thin Gauge Materials Less expensive Less durable
Heavy Gauge Materials More durable More expensive
Final step in choosing a wheelchair lift, deciding upon which options are necessary for your facility.

That’s the end, right?

Let’s just say that it’s a great start, and you are safely on your way.

So, what now? Should you ask for help? Certainly! Now that you have begun to understand your needs, don’t be nervous about asking for help as well. You have prepared good questions, and you should probably be more nervous about not asking them.

Think of it this way: By talking with a trustworthy advisor, you may save yourself additional anxiety. If you do, then try to talk with someone who:

  1. Knows wheelchair lifts,
  2. Asks first about your needs, and
  3. Has a strong reputation.

However, if you still want to do all your own research, it is a fascinating area to explore. Keep probing into the 90% beneath the surface as you define how you will use the lift and what factors may be important.

Map your iceberg first, and you increase your chances for plotting a successful course. Ask the right questions to sort through your priorities, and you simplify your task of finding the right solution.

Price may be one factor, but now you are making a list of other elements to help you avoid the pitfalls of choosing products blindly. Instead of basing your decision solely on the visible 10% (“Give me whatever is cheapest please…”), you can look at products with a critical eye for the hidden 90%, and make your decision with confidence.

Part 1: Iceberg SyndromePart 2: Hidden Needs