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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles Glossary from Grange Garage

Wheelchair Home | Useful Info | Wheelchair Glossary


A ramp is normally fitted to the rear of the vehicle and consists of a strong steel sheet which is normally a single or two piece construction that folds down resting firmly on the floor allowing access for the wheelchair, The ramp is then raised and locked into an upright position enabling the vehicles doors to be closed once the wheelchair has been loaded and secured.

Lowered Floor

This is where part of the original floor of the vehicle has been professionally removed and a modified replacement floor fitted suitable for that vehicle, this enables the wheelchair to be easily loaded with the minimum of effort and increases headroom and offers more discretion to the wheelchair occupant as they appear to be the same height as other passengers travelling in the vehicle.

High Roof

In the main this is a modification usually carried out by the vehicle manufacturer at the point of the vehicle production thus gaining extra headroom without the expense of having the floor lowered by a specialist company. this is quite a basic conversion which leaves quite a steep gradient between the floor of the vehicle and the ground. Normally the ramp fitted to a high roof vehicle will be longer in length when lowered to the floor to access the vehicle needing extra room behind to load the wheelchair.

Electric Power Winch

Power winches are mainly fitted to wheelchair accessible vehicles that do not have lowered floors to assist with the loading of the wheelchair and occupant and are operated by a remote control, the winch is operated by releasing the cable until it reaches to the end of the ramp it can then be secured to the front legs of the wheelchair which can then be loaded into the vehicle with relative ease.

Air Suspension

Another aid for reducing the distance from the vehicle floor to the ground by hydraulically lowering the suspension and is usually fitted as an aftermarket product to both vehicles with or without lowered floors again reducing the incline of the ramp.

Wheelchair Lift (Hydraulic)

This is a platform permanently fitted to the rear of the vehicle (normally the larger adapted vehicle ) which is lowered to the ground to receive the wheelchair, once the chair and occupant are loaded onto the platform a simple push of a button lifts the chair up to the floor level enabling the passenger to be pushed into the vehicle safely where the wheelchair can then be secured. The most popular and well known chair lift is the Ricon. It is quite an expensive addition to the vehicle but is without a doubt the easiest way of lifting the wheelchair from the ground into the vehicle.


The distance between the floor and the roof at its lowest point in the vehicle where the wheelchair will be situated whilst travelling.