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Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps?

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Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps?

Postby Scooterman » 17 Feb 2018, 10:33

I'm planning on ordering a pair of these. They're made in Germany, aluminium and each ramp is rated at 350kg and 1.9m x 0.155m x 3.3kg.

I plan to use them occasionally to load a large mob scooter into the back of van or large MPV. I've trawled through numerous listings and ramp suppliers and these are a lightweight, long, and a good price, the best I've seen. I don't want folding or telescopic channel ramps cos of pinched fingers or weak points in ramps. But I've never used channel ramps and was wondering if any of you have?

Are there any pitfalls?
Can they slip?
Are they tricky to line up?

I plan drive and walk the scooter up, not sit on it.

At 6.6" wide they're wide enough for my scooter tyres, but I'm wondering if in the future I got a powerchair with wider/deeper cushioning tyres as BM recommends whether they wouldn't be wide enough?
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sterling S700, sterling sapphire 2, salsa r2, tilite aero t, topro troja rollator, assistance cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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Re: Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps

Postby greybeard » 17 Feb 2018, 12:01

The problem with this type of ramp for powerchairs is that the drive wheels and casters are not in line as they are on a scooter so wider platform ramps are needed. Even if you can find channel ramps wide enough to accommodate this, because the casters can swivel, reversing down the ramp can be a challenge. Been there! Ended up with one wheel jumping the side rail and off the ramp half way down.

You don't have this problem with scooters - if your steering is adequate reversing down the ramps, but the challenge is getting a large enough vehicle to accommodate a large scooter.

Lining the ramps up is easy. Use the scooter wheels as a guide.

Another thing to consider is that the ramps must be secured at the top in some way or they can easily be dislodged when unloading the chair or scooter. Having a fixed attachment point at the top of the ramps also aids lining them up.

Have you investigated second hand WAVs (wheelchair adapted vehicles) ? There seem to lots on the market since notability was taken from many disabled people.
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Re: Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps

Postby LROBBINS » 17 Feb 2018, 18:05

We used telescoping channel ramps for several years before Rachi got too tall to go through a standard doorway. First pair was bought, second pair, when I wanted longer and wider ones (wheelchair with different drive and caster distances as greybeard described), was homemade. On both, I put a pin in one corner of the top of each ramp with the car's sill drilled to receive it, and made a spreader bar with pins that slipped into holes in the ramp sides to make sure the bottom end was the right distance apart.
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Re: Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps

Postby Scooterman » 17 Feb 2018, 18:54

Thank you both for the replies, it's much appreciated.

I would never have even thought about the problem of rear wheels and the front castors being different distances apart, I never even knew that, but it makes sense if I think about it. The castors on my manual chair are also set at a narrower width than the rear wheels. Also I never even thought about the potential of one or both the castors twisting and dropping off the ramp due the wide arc castor forks naturally scribe. If you were sat in the chair one false move on the joystick and you'd be munching tarmac! :shock: Lol

BUT I am still going to buy a pair of the ramps for my scooter. The pair are £100 incl del and I plan to experiment with them using a two stage height B&D Workmate as a substitute vehicle as I've not got a vehicle at the moment. I plan to drive the scooter up with me standing next to it. I'll work out someway to bolt/clamp the ramps to the workmate worktop. Even if I don't use them in anger they might come useful in an emergency and are handy to have. Worst come to the worst I could always flog them on eBay for 50 quid. The pins and spreader bar are good suggestion :thumbup:

Yes the ideal solution would be a WAV and is actually what I would like to get. Plus I am planning on setting myself up with a decent powerchair by hook or crook.
A guy from Cordwallis who use TBC conversions bought a demo VW Caddy Maxi Life out to show me. I particularly the like the front seats in VWs as I find them the most comfortable and supportive to my legs which is particularly important to me.

I could go down the Motability route and the Maxi WAV + push/pull would cost me £3750 upfront plus the approx £58/mth rental. The upside is that Motability is pretty hassle free, but downside is that over the long term it works out quite expensive plus there is a 6 mth wait on a new Maxi WAV so the summer will almost be over by the time I get it.

A used WAV is a more attractive option especially from the point of view of no waiting for it to be built and converted. There are even new ready made WAVs available to buy and although quite expensive it is a new vehicle and I could claim the 20 % VAT back. I'm not sure if you can claim the VAT back on used WAVs?

Whether I bought new or used WAV I'd probably still have to pay for a push/pull lever to be installed and I've been quoted about a grand which sounds steep to me, but then what do I know?

This is from an enquiry before I decided a WAV is a batter option than say a golf estate and hoist (small scooter).

"Hi Richard
A Golf will require an interface for the indicators as the wiring is what they call "CANBUS" so the the Golf will cost £1057.00"
I think the Caddy Maxi is derived from the Golf?

As far as used WAVs go the only place can think of looking is eBay? Have you any other suggestions John? (BM), is Autotrader still going and worth a look at. When I used to buy secondhand cars in the past as well as Autotrader I used to buy the yellow Freeads newspaper but everything has changed with advent of the internet.
sterling S700, sterling sapphire 2, salsa r2, tilite aero t, topro troja rollator, assistance cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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Re: Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps

Postby Burgerman » 17 Feb 2018, 19:06

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Re: Have you any experience of channel vehicle loading ramps

Postby Scooterman » 17 Feb 2018, 19:19

Burgerman wrote:http://www.wavcompare.com/
Cheers I knew you'd come up trumps! :thumbup: I shall have a peruse this evening.
sterling S700, sterling sapphire 2, salsa r2, tilite aero t, topro troja rollator, assistance cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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