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February 01, 2004  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Functionality and Convenience, The Latest in Wheelchair Lifts

Spec'ing a wheelchair lift to upgrade your fleet? Look for lifts that are easy to maintain and have excellent warranties.

by Albert Neal, Assistant Editor

Ricon Corp.'s KlearVue Series wheelchair lifts are designed for trouble-free servicing and maintenance

Ricon Corp.'s KlearVue Series wheelchair lifts are designed for trouble-free servicing and maintenance

School bus operators looking to upgrade or purchase new wheelchair lifts understand the importance of features that ensure a safe, secure and comfortable ride. But with all the choices in wheelchair lifts available today, how do you know which is best for your fleet?

With this question in mind, SBF interviewed three wheelchair lift manufacturers. Advances in securement, stowing capacity, noise reduction and driver and passenger visibility are among the features that are offered by these manufacturers.

The KlearVue™ Series
Ricon Corp.
Panorama City, Calif.
Contact: Stanton Saucier, VP mktg.


  • Power = 12/24 volt DC
  • Pump rating = 1,250 psi
  • Rated load capacity = 800 lbs.
  • Weight = 325 to 345 lbs.
  • Installation depth = K-Series 16½ inches
  • Usable platform length = up to 54 inches
  • Usable platform width = 34 inches
  • Floor to ground travel = 48 inches
  • Warranty = five years limited

    End users will appreciate the dependability of Ricon’s KlearVue Series wheelchair lift, which meets or exceeds ADA specifications, as well as Canadian regulation D409.

    Standard features include automatic inboard rollstops and permanent, no-lube bearings at all major pivot points.

    The KlearVue Series has been designed for trouble-free servicing and maintenance. “Our lifts are designed for ease of maintenance with complete easy-to-follow wiring diagrams,” says Donald Newland, marketing executive. The KlearVue lift also comes standard with a manual back-up pump.

    The lift comes with a five-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor for one year and the power train for five years. Only authorized dealers or service facilities can install a Ricon lift. The installation time is approximately four hours.

    Ricon recommends that individuals board their lifts facing outboard at all times. Even though ADA requirements say that an individual may load from either direction, this allows for the weight of the wheelchair and occupant to be more evenly distributed, says Newland.

    Compared with other lifts, Newland says the KlearVue Series “has a longer warranty, is easier to maintain, operates with a lower hydraulic pressure and has fewer moving parts.”

    In 2001, Ricon became the first domestic lift manufacturer to achieve an ISO 9001 certification. In addition to its facility in Panorama City, Calif., Ricon has distribution and service facilities in New York City, Chicago and Manchester, England. {+PAGEBREAK+} The Vista Series
    Braun Corp.
    Winamac, Ind.
    Contact: Jeff Ruff, exec. VP sales


  • Power = 12 volts, 50-amp draw
  • Pump rating = 2,000 psi
  • Rated load capacity = 800 lbs.
  • Weight = 351 lbs.
  • Installation depth = 14 11/16 inches
  • Usable platform length = 50 inches
  • Usable platform width = 32 5/8 inches
  • Floor to ground travel = 48 inches
  • Warranty = five years limited

    The Vista Series has a number of features that make it a valuable tool for transporters of special-needs students, including a stacking platform that improves driver and passenger visibility.

    The Vista Series also has an interlocking supplementary restraint system that renders the lift inoperable if the restraint system is ever disengaged. Installation time for the lift is approximately eight hours, and the owner’s manual has a preventive maintenance schedule for each individual moving part. The Vista Series’ five-year limited warranty covers parts for five years and labor for three. {+PAGEBREAK+} The Original Einstein
    Maxon Lift Corp.
    Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
    Contact: Smokey Spencer, product mgr.


  • Power = 12/24 volts, 65 amp
  • Pump rating = 1,250 psi
  • Rated load capacity = 800 lbs.
  • Weight = Approx. 323 lbs.
  • Installation depth = 15½ inches
  • Usable platform length = 53 inches
  • Usable platform width = 33 inches
  • Floor to ground travel = up to 48 inches
  • Warranty = three years, parts and labor

    The Original Einstein has an extra large platform surface that allows room for large scooters and wheelchairs. The lift also features hand-held controls with rocker switches that allow drivers or aides to operate the lift from either side.

    The inboard rollstop assembly prevents wheelchairs from rolling off the inboard side of the platform while providing a bridge between the lift platform and the vehicle door threshold. The outboard rollstop provides an entry/exit ramp for the platform.

    Maxon provides a convenient and easy-to-read maintenance checklist for semi-annual, quarterly and daily inspections.

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