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 Wheelchair lift capacities
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rick lohrey
Active Member

27 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2011 :  3:48:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit rick lohrey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was in Dallas last week and watched a wheelchair lift in action. I got the name of the lift, looked it up online and their models had a max lift rating of 400#. Are there lifts available with say...1000lb ratings made for buses? First, I should ask: do the wheelchair lifts cause any problem? I've heard they are powered off of the power steering pump. More usage decreases life of pump, I understand, but how reliable are these units? I have (crazy?) idea of using such a lift to load a motorcycle into a bus either from the rear, or side. Enough money can do most mechanicals, but I'm asking about maintainability of these lifts. I probably don't have the money.

Thanks,
Rick

bluebirdvision
Top Member

USA
1005 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2011 :  4:50:11 PM  Show Profile  Click to see bluebirdvision's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
We've got Ricon lifts at work, and they are constantly breaking. Most of the issues are with the safety features, not the actual mechanical part of the lifts.

Shane Kirley
New York Bus Sales Delivery Driver. (I know its not much, but its a start)


Facebook Page: Blue Bird Corporation Fans
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Fastback
Top Member

996 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  04:17:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our Ricon lift has its own electrically operated lift pump, it also has a backup pump resembling a hydraulic jack.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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JustinB
Advanced Member

United States
490 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  04:35:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Modern wheelchair lifts are self contained hydraulic systems with 12V electric motors running from the bus electrical systerm. There is no connection to the power steering system.

ADA mandates the safety switch and warning systems. ADA also mandates a maximim capacity. Cannot recall if that maximum is 650# or 800#. You will have difficulty finding a Braun or RiCon rep willing to state a capacity beyond this limit.
The scuttlebutt is that they are capable of more but that it is not avisable with live, disabled bodies on board. Intoxicated Motorcyclists, on the other hand.......

I may not know the answer but I can usually find who does.
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slippert
Advanced Member

USA
402 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  07:10:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been told by sales that the Braun lifts we use, are rated for 800#. Although I have seen ours struggle with a large electric wheel chair occupied by a large disabled person. The lift would accomplish the job but seemed to be getting close to lift capacity, and I don't know what the actual weight of chair and person was at the time. I remember seeing a minimum of 600# on ADA papers but don't recall seeing a max.
For the most part the lifts we use are working everyday with few issues, and the issues we do have are mainly on the newer lifts with Govt mandated safety switches/devices built in to them.

We are bound by laws and regulations in the transportation biz, for safety and liability reasons, as to how our lifts can operate. What a person does to their own equipment for personal use in their backyard under the shade tree normally has less limits



Edited by - slippert on 10/18/2011 09:15:01 AM
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4170 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  08:20:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I cannot speak for your lift, but I am certain there are lifts available for 1000 lb ratings. If not in the school bus industry, then in the commercial bus industry. This summer I worked with a lift and as part of its validation we had to perform an ADA test. It had to go up and down between its limits, three times while loaded with 1,000 lbs. After that, it had to be loaded to 3,000 lbs in the up position and maintain that position with no deflection for 2 minutes. The lift still operated with 1,000 lbs after the extra 2,000 was removed.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  09:18:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The lifts by Braun and Ricon are usually limited to 800 lbs maximum. I do warranty work on both brands. I don't personally recommend going to the max. A powerchair can easily be 400+. Add in the occupant and the lift operator and you are over in most cases. They do make heavier lifts I believe. I would call both companies.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2356 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  09:29:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Braun will not pick up a four drawer fire proof file cabnet. LOL!! Supt. thougt we could move one with the wheel chair bus. Needless to say I should have said no. Bent my expanded flooring with the dolly wheels. Still laughing about it.

Bryan
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

453 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  09:47:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Braun recently started offering a 1,000 pound lift. I believe Maxon offers one as well.
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marymathis
New Member

1 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2011 :  10:13:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit marymathis's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I also have the same question Rick. I just really need more information about the wheelchair lifts. We have a bus that we need to add a lift to, but this will be the first wheelchair accessible bus that we have needed in our district. I know how crazy that sounds but it's a very small town. It was suggested that we check into Braun Ability for their handicapped vans instead of adding a lift to a bus but we aren't sure what to do yet. Any advice?
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2011 :  07:27:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mary it depends on the bus. Does it have a wheelchair door and tie downs already installed? Track style seating? If yes to both I would install a lift. Have you checked into a pre-owned bus with a lift installed? I saw several at different dealers websites.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2356 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2011 :  09:33:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mary, I would advise buying a used full size bus. We were in a similar situation as yourself and I have not regretted purchasing a large bus (53+2). It can be used on a regular route or trips. We no longer need the wheel chair part but continue to use it on trips. If we don't have a need for it next year I will probably put it out on a regular route.

As a side issue I would also advise buying a unit that has the lift in the front. This makes the ride a lot better for your wheel chair bound student and if you no longer use it as a handicap bus the band and sports teams love them (lots of room to put gear/ instruments)

Bryan
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Brad Barker
Administrator

USA
838 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2011 :  1:30:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Brad Barker's Homepage  Click to see Brad Barker's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Braun lift is rated at 800 lbs max and should lift that amount continually all day long. They are tested at higher ratings to meet standards.
Service techs should test each lift once a year with an 800 lb weight to make sure it does what it is supposed to do. Whether that be 4 200 lb mechanics standing on the lift or an 800 lb weight it does not matter.
It is not uncommon to have an electric wheel chair with an obese person which puts the test to the lift now days, especially in the commercial side.
Braun also makes an equipment lift.
Ricon and Braun have been the mosts common purchased lifts that I know of for school bus applications. Both are good lifts. The only negative I can think of is that since Ricon went public it's service and parts have suffered tremendously. Parts availability from Ricon can take weeks. Braun parts, on the other hand, are almost always available within two to three days.

Brad A. Barker
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DormDad
New Member

1 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2013 :  2:40:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit DormDad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have found out that it is not the capacity of the lift that you need to worry about. There are 1000 pound lifts available. Ricon Millenium 2 series is an example. The issue is will the bus you are bolting it to pass or support the weight of the lift, wheelchair and people that you are putting on it? Most likely NO. The undercarriage of the bus must be rated to withstand the weight that you are lifting. Otherwise you could have a person on the lift and the lift rips out of the bus floor. Most of the flooring is made from plywood. The undercarriage is reinforced to only certain tolerances. If you were to exceed those tolerances then God help you. The lift might work several times but it would never pass DOT re-certification that you would have to have to put onto the road again legally. The charge for welding new supports, beefing up the rail of the chassis, heavier springs or air bags and the cost of the lift nearly equal the cost of a new bus. I have tried to get a activity bus that would lift using a lift capable of 1000 pounds. The DOT inspector told me that he would not pass my bus until I had the entire bus re-certified and the additional supports added to hold the weights involved. I could find no way around buying a bus that is far more than I want to pay. If any of you have any suggestions to remedy the above issues I would most certainly like to hear them.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3369 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2013 :  02:59:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DormDad

Most of the flooring is made from plywood.



What kind of bus are you looking at!?!? Sounds like something that one would find running around in India.
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