Advice on ramps?

GoldfishSpeaks

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Hello my family is looking for a wheelchair ramp with handrails to go over three steps (total rise of 14" from pavement to house) into our house that can withstand the Wisconsin winter safely. We are looking at the two models below, and also considering contracting with a carpenter to build a wooden ramp. Do you have suggestions about what might work best from your experience?

OPTION 1: 10
OPTION 2: Wheelchair/Scooter Ramps | Roll-A-Ramp®
OPTION 3: contract with carpenter for wooden ramp

Thank you for any advice you are able to provide!
Alix
 

GoldfishSpeaks

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PS our door is 34" wide-- does it matter if the ramp is wider? narrower?
 

Nikki J

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That first one looks like the one my sister had. It worked fine for the wheelchair but it had enough give that it bounced slightly for people walking on it ( there was no choice where it was -couldn’t go around it). This was difficult for me ( I was symptomatic but walking) and someone else actually had a fall and a significant injury. The pictured one may be stronger but I would be cautious if you choose that one
 

Tkthiede

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We actually contracted with a mobility company to do ours. For every 1” in rise you need 1’ of ramp. One of my pieces of ramp is kind of steep and we’ve actually had issues with sliding down in snowy weather or not being able to get back up. Investigate well. Good luck. 😊
Tammy
 

Ed340hp

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The ADA recommendations may help with slope, length, and design features:

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Sometimes the available space does not allow length for the recommended 1 inch height per 12 inch length slope, an 8.3% slope. A preferred 14 feet of length for a 14 inch rise). If space is tight, most scooters and power chairs can easily handle a 12% slope, or just under a 10 foot lenght for a 14 inch rise.
Look at weight ratings. A 350 lb power chair with a 150 lb PALS is a 500 lb load. Add snow and a second person and the weight load climbs quickly.
Surface finish traction is a concern in snow areas, and sometimes a trade-off with ease of snow and ice removal.
Side rails and curbs are not as important to a power chair restricted PALS, but they can be a lifesaver for caregivers.

My dog walks my wood ramps, but will not walk on an aluminum ramp.
 

swalker

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I see you live where snow is an issue. I also live where it snows a lot, though I suspect your snow is generally slicker than the stuff we typically get. Still, once it gets packed into ice, it is all slick!

In general, I have found the ADA specifications (12" run for a 1" rise) to be much shallower than my wheelchairs can handle when conditions are good. However, when the ramps are covered with ice, the ADA specification ramps can be a bit too steep.

I overcome these limitations by seeking out ramps that have been shoveled and by using snow tires. The snow tires make an amazing difference, even on ice. They also make an amazing mess when you get inside and all the accumulated snow/sand/salt melts and drips onto the floor!

In riding around the various places I go, I have found few ramps that are actually shallow enough to meet ADA specifications. Many are ridiculously steeper.

Steve
 
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