Scooters are an extremely popular mobility aid to those with lower body weakness, paralysis, obesity, or lower limb issues that reduce stability, balance, and ability to walk short or long distances. Scooters come in a variety of sizes and models, and features and accessories.
That being said, if you have a scooter already, you know how difficult it can be to stow in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle. If you leave a scooter back home, mom or dad is still going to need some type of mobility aid to get around at the store, at church, at the doctor’s office, and so forth.
Mobility scooters are known as durable medical equipment, and they're an excellent option for promoting independence and mobility. However, a scooter should be transportable to and from any environment so that mom or dad is not limited in any way to where he or she desires to go. That's where a scooter carrier comes in.
Scooter carriers come in a variety of models. The most popular carrier models attach to the back of a vehicle. Some can fold upward when not in use, making parking in a garage or parking spaces easier. When looking for a carrier, check to ensure that the model can hold the weight of mom or dad's scooter. You also need to make sure that the scooter will fit onto a carrier, and can be fastened down to prevent movement during transportation.
The easiest way to find a scooter carrier that matches the scooter mom or dad has is to contact the manufacturer of that scooter. In most cases, you can find information on the Internet regarding accessories for specific scooters, including carriers. Try to find a carrier that can bear up to a minimum of 500 pounds. Carriers should also have a loading ramp so that you don't have to lift a scooter up onto the ramp. A loading ramp can range anywhere between 40 inches and 72 inches in length and lowers to the ground so that the scooter can be rolled right onto the ramp and then the ramp is lifted and locked into place by a mechanical device.
The design and functions of carriers are varied, so it's important to shop around. Any carrier should come with sturdy and rust-resistant straps and attachments that will ensure security during transportation and to prevent the scooters from tipping over. The most common width of scooter ramps is approximately 28 inches, and will accommodate most brands and sizes of scooters, but it pays to be sure.
Always measure before purchasing.
Carriers are made a variety of materials, the most common being a heavy duty steel. Grids or a mesh type framing enables the support needed to carry the weight, while at the same time allowing drainage that avoids slipping. A number of manufacturers make scooter carriers based on preferences for cars, vans, SUVs, or for inside or outside use.
The cost of the carrier depends on the style you're looking for. Carriers typically average $400-$800 or more, again depending on the style, brand, and type of vehicle that the carrier will be attached to. Inside or outside scooter carriers or arm lift type scooter lifts can range up to $2,000, again depending on need, style, and preference.
The bottom line is that carriers enhance mobility and independence. They are easily operated by push button controls on the ramp itself, or a handheld remote control type of device. Cost also depends on the weight capacity, the ramp size and style, and hitch compatibility mounting options.
The lifting and lowering capacity of the ramp is typically utilized through a switch operated lifting platform that is directly wired into the vehicle battery, or contains a portable lithium battery pack. Toggle switches, buttons, or electric power buttons are all different options provided for ease of use.