Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Dead Lift

My van lift hit the dust over the weekend. Well, it actually hit the dust many months ago but we've been doctoring it and threatening it with its pathetic life to survive for our family. Let me say, the lift worked great for approximately six months - we loved it! NO, that is a lie - we truly loved the van, not the lift, and we loved having so many seats for our helpers and visitors. For those of you that don't know, this lift hung off a hitch on the back of our van. It was literally an Out-Sider. We tried to love the lift, because to the best of our knowledge, it was the best option for our needs. Besides, we had no vehicle from the end of December '06 thru March '07, and no lift until late April, so the lift brought a sense of freedom to our family that we had missed. Both the van and the lift were purchased with a lot of effort and love from many people.

LOLOL STORY-TIME!!! The lift and chair flop/shake/jerk around on the back of the van. In June, on our way to Denver, we were being honked at, shouted at and waved at. I was frightened - I thought the drivers had gone mad! Off the freeway, we discovered that my wheelchair's remote had fallen off and had been dragging for several miles. It was charred!

The weight of my chair just wore the lift out. I can't blame it. Getting rear-ended two weeks ago definitely didn't make it any stronger. And, It is getting much more difficult for me to climb into the van with my bad hip. I keep falling and it's ugly. It's hard on me and whoever is trying to help.

Adaptive Automobility fixes our lift. We frequent their waiting room. Four months ago we discovered our Dream Machine - the Chevy Uplander LS conversion that seats SEVEN people, with one wheelchair (or two, if the backseat is up). We tried one that had already been sold, and it was perfect. My chair fits right between two bucket seats where the carseats would go. For weeks we considered pursuing one, but having to pay for Benny's preschool squashed our far-out fantasies. AA got a another Pre-Owned 2007 Chevrolet UplanderLS on the lot - they say with us in mind LOL - and we took it out for a long spin. It may not be the sexiest thing on the market, but it's a nice ride! It drives like an SUV.

Watch these video clips.....

The back seat easily folds up securely to allow the wheelchair to pass through. It remains up unless needed to seat additional people.

It doesn't look like it from this angle, but the backseat actually has plenty of leg room.

Since our lift is dead, and there is a better option, we're going for the gold! As soon as the Department of Voc Rehab authorizes payment of the conversion portion, we'll get as much as we can for our van, and come up with enough to pay the chassis of the Uplander
Wish us luck!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks nifty! And it looks like it's a manual ramp so that you don't have to worry about mechanical parts breaking. Monte and I also used Adaptive Automobility to get our Toyota RAV4adapted for his scooter, and I was really impressed with them.

Good Luck!