Shopping for a ramp can be a daunting task.There are many factors to consider before making a purchase. One of the most important considerations is how long your ramp should be. There are specific requirements that the ADA has set forth to ensure that you have a proper grade to climb.
What is rise and how is it calculated?
The rise is a measurement of the distance from your highest point on the ramp to the ground or the surface the ramp is resting on. You should be measuring the rise and the horizontal length of the ramp.
How is slope calculated and why is it important?
The ADA defines acceptable slope as being a maximum of 1:12, but how do you determine that number? To calculate the slope of your ramp, you divide the ramp length by the height. Your first number will be 1, the second number is the length divided by the height. If you have a ramp that is 12 feet long and your rise is 2 feet, you divide 12 by 2 and get 6, so your ratio is going to be 1:6, so that would indicate that you need 6 feet of ramp for every foot of rise. This is important to ensure that your ramp has proper grade for ADA compliance and you can drive on it with an electric wheelchair or scooter.
Landing areas are also necessary and should be at least five feet squared. Some ramps also come with surfaces that have an extra grip to ensure proper traction of your mobility device when climbing.
Additional tips when selecting a ramp
The ramp isn’t the only thing you should check specifications on when you are shopping around. Verify what the maximum climbing grade is on your power wheelchair or scooter. Many mobility devices have a maximum grade of 5 degrees to climb. The best way to verify your maximum grade is to speak with the manufacturer of your mobility device, your dealer, or refer to your owner’s manual. If you have a Pride Mobility product, you can find your owner’s manual online here.
Final Thoughts Ensuring you have a well-rounded understanding of all factors that go into shopping for a ramp is key to a successful purchase. Don’t forget to consider how long of a ramp you need, what types of ramps exist, and the specifications for your power wheelchair or scooter