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Boot hoist

What is it?

A hoist is an assistive device for lifting. Fitted into the boot area of a vehicle, it offers those with a mobility issue an independent loading and stowage solution for a wheelchair or scooter. 

What the adaptation is used for?

Wheelchairs and scooters can be heavy and awkward to pick-up therefore it is not recommended practice for a person to lift one into a vehicle without the assistance of a hoist. Dismantling a mobility scooter to aid loading into a vehicle can be effortful and time consuming but a boot-mounted hoist should negate this, the hoist is able to support the weight of the scooter in its entirety.

Hoists are most compatible with larger vehicles such as estates or people carriers with flat boot access and a large door opening. 

Once the wheelchair or scooter is fitted with the required compatible brackets by an adaptation engineer, the arm or ‘boom’ of the hoist moves over the wheelchair or scooter and is lowered down to connect to the brackets. Once connected, the weight of the wheelchair or scooter is lifted by the hoist via a powered ‘up/down’ switch (2-way hoist) or ‘up/down/in/out’ switch (4-way hoist). 

Once loaded into a vehicle, it is important that the wheelchair or scooter is stowed securely for travel. Securing straps may be required.

Factors to consider
  • If an independent loading and stowage solution is required, the driver will need to be able to mobilise from the rear of the car and into the driver’s seat. If this is not possible, another solution will need to be sought (for example, a roof-top box or a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) or a drive from wheelchair (DFW) solution)
  • Once the wheelchair or scooter has been hoisted in or out of the vehicle, is there physical ability to reach the open boot door and the strength to pull it down to close it? Is standing balance an issue? A vehicle with an automatic open / close boot option would be beneficial or an adaptation engineer can fit a boot door pull strap
  • Although a family member or friend may be manually loading a wheelchair or scooter into a vehicle at this time without issue, could doing so cause them to suffer a repetitive strain or other back injury over time?
  • Is there sufficient upper limb function and/or dexterity in the hand to be able to attach the hoist to the wheelchair or scooter brackets?
  • Purchase and fitment of a boot-mounted hoist should be researched carefully, particularly as the weight and size of your wheelchair or scooter determines the size of the hoist needed, and therefore the size of the boot space required
  • Hoists are not compatible with all vehicles. For example, the hoist may impact significantly on boot stowage, passenger space, vision out of the rear window or access to the spare wheel
  • When parking, additional space will be required to the rear of the vehicle in order to load the wheelchair or mobility scooter

Safety considerations for other drivers of the vehicle

Drivers should ensure that all mobility aids or loose items are stowed safely and securely prior to driving. 

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