Ford Wheelchair Minivans
Wheelchair minivans are no longer manufactured by Ford. For many years, the model Windstar and then its later version, the Freestar were quite popular, Ford accessible vehicle options. But then the company decided to stop this line and now there are no Ford wheelchair minivan models in their stable. The model which came after Freestar was a crossover SUV model called Ford Flex.
Full sized Ford wheelchair vans are now part of the E-Series vehicles. This name was derived from the Econoline van which made its appearance about forty-five years in the past. Ford provides E450, E350, E250 and E50 vans. The E450 is a Ford commercial wheelchair van falling under the C-class category and is hardly used by an individual.
Full Size Ford Wheelchair Vans
Ford has dominated the van market in the US. For example in the 2007, the market share of Ford for vans of full size was almost 80%. Therefore it does not come as a surprise that vehicles of the E-Series are very popular full sized Ford handicap vans.
There are lots of unique advantages in Ford wheelchair vans and therefore they are the favorites for people shopping for a large vehicle which is wheelchair-ready. Since there is not much of a challenge from any competitor, Ford will retain its popularity for many years to come.
Ford Wheelchair Vans Overview
As early as the 1960’s Ford wheelchair accessible vans have been available. Ford wheelchair vans are available in several models, and can be customized to fit every need. Whether for personal use or commercial use, there are options available to suit the each individual or group’s situation perfectly.
Types of Vans
Econoline models are the premier Ford accessible van from the E150 to the E350, but Windstars can also be converted to Ford handicap vans. Some things to know about Ford wheelchair vans are that they are widely available in conversion ready form which means that only the driver and front passenger seats have been installed, and that Ford handicap vans can be found or fitted to meet your needs. Conversion ready vans also have lower floors and raised roofs.
Lifts and Ramps
Lifts can be installed on either the side of the van or the rear and are motorized. The wheelchair is driven onto the lift and then rises smoothly to the level of the van. Ramps are another option. Ramps can also be installed on either the side or the back of the van. Available in both motorized or manual versions, ramps are more lightweight and less bulky than lifts. It is important to note that manual ramps are easy to fold and unfold as they are designed with springs that move much of the ramp's weight for the operator.
Points to Consider while Selecting Ford Wheelchair Vans for your Requirements
Any person would want to make the best decisions regarding their conversions. The van should meet all your requirements and be ready for driving from the very first day. This entails gathering all the information you can regarding your driving requirements and how that can be translated into the needed modifications of the van.
An evaluator who is a professional can conduct a review of your reflexes, decision making and judgment skills, reaction time, muscle strength, motion range, vision and other aspects which are important in safe and efficient driving.
This information will then be used by the evaluator, to find out the type of modifications that would be ideal for your wheelchair van. This is quite simple as these professionals know what questions to ask and the things which should be reviewed. This will give them the correct estimation of what conversions you will need in your wheelchair van.
If you are trying to find the ideal one among Ford wheelchair vans then remove all guesswork from the process. Get in touch with a trained evaluator who is a professional and find the information needed to get the perfect van.
Best Way To Service And Maintain Ford Wheelchair Vans
Here are some great tips for maintaining your wheelchair van of Ford.
Regularly check everything on your E-series, Freestar or Windstar van, even when you do not feel that there could be a potential problem. Regularly evaluating your vehicle will allow problems to be nipped before they are felt, thus saving on down time. This also saves you the cost of full replacement of components and instead you spend on cheaper servicing and repairs. Always pay heed to the recommendations given by the manufacturers of your equipment. You will find useful information on inspection and regular maintenance. Make sure to correctly follow their procedures for check-up.
Become a Driver First
Some owners of wheelchair vans are good at custom modification evaluation on a regular basis. They are able to deal with such problems immediately as they become known. But sometimes they forget that these custom conversions form a part of the whole vehicle and therefore sometimes do not follow the basic principles of vehicle maintenance.
- Buying Used
Which Used Ford Wheelchair Vans Suits Your Needs?
There is no inherently superior setup as far as your choice of van, ramp or lift. The important thing is to figure out what works best with the wheelchair being used and to keep in mind where in the accessible van the wheelchair will need to go. For example, a rear lift may be best for a larger heavier chair and allows the person in the wheelchair to drive straight into the van without having to bother with turning or other adjustments.
However, those with smaller more maneuverable chairs may wish to go with a side ramp which takes up much less space. Those who wish to drive from their wheelchair may find that side entry whether by ramp or lift suits them best.
The fact is, that when looking for a Ford wheelchair accessible van you must know what you want and what will suit your needs. Finding or choosing the perfect options for your Ford handicap van is easy thanks to all the options available.
In many cases it has been seen that selecting a Windstar for using it as wheelchair van is not ideal. This does not mean that the vehicle is deficient. It is simply the age of the vehicle. The last batch of Windstar vans were manufactured in the middle of the 90s and therefore are just too old to be the ideal choice in many cases.
Econoline would be a good choice to consider if you are looking for a wheelchair van in full size. The E-series of Ford is available in three grades which are E350, E250 and E150. This shows that they have been sold for various purposes suiting varied needs. Although Econoline models are favored as passenger vehicles they are also marketed for commercial and industrial purposes. The stripped down version of these vans will have the same mechanism but might lack various accessories which is expected in a wheelchair van.
- Driving Aids
Mobility Access Is Enhanced By Ford Wheelchair Vans
Ford mobility vans are usually converted into vans which can be used as wheelchair vans. This category includes the Econoline series which are in full size and the older Freestar and Windstar minivans.
These popular Ford wheelchair vans will often be seen in conversion companies where they will be transformed into vehicles with wheelchair access which is fully functional. These resultant Ford handicap vans are very popular in the wheelchair accessible van market today.
The utility of Ford wheelchair vans which are wheelchair friendly are very attractive. The world we live in has automobiles as the major form of transport, and when one is able to drive around, it makes the person independent and improves their quality of life.