How a Full Dropped Lowered Floor Helps the Disabled Driver

Modifying a standard production model van for wheelchair use can pose a number of challenges.   Obviously, one of the biggest issues is making sure one can enter and exit the vehicle without undue difficulty.   Vans are made for the “average” user and their specifications often fail to match the particular needs of those using wheelchairs.   That difficulty has led to the creation of numerous ramps and lifts to make life easier for handicapped drivers, but additional modifications may also be required.

One common problem relates to clearance.   Van entrances are not created with wheelchairs in mind.   Manufacturers assume that people will enter and exit the van on foot and that they’ll sit in the provided seats.   The vans are built accordingly.   However, wheelchair users have a much higher profile while getting in and out of vans than the mythical “average user.”   That creates problems when entering, forcing wheelchair users to somehow attempt to duck low clearance efforts.   It can also result in low-headroom discomfort and safety risks once the wheelchair user has entered the van.

That’s clearly an unworkable situation and it calls for modifications to the vehicle.   In some cases, the problem can be resolved simply by raising the height of the doors used to enter the van.   In other situations, the wheelchair van owner may opt to raise the roof to provide additional clearance.   Another solution is to lower the floor of the van.

When one lowers the floor along the full length of the van, it’s referred to as a “full dropped lowered floor.”   By dropping the floor a few inches, one is able to create additional clearance.   Full dropped lowered floors are a popular wheelchair van conversion because they resolve the headaches associated with inappropriately limited headroom.

The act of creating a full dropped lower floor is rather involved.   It’s a task reserved exclusively for professional conversion experts.   It can be a rather expensive van modification, but many who’ve gone through the process of modifying a vehicle in this manner will vouch for the customization’s value.   It can completely transform a van that would be otherwise ill-suited for wheelchair use into a perfectly credible transportation option.

If you’re confronting issues with entering or exiting vehicles and can see that a few extra inches of clearance would resolve the problem, you should consult with a conversion pro to discuss the potential value of a full dropped lowered floor.   Lowering the floor can give you the space you need to get the most out of your van in a way that is convenient, safe and comfortable.