Reduce Tie-Down Errors With Electric Tie-Downs

Getting a wheelchair into a van is the first step in a process. The second is securing the chair for travel.   You cannot rely on the chairs brakes alone to stabilize it during travel.   Even if they were strong enough to handle the task, problems with skidding and the serious risk of tip-over would justify additional precautions.   Put simply, safely securing a wheelchair is of paramount importance.

One of the most common means of stabilizing a chair after it is loaded into a vehicle is by using tie-downs.   These straps are mounted firmly to the floor of the vehicle.   They are threaded across the base of the chair’s wheels, rendering it immobile and solidly fastened to the vehicle during operation.

The problem with tie-downs relates to their use, not their functionality.   Quite frankly, tightly tying down a wheelchair can be a struggle.   It can be difficult to get things tight enough.   Additionally, there is always some risk of operator error in the tie-down process.   That has led to the creation of alternatives to traditional tie-downs.

One popular variation involves the use of electric tie-downs.   These tie-downs share a great deal in common with traditional tie-downs, but they feature a motorized means of tightening the straps.   This makes the process of snugly immobilizing the chair easier and decreases the chance of user error.

Electric tie-downs are ideal for those who do not have the physical strength necessary to adequately tighten straps.   They are also popular with those who are concerned with maximizing personal convenience.   It is a lot easier to rely upon the motor to do the work than to tighten the straps by hand!

It is worth noting that some people will refer to electronic wheelchair docking systems as “electric tie-downs.”   These systems are actually slightly different.   A special bracket is installed on the chair’s underside.   The wheelchair user lines that bracket up with a floor-mounted dock that will then lock to secure the chair.  This variation allows users to mount their chairs without assistance.

Regardless of how one secures a chair, there is no doubt that doing so safely and correctly must be a priority.   Traditional tie-downs can do the job.   Those who are willing to spend a great deal of extra money for the convenience of a docking system will find another way to maintain safety.   The other option, electric wheelchair tie-downs are a happy medium upon which thousands of wheelchair users rely.