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Thread: Anyone familiar with this ramp van design? Rear entry

  1. #1
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Anyone familiar with this ramp van design? Rear entry

    OK I wish I had better photos. I can't find anything on Google, and the photos I have are while I'm in it. This is about the vehicle that's been picking me up most frequently for Dr's appts. So it's a rear entry. The van has no rear seats, but a full row of middle seats instead of strapping down the chair between 2 middle seats. The ramp angles up to enter the van, changes angle, and then flattens out. Only, the flat portion is INCREDIBLY SHORT. I have the wheelbase of my icon really short right now, and pulling up as far forward as possible means the flat portion ends before the edge of my rear wheels. The first time I rode in it I thought maybe I'm supposed to be facing rearward, but even if I could somehow get into the vehicle backwards, due to my low rsh my smart drive is positioned lower than normal making it stick out a good bit beyond my rear wheels, so I don't think my front casters would fit onto the flat portion. In the photo, the red line is about where the flat stops and it starts to angle. I pull up as far forward as possible and put my feet up under the middle seats since there isn't enough room with the wing pressed all the way up. I wrap the strap hanging off one of the middle seats around my left arm to help secure myself during acceleration and turns as my chair rocks. I found if I do not lock my brakes, the rocking is MUCH LESS. It was extremely unsafe the first time and I felt like I was holding on for dear life. It was by pure accident that I secured the front hooks the second time and forgot to lock my brakes. This allowed the chair to move back and forth some in the slack of the straps, rocking less (and yes the straps are as tight as physically possible. I think part of the issue is the front straps are located higher than the floor, and attached to the front wing of my icon allows it to raise up).

    Regardless of the issues with my specific chair, I do not understand how this is supposed to be safe and work for ANY chair. I can't imagine a power chair base fitting (and when I schedule, I tell them I have a power chair because otherwise they bring a regular vehicle and expect you to have a folding chair). My best guess is maybe it's meant to transport an unoccupied wheelchair. I don't know if they have many vans like this or just always pick me up in the same one, but they have also picked me up in 2 different rear ramp vans that secured between the middle seats.


    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  2. #2
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    We were told in rehab to avoid all rear loading vans. Not only for the reasons you mention but also because it makes you too vulnerable in parking lots to the idiots that pay no attention to what is going on around them (heaven forbid they should hang up and drive). -eak
    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

  3. #3
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Opinions welcome too, since this is such a weird set up. I'll take more photos tomorrow. I'm sure at least one way it will be this damn setup again.

    Since this is medicaid transportation I'm picked up and dropped off at the door so parking lots isn't really an issue. Is there a safety issue of riding in regular rear loading vans? I personally transfer out of my chair for safety reasons, except I cannot in this vehicle. I'd have to somehow climb over one of the middle seats folded down to get into the other middle seat. But in the regular rear entry vans, I pull up and once I've locked the front of the chair down (letting the driver do the back) I go ahead and transfer sideways into the carseat. I'd never been in a rear entry before this company, I do not like it. Before I'd roll in the side ramp and transfer over and let the driver lock my chair down. I have a hard time getting up these rear entry ramps even with my smart drive, it seems to spin out at multiple places. I always transfer because I have neck issues, so in case of accident I need the headrest and full back support.

    Indiana Medicaid completely changed a couple months ago to managed care programs. I'm no longer allowed to schedule my own transportation. And I went from like 10 pages of options (most which didn't apply, but still tons available that did) to THREE companies. One day I called to check what time I was being picked up, and found out I wasn't because the company had overbooked. No one even told me. I began questioning and the first layer of people claimed they had tons of available companies for transport. I didn't understand how they weren't able to find me a different company then. I ended up with a "specialist" who admitted they only have 3 contracted companies. That's for everyone on this type of managed care Medicaid (there are 3 types) in Indianapolis. All 3 were booked for that day and time, so I missed a surgery I'd been waiting months for. (in fact the reschedule is finally coming up in 2 weeks).

    Last week, for the first time the driver cared when I discussed my chair rocking. And said they may not be able to continue transporting me as a result. I asked about the regular rear loading vans but they can't guarantee a specific vehicle to pick me up, all depends on what will be in my area at the time of my appointment. So while I'm not comfortable with this situation, I think I'm even more worried about the prospect of no transport! When scheduling for this week I brought up the issue and asked about how I'm always scheduled with the same company. They took notes about the safety issue, I stressed how I honestly don't believe the vehicle to be safe for ANY chair. I was given the line from before how they had TONS of available companies to transport me, and not to worry about the possibility to not have transport. However the person I spoke to before admitted how ridiculous it was that they only had 3 options, but said with the change they need companies to specifically apply to work with them.

    The way it works is stupid too. The person you speak to on the phone plugs in the date, time, and address into the computer. The computer replies what company SHOULD be available to take you, and then tells you over the phone the name of the company. You're put on hold for a short while, which I assumed was them on the phone verifying with the company. Nope. At the end of the day, they submit to the company who then puts together their ride list. So if they book a non Medicaid client for the exact time you requested prior to getting that list, you're screwed. When that happens they reply back denying the ride. Then the specialists try to find an alternative by physically calling around. The front line people who just plug into the computer are who keep telling me they have tons and tons of companies available. Claim too many to list, so many options. I don't know if this is a lie or they honestly don't know. It was when I was finally transferred to the person who does the calling around that admitted they have a list of 3 available companies. So once you're declined they call 2 and then are done.
    Last edited by ~Lin; 10-08-2015 at 09:26 AM.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    So of course when I was expecting it I ended up picked up by a different van. But back to the bad one this week. I took photos. I don't know why the one from the outside came out so weird, the sun somehow I guess. But that's what it looks like before entering. Then I've got photos showing my chair pulled up as far as possible, my feet up under the seats for enough room. What it looks like behind the chair with the van closed up. Then the strap off the seat that I hold on to for stabilizing myself during acceleration.











    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  5. #5
    What was the actual company that did the conversion? I just got a ATS Mobility which was really nice,. The ramp is 34 inches wide same as the interior, and 94 inches from the ramp to the front and its 59 inches tall. Check out some of the ones ATSmobility.com
    C4 incomplete since 1985

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