Types of equipment
There are different types of equipment which may be installed in vehicles, for example equipment to accommodate people with special needs, improve safety or control cargo. In some cases it is cheaper to install equipment after acquiring a vehicle. In others, it is better to get add-ons installed at the time of purchase, for example cruise control and satellite navigation systems.
Some organisations use one piece of equipment for multiple vehicles, for example a cargo barrier for a station wagon could be transferred between vehicles as required.
Careful consideration should be given to the types of equipment needed by an organisation when acquiring vehicles.
Examples of equipment used for special needs that may be installed in vehicles includes:
- electric/hydraulic wheelchair lifting devices, for example hoists
- wheelchair ramps
- lifters, carriers and trailers
- modified driving controls
- seatbelts, restraints and harnesses
- special purpose seats
- transfer aids
- medical equipment.
Examples of other types of equipment include:
- cargo control systems, for example cargo barriers and restraints
- sensor cameras or equipment for parking and reversing
- mobile phone kits
- tow bars
- roof racks
- fire extinguishers
- first aid kits.
One community service organisation reported that they have found the Handybar tool, inserted into the "U" shaped latch on the car door pillar, helpful for less mobile people getting out of a car.
In station wagons, the use of a cargo barrier and proper restraint systems provides protection from dislodged objects in the case of emergency braking.
Organisations may need to provide training to drivers and other staff on using special equipment and working with wheelchairs. Refer to Safety Considerations - Occupational Health and Safety for more information.
Equipment and accessories must be equivalent in quality, performance and safety to those fitted to the vehicle or supplied or recommended by the manufacturer as original equipment or accessories.
Where to obtain equipment
Equipment installed in vehicles needs to be checked and maintained, often more regularly than equipment in standard vehicles. It is recommended to service wheelchair hoists every 3 months and checks of other equipment like seatbelts, restraints and harnesses; special-purpose seats; medical equipment; and devices to assist access should also be completed regularly.
The following providers service equipment which enables wheelchair access to vehicles:
Information about purchasing a vehicle: Choosing the vehicle type, deciding to purchase or lease, research and selection of a suitable vehicle, cost calculation, where to purchase, and getting the best deal.
Safety Considerations - Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety information related to vehicles.
Information on restraining a wheelchair in a vehicle, loading a wheelchair into a vehicle, using a wheelchair as a seat in a vehicle, tax and motor vehicle duty exemptions.
Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).