It can be overwhelming when you first start looking at purchasing a wheelchair ramp. Many people do not know where to start and one of the most difficult things is knowing what length ramp to order! There is limited information available to assist people with this but we are here to help.
There are regulatory guidelines surrounding permanent ramps which suggest a 1:15 gradient e.g. 15 inches of length for every inch of rise. However, this is not always practical or possible for portable ramps and so shorter ramps are acceptable. In this case, most only achieve a 1:6 or 1:8 gradient because of space restrictions.
Here at The Ramp People, we would recommend a minimum gradient of 1:6 if you are using a manual wheelchair. This strikes a happy balance between ensuring the ramp doesn’t take up a large amount of space but still ensuring the ramp is not too steep for the user and is safe. For electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters we recommend a minimum gradient of 1:8. This is because these types of wheelchairs have a lower ground clearance that can get caught on the ramp if it is any steeper.
With the above in mind, it is still best to choose a longer ramp if possible as this will provide a lesser gradient which is safer and easier to access for wheelchairs and scooters. When choosing your ramp you should also take into consideration your ability to lift, store and move the ramp. Take a look at our handy ramp calculator that will work out the minimum ramp length you need based on the height of your obstacle.
Still struggling? Call our team on 01372 648587 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the best ramp for your needs!