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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trunk Lift - Outside Trunk Lift One of the Two Original Lifts for Scooters

When I first started selling Rascals in 1998 there were only two lifts available, and the Trunk Lift was one. The other was the Rack & Roll which I'll talk about later. At that time the Outside Trunk Lift was not available yet.
The Outside version came about in the early 2000's and was invented by one of us sales rep's, not by the company. It consists of an L shaped bar.  One end, the small L extention that would slide into either a class II or class III hitch,  the bar itself is about thirty inches or so, runs  parallel to the passenger side of the bumper, and on the end is a socket that the Standard Trunk Lift upright fits into. The bar is what makes a Standard Trunk Lift an Outside Trunk Lift. The Trunk Lift itself  consists three parts, an L shaped bracket with a socket for the upright in the middle, it bolts to the floor of the car trunk, van, or pickup bed. The upright is round pipe about 30 inches or so, and the socket of the lift boom slides down onto it at the top. The lift boom is adjustable for length, and the electric motor is attached to it. A strap that has a hook on the end runs from the pully along the boom through a slot down to where it attaches by the hook to either the seatpost of the scooter or powerchair after removing the seat, or the Seat On Lift Bracket, which allows picking up the scooter or powerchair without removing the seat. This lift picks the scooter or powerchair up electrically, but requires the user to push it in and pull it out manually, as well as manuvering the unit in the air to clear anything that may be in the way, or turn it for clearance, so it does require some strength and co-ordination to use it.  It requires the most work by the user, but it is also the least expensive, and that's the trade off. It works very well for a person with the required strength and dexterity. There is also a fold-down model, which allows laying the lift down without taking it apart, I try to avoid selling that one because the Standard Trunk Lift comes apart easily and is stronger, and less likely to collapse under load. Our Standard Trunk Lift has a weight capacity of 250 pounds, the Fold Down and Outside Trunk Lifts have a weight capacity of either 200 or 250 pounds, and we also have a Heavy Duty Unit that has a weight capacity of 400 pounds for heavier or barriatric units. 
Now the downside, or upside if you have a van or pickup, is what vehicles will they work in.  If you have a car, unless it's a large one, ie older Lincoln Town Car,  Mercury or Ford with the same body/chassis, or a similar size older Chevy, Olds, Buick, etc. (for instance I had a 1983 Olds 98 that I could literally carry two scooters in the trunk), or a station wagon, forget it, it won't work. The newer cars either have too small a trunk, or too small an opening into the trunk, or both. An exception to this is if you can put a Class II or III hitch on your car, AND the trunk opening is large enough, AND the lift over height is not too high,  you can use an Outside Trunk Lift.
If you have a pickup, or van (either mini, or full sized), the Trunk Lift will work fine. SUV's are somewhere in the middle, sometimes it works, sometimes not, again you're better off with an Outside Trunk Lift, but measure first or email me and if you're not too far away I can do it, if you are I can possibly get a local rep to do it for you.  As I tell everybody my job is to make your life easier.

Lee Murray

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