The number one question we get when discussing an exterior lift is “how well does it work in the winter?”. Although we have been fortunate in Alberta so far this year, we know all too well that freezing temperatures are never too far off the horizon. So the question regarding cold weather operation is very valid.
Our preferred lift for exterior installations is the Bruno VPL (vertical platform lift). We recommend this wheelchair lift for residential applications for the following reasons:
- Drive mechanism – The Bruno VPL utilizes a reliable ACME screw drive. Unlike hydraulic drives, there is no hydraulic fluid to thicken when the temperature gets cold.
- Finish – Some outdoor porch lifts are simply painted, but all Bruno’s are finished with a durable powder coating that ensures the finish will stand up to the elements.
- Outdoor package – Bruno VPL’s only require 8amps under full load meaning your standard 15amp breaker will be more than adequate. Resistance compounded by the cold is the reason many units blow fuses. Some lifts draw up to 13 amps under load which doesn’t give you much room for error when the weather turns bad. The Bruno VPL also utilizes aviation grease and an all-weather wiring package The result is fewer problems with breakers or fuses blowing under extreme conditions.
Safety of outdoor porch lifts
This is of course of the utmost importance. Porch Lifts that don’t have the following feature could increase your risk of a falling, crushing, or pinching hazard. Standard features on the Bruno include:
- Under pan safety sensor – This prevents the user from crushing obstacles below.
- Solid steel side walls – This minimizes the risk of falling and encountering pinch hazards
- 16” fold-down ramp – Along with easing the transition onto the lift, when folded up this adds additional protection from rolling off the platform