Wheelchair Van Buyer’s Guide: How to Secure a Wheelchair in a Vehicle

Wheelchair van tie downs

When you need a solution for how to lock a wheelchair in a van or vehicle, it’s important that the wheelchair stays in place.  Simply putting the brakes on the wheels doesn’t cut it as the chair is still prone to toppling over.

That’s why wheelchair vans are designed with securements or “tie-downs” to keep the chair in place. Wheelchair van tie-downs are built directly into the floor of the van, locking down the chair and keeping the passenger safe while riding in it.

These securements are built first and foremost for safety, but because different people have different needs, there are three different tie-down options available. When purchasing a wheelchair van, it’s important to choose the tie-down that works best for your situation and learn how to properly secure a wheelchair in a van before you get rolling.

Here are the different options available.

Manual Tie-Down

This is the most basic of the tie-down options.  That said, just because it’s basic doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly safe and reliable.  The manual tie-down works for both standard and power wheelchairs.

However, the manual tie-down can only be used for passenger areas.

Retractable Tie-Down

These securements are very similar to the manual tie-down except for they, you guessed it, retract.  The retractable tie-down leaves you with less strap to get tangled up, providing a smoother tie-down process.

Just like manual tie-downs, retractable tie-downs can only be used in the passenger areas of the van.

Power Tie-Down

Without a doubt, the power tie-down is the most secure of the tie-down options.  The power tie-down works by locking onto a rod attached to the bottom of the wheelchair.  Once locked in, the wheelchair becomes just as secure as any other chair in the vehicle.

This is why the power tie-down is able to be used in the driver’s seat.  If you are looking to drive without leaving your wheelchair, the power tie-down is the only way to go.

If you would like to see our tie-downs in action, please watch the short video below.  It gives a proper demonstration of each type of tie-down.  Ultimately, what tie-down you choose depends on your own specific needs.

Whichever option you go with, you can trust that it will keep you safe.

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