grocery delivery, Home accessibility, power wheelchairs, wheelchair access, wheelchair ramp

Modular Aluminum Ramps Review

I have been working on making my home more wheelchair accessible. I added a DIY platform and a 3-foot suitcase ramp to my back door (6-inch threshold to sidewalk drop). I have also made free adjustments in the kitchen and elsewhere.

A harder-to-fix problem has been wheelchair access using my front door. I have about a 5-inch drop from the door threshold to the mostly brick-enclosed stoop. Then another 5-inch drop is at a full left turn to the sidewalk. My first priority was access to the stoop so I could retrieve deliveries myself. 

I had been looking at modular aluminum ramps for a while and decided to give them a try when I saw a neighbor use them. The ramp is made of slide-together sections. Each section has a full-width foot, a slide lock channel, and a tred. The foot/leg for each section is designed to be the right height for its place in the ramp puzzle. This is a sturdy ramp.

The ramp top edge is designed to be screw attached to your threshold. I recommend doing this. My ramp moves away from the threshold over time without the screws. This may also be because to accommodate that my threshold height is actually taller than the 5-inch ramp, and my wheelchair needed a transition from the stoop to ramp, I added a welcome mat underneath.

The ramp rise angle is just doable in a powerchair. However, it feels a bit too steep going down.

My biggest issue is with deliveries. I try to ask for smaller deliveries to be at the top of the ramp. If grocery delivery people see I am at the door, they usually ask permission to put the groceries just inside the door.  I do reward these drivers with generous feedback and increased tip. Others will put the delivery next to the ramp. I understand that location and can make it work. Some drivers cover the whole ramp or the ramp bottom. This ramp is too steep for these delivery retrievals. You will be fighting against falling face-first into the bags/packages. Heavier bags will tip over and spill.

Grocery bags covering a ramp.
Grocery bags covering a ramp.

I plan to replace my modular aluminum ramp when I work out a better solution. I will try out the ramp at shorter threshold heights where the steepness will be less of an issue.

I have not identified my ramp’s brand or purchase source as I have seen more than one brand and more than one retailer.

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