Posted On: 08/07/2017

Wheelchiar Van​ Tiedown Systems

Coupling the new innovations in the wheelchair market with the vast array of proven systems, 
you may be wondering what securement options may be the best for you or a loved one. Here at the BLVD we’ve put together a brief list of the most common securements and what devices they work best with. 

To comprise this list we will focus on three key types of full size/adult mobility devices, Manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and power scooters. As well as the two most popular tiedown devices, Manual and power tiedowns. Keep in mind that no mobility device should be transported in a vehicle that does not have proper tie down anchor points. See your local mobility dealer to find out if your vehicle has proper securement anchors, or if they can be installed. 

Manual Tiedowns

Manual tiedowns are the most versatile and work with the majority of mobility devices. Applying tension by either a manual or self-ratcheting mechanism (retractable tiedowns). Both secure to the floor of the vehicle and attach to the mobility device via an ‘S’ hook at the end of a belt. 

  • Power and Manual Wheelchairs
    Manual tiedowns can be moved to almost any position in the vehicle, provided there are anchor points, allowing the most versatility to the wheelchair user. Beyond versatility of seating position, the manual tiedowns can be removed and stored out of the way, ensuring there are no obstructions to ease of movement around the vehicle. Along with their versatility manual tiedown systems are most commonly the more cost effective option. The most commonly viewed downside to a manual tiedown is the necessity of another person needed to effectively secure the mobile device, as it cannot be done by the individual sitting in the chair. 
  • Power Scooters
    Manual Tiedowns are the only option for power scooters, as they do not have the structural integrity, brackets, or in most cases ground clearance for a power tiedown. Because unlike power and manual wheelchairs, scooters do not have anchor points, most riders use manual tiedowns together to latch the S hooks across the foot plate and hold the device in place. Because of the lack of anchor points and structural integrity, individuals should never ride on a power scooter while the vehicle is in motion. Please see our local mobility dealer for information on how to properly secure your mobility scooter. 

Power Tiedowns

A power tiedown is a device attached to the floor of your mobility vehicle similar to a fifth wheel hitch, with a bracket attached to the mobility device having an industrial grade bolt, that will be guided and locked into the center of it. While a great option for individuals utilizing a manual or power wheelchair, it is not an option for securing a power scooter

  • Manual or Power Wheelchairs
    A power tiedown most popular for allowing users the freedom to independently drive from their mobility device, while being assured they are safely secured. The only necessity for securing ones mobility device is to simply drive the device into place. Once the bolt is locked into place the mobility device is secure. In the case that you are not correctly positioned, or the device is not locked into place the power tiedown has an alarm that will sound until the device is correctly secured. To release your mobility device, all is needed is the touch of a button that can be located wherever is convenient. Of course, since a power tiedown is bolted to the floor of the vehicle, it is completely stationary, and cannot be moved unless done so by a professional. This means the user is limited to only a position containing a power tiedown, however, the device can still be secured in another position with manual tiedowns, if necessary. 

There are many manufacturers of wheelchair/scooter tiedowns, and your local mobility dealer will be able to explain the pros and cons of each brand. Please consult a mobility dealer for more information on styles of tie-downs, and how to proper secure any of them with your specific mobility device. To find a certified mobility dealer near you click here. For more information on mobility products click here

Author Information

Katie Cummings
Mobility Blogger

My professional background stems from non-profit marketing and fundraising for a large children’s cancer hospital. Every day I was able to make connections and relationships for kids and their families going through devastating times. From securing small donations to large corporate support, it was all about providing hope that one day doctors and researchers would find a cure. It was truly an honor to be a part of something so important.

Just this past year, I came to work alongside my family for BLVD.com, a website dedicated to offering the latest information and resources for people needing mobility products. This was a dream come true for me as I have always wanted to combine more time with my family while still helping others. Our family has been in the mobility industry for over 35 years with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for people with mobility issues. This is the spirit behind BLVD and what I am most excited about sharing in my blog.

I love meeting new people and have found that volunteering is the best way to learn more about others and myself. Coffee keeps me going as do walks my pup "Kirby" and most of all being with family and friends. I invite you to check out my blog to learn more about how "together we can move through life better!"

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