Have you been researching wheelchair seating and securement and happened to come across the term AutoFloor? When your passengers aren’t secured properly, accidents can happen. Something as important as safe passenger seating should never be overlooked. Knowing more about this track system will give you the chance to ensure passenger safety during transportation.
While the goals of our organization are to manufacture innovative vehicles that remove barriers and are accessible to all, another goal we have is to be transparent about what’s in our vehicles. Throughout the past 10+ years of manufacturing wheelchair accessible vans, sometimes our team of mobility experts at MoveMobility gets asked what AutoFloor is.
In this article, you’re going to learn more about what AutoFloor entails. We’re also going to highlight the top 5 misconceptions of AutoFloor.
What is AutoFloor in Wheelchair Accessible Vans?
AutoFloor is a special floor system for wheelchair accessible vans. It’s made of tough aluminum and has a strong, non-slip surface for safety. There are tracks on the floor where you can attach seats, wheelchairs, and stretchers.
With AutoFloor, you can quickly and easily change the seats and wheelchair positions in your van to fit different needs. This means you can turn a regular cargo van into a van that’s perfect for your clients who need special transportation. This is really important for transportation services that help people with different mobility needs.
With AutoFloor, you have more than 1,000 different ways to arrange the seats and wheelchairs in the vehicle. This makes it easy to adjust for each trip you make.
For instance, on one trip, you might need space for two wheelchairs and two people who can walk. On another trip, you might need room for just one wheelchair and six people who can walk. AutoFloor lets you switch it up quickly to fit each trip’s needs.
5 Misconceptions of Autofloor
In this section, we’ll debunk some common misconceptions about AutoFloor, shedding a little more light on its true capabilities and flexibility. Let’s clarify these misunderstandings to showcase how this innovative system offers practical and secure solutions for your needs.
1. You can do anything with AutoFloor
Some people think AutoFloor is a feature that allows unlimited flexibility, but that’s not quite true. While AutoFloor is extremely flexible, it has its boundaries. There’s only so much space inside a wheelchair accessible van, and this puts a limit on what the van can do with the space you have.
If you have really big or bulky wheelchairs, they’ll take up more room, which means fewer people can ride in the van. While AutoFloor offers fantastic customization options, it’s important to note that it does have boundaries to ensure realistic expectations.
2. The seats slide along the tracks
Another common misconception is that the seats on AutoFloor can only slide along the tracks. That’s not entirely accurate. In fact, these seats aren’t stuck to the tracking system. You can actually take them out and roll them to a different spot on the floor, or even remove them from the vehicle entirely.
This feature provides flexibility and allows for easy customization of the seating arrangement according to individual needs. AutoFloor offers more flexibility than just sliding seats along tracks.
3. The seats are a bench and must be heavy to lift
A common misconception about AutoFloor is that the seats are like heavy benches that are hard to lift. But that’s not the case. Each seat is individual and surprisingly lightweight, weighing only around 60 to 70 pounds. What’s even more convenient is that these seats have built-in wheels, allowing you to tip them back and roll them onto the van’s wheelchair lift or down the ramp with ease.
So, you don’t need to struggle with heavy benches – AutoFloor seats are designed to be manageable and user-friendly. This makes detaching the seat from the floor track easy and efficient if you need to move the wheelchairs around in the van. It’s all about providing practical solutions for your needs.
4. The seats aren’t as secure as fixed seats because they detach from the van’s floor
Another misconception to address is the idea that seats attached to the floor track system of the van are less secure than fixed seats. However, this isn’t accurate. These seats undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the same safety standards as fixed seats.
In fact, the seats on AutoFloor are subjected to the same pull-testing standards as their fixed counterparts. This means they’re designed to be just as secure and dependable. You can have confidence that the seats, even though they clip in, are tested and proven to provide a high level of safety, ensuring that passengers are well-protected during their journeys.
5. Staff injuries are more likely because the seats are removable
The last misconception about AutoFloor is that having removable seats will increase the risk of staff injuries. However, when staff members are properly trained, there’s no reason to expect a higher chance of injury with removable seats. In fact, these individual seats are designed to be much easier for staff to work with compared to heavy and awkward 3-person benches.
When your staff receives the right training, they can easily and safely handle these seats. It’s all about giving them the skills and know-how to make rearranging the seating hassle-free and injury-free.
So, while the seats can be removed for flexibility, this doesn’t mean an increased risk of staff injuries when proper procedures are followed. AutoFloor makes the job easier and safer for staff, not more challenging.
AutoFloor is all about keeping your transportation program safe and efficient. We hope that by clearing up these misunderstandings, you have a better understanding of how AutoFloor can truly benefit your program. It’s a flexible system that lets you customize your wheelchair vans to meet your unique needs. This means you can make your vans more comfortable and accessible for everyone, ensuring a smooth and secure experience for all passengers.
Your journey ahead with MoveMobility
You came to this article to learn more about AutoFloor and some of its common misconceptions.
After reading this far, you now know about 5 of the most common misconceptions organizations have about AutoFloor.
At MoveMobility, we’re all about inclusion and the safety and security of you and your clients. Despite the misconceptions about AutoFloor, we would never equip our vehicles with something that could compromise that safety. We’ve completed hundreds of vehicle modifications that are certified by Transport Canada. Every vehicle we modify has the National Safety Mark seal of approval.
Now that you know more about AutoFloor, your next step is to learn more about the 2 types of wheelchair accessible vans.
After that, read our article on the cost of a wheelchair accessible van so you have a better idea of what budget your organization will need to afford one.
Q: Do I need AutoFloor in my wheelchair accessible van?
A: AutoFloor is a standard feature in our full-size wheelchair accessible vans at MoveMobility. It makes sure that wheelchairs and ambulatory seating are safe. Without AutoFloor, you can’t adjust the seating layout to fit your clients’ requirements. Different communities have different transportation needs, which is why various accessible transportation providers like Adult Day Care programs, First Nation communities, medical transport services, and paratransit agencies find AutoFloor valuable.
Q: Does AutoFloor cost a lot?
A: AutoFloor is part of the cost of making a van more accessible. While a van with AutoFloor initially costs more than one without, it brings a larger return on investment because of its flexibility. Transportation providers like AutoFloor because it saves money by adding the ability to change seating arrangements on the go.