Q & A: What is AutoFloor?

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AutoFloor is a flooring system used in full-size vans to allow safe passenger seating and wheelchair securement. However, there’s more to know about AutoFloor, and many clients ask whether it’s necessary when purchasing a new wheelchair accessible van.

Our team of mobility experts is often asked about this unique floor track system and why it’s necessary in full size wheelchair vans. We’ve answered those questions and more below.

What is AutoFloor?

AutoFloor is an aluminum floor system covered with a durable transit-grade, non-slip floor surface. Tracks are located throughout the floor, providing a place to secure passenger seats, wheelchairs, and stretchers. This floor system makes for fast and simple changes to seating and wheelchair configurations to meet the needs of each ride. Overall, it allows a cargo van to be transformed into a fully functional paratransit vehicle.

What is the floor made of?

AutoFloor is made of high-grade aluminum and covered with durable, industrial vinyl.

Is AutoFloor necessary? Can’t we just use the van’s factory floor?

AutoFloor comes standard in all of MoveMobility’s full-size wheelchair accessible vehicles. By creating a safe environment for wheelchairs and ambulatory seating, the floor track system is what makes it possible to use removeable seats and secure wheelchairs in multiple positions in the vehicle. Without this, it isn’t possible to adjust seating layouts to suit your clients’ needs.

Each community is different, and no one-size-fits-all van works for every organization. That’s why AutoFloor is popular with a wide range of accessible transportation providers, including Adult Day Care programs, First Nation communities, medical transportation programs, and paratransit agencies.

Wheelchair securement area inside Ford Transit mobility van. 8 passenger seating plus 2 wheelchairs

Is AutoFloor safe?

Yes, AutoFloor is safe and certified for commercial and personal vehicle use. The specially-designed floor system has been rigorously tested to meet all CMVSS Safety Standards. Installation of seats and wheelchair restraint systems into the factory floor of a cargo van would not meet these standards.

What do you mean by flexible seating configurations?

Flexible seating configurations refers to the ability to change seating layouts and add and remove seats from the vehicle. Many accessible transportation providers need custom seating options because they transport clients with a variety of mobility needs. There are over 1,000 possible seating and wheelchair layouts with AutoFloor.

Users quickly and easily change seating arrangements to meet the needs of each trip. For example, one trip may require transporting two wheelchairs and two ambulatory passengers, while the next trip may require space for one wheelchair and six ambulatory passengers.

Removable AMF Paratransit seat

Is AutoFloor expensive?

AutoFloor makes up part of the cost of an accessible van conversion. A wheelchair accessible van with AutoFloor is typically more expensive than a factory passenger van with a wheelchair lift installed.

Most accessible transportation providers acknowledge the value of AutoFloor because its flexibility brings a return on investment. The ability to customize seating layouts reduces the number of trips they must make, resulting in cost savings.

It is important to understand that a factory passenger van with mobility equipment added is often a less costly alternative to a van converted specifically for mobility access, but does not offer flexible seating.

example of seat layout in large accessible van

Does the floor add weight to the vehicle?

AutoFloor does not change the vehicle’s GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or the capacity vehicle operators can carry.

How do seats and wheelchair restraints fit into AutoFloor?

The built-in track system that makes up AutoFloor is custom built to accommodate SmartSeats and multiple brands of wheelchair restraints. AMF Bruns and Q’Straint wheelchair restraints are both compatible and recommended for use with this floor system.

Seats are removed from the floor by simply using a lever to detach the seat from the floor track. Seats are on wheels and can be wheeled in and out of the vehicle. Wheelchair restraint systems are designed to be easily attached and detached from the floor.

AMF Bruns Silver Series Wheelchair Restraints

We have to tape off seats in our vehicle to maintain social distancing. Is there an easier way to social distance with the AutoFloor system?

Yes. Drivers move the seats or wheelchair positions to maintain social distancing requirements. They simply remove any seats or wheelchair positions to keep the van’s capacity level within their requirements.

What are the drawbacks to using AutoFloor?

When regular maintenance is not followed, dirt or debris may build up in the track system. This can be easily addressed through regular cleaning through sweeping, vacuuming, or using compressed air to clean the tracks.

Conclusion

Even with so many great reasons to use a MoveMobility full-size van with AutoFloor, we know that our vehicles are not a fit for everyone. To see whether MoveMobility’s accessible vehicles are right for you, read our article on who we are not a fit for:

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