The Handicap Van Conversion Process: What Does AMS Do?
Friday May 18, 2012 -
Modifying an ordinary Chrysler, Dodge, Volkswagen or Honda minivan into a useful and comfortable wheelchair accessible van is no easy feat. However, the technicians at AMS create uncomplicated conversions that work exceptionally well and are warranty-protected to do so for years to come.
The Mobility Modification
AMS lowers the vehicle’s floor pan approximately 10 inches for easier wheelchair entry. This also helps accommodate the reduced-incline, extended, slip-resistant manual or power ramp. The new floor is constructed of heavy gauge carbon steel and fully dipped in an anti-rust bath, giving it the strength and durability customers expect in their handicap van.
New carpet and industrial textured rubber flooring is added, along with wheelchair tie down anchor points for increased stability and security while in transit. AMS provides other handicap mobility features in select models, such as multi-leaf spring rear suspension for greater support, a removable front passenger seat, or other handicap equipment as requested.
The powered ramp comes with a manual backup, and uses a reliably simple cable system to raise and lower it. In the rare event your vehicle suffers a dead battery or other power failure, the ramp remains operational. The gas tank, filler neck and spare tire holder are relocated to accommodate the lowered floor and other components. Last but not least, AMS provides its wheelchair vans with a full set of body ground effects that are painted to match the rest of the vehicle.
The AMS handicap van conversion is kept simple so that maintenance can be uncomplicated for customers. In fact, it is easy enough for many do-it-yourselfers to perform small-scale repairs on their vans. (However you need to contact AMS before attempting to any warranty-covered work.) Thanks to AMS’ exemplary designs, maintenance issues or warranty service that requires professional help can be accomplished by any AMS-approved certified mechanics nationwide – no specialized garage or dealership necessary.
What AMS Does Differently
AMS is not your ordinary wheelchair conversion van manufacturer. Through years of extensive research and testing, AMS identified and removed from the modification process several items that posed a multitude of problems on other mobility van conversions. Without problematic components causing unnecessary hassles and frustrations, owners can enjoy their AMS handicap van much more.
For instance, AMS refrains from using expensive and highly complicated kneeling systems. Even the best kneeling systems available can break down, requiring expensive repairs and unnecessary vehicle downtime. To compensate for the lack of a kneeling system, the wheelchair ramp is extended an extra four inches. Although, please keep in mind that while most wheelchair users don’t need a kneeling system, if you’re one of the folks who do, AMS Vans, Inc. will make sure you get the right van.
AMS takes great pains to avoid changing the minivan’s frame, preferring to use the original structural strength instead of relying on expensive and time-consuming retrofitting. For example, unlike other mobility conversions that call for cuts through the B pillar, AMS leaves the B pillar intact during the handicap van modifications. In addition, AMS prefers to leave intact the original rocker panel boxes during the handicap van conversion. The rocker panel boxes are steel panels integral to a minivan's frame, designed to protect the driver in the event of a side door accident. Without the need to compromise the durability of the van’s original frame, AMS better protects you and your family should you be involved in an accident.
Keeping it Simple
Fewer moving parts mean faster and easier service, and AMS’ handicap accessibility conversion is designed to be as simple as possible. Simplicity is one of the tenets AMS believes in when it comes to handicap vans. Doing away with expensive and complicated equipment also results in a more cost-effective conversion. Customer safety, comfort, and happiness are top priority!