The Port-A-Lift Personal Transfer System

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs a Port-A-Lift?

Anyone who uses a wheelchair, caregivers, and those who transport people who use wheelchairs all find life simpler and more convenient with a Port-A-Lift. People who use wheelchairs need a Port-A-Lift to move comfortably and securely from one place to another. Caregivers who need help moving someone from chair to bed to toilet to bath need a Port-A-Lift to make those transitions simple and easy. Drivers who regularly transport a relative or friend who needs a simple, secure way to transfer from wheelchair to vehicle need a Port-A-Lift.

Return to Top

How does it work?

A powered arm supports your full weight as you sit in a chair-like sling, and lifts you from one place to another. Side-to-side motion is controlled manually to allow precise placement wherever you want to go. For more details, see our How-To page.

What are the requirements for independent use?

Return to Top

Individuals with good upper body movement can use Port-A-Lift independently. If using only one swing arm and lifting mechanism on several brackets, the ability to lift and move 18 lbs. is also important. However, Port-A-Lift is also easily maneuvered by an attendant, friend, or relative.

Return to Top

Where can I use the Port-A-Lift?

You can use a Port-A-Lift in all vehicles: your car, truck, SUV, RV, and more. In your home, you can use Port-A-Lift in virtually any room -- living room, dining room, sun room, and even in the bathroom to make moving from one part of the room to another secure and simple.

Return to Top

How do I use the Port-A-Lift?

Slip the sling underneath your seat, clip it to the swing arm, and press a button to power the lifting arm. Side-to-side motion is guided manually, giving you precise control. It's easy and secure! For more details, see our How-To page.

Return to Top

How do I get the sling underneath me while I am sitting?

Just place the strong, lightweight sling behind you, and slip it under your seat. Pull the sides up around your thighs, and pull the front forward. That's all there is to it! For more details, see our How-To page.

Return to Top

How many parts does the Port-A-Lift have?

There are just five main components to the Port-A-Lift: a sturdy, lightweight sling (to sit in), a yoke (the sling connects to this), a swing arm, the lifting mechanism, and a mount. The sling clips onto the yoke which connects to the swing arm and the lifting mechanism, and the lifting mechanism is connected to a mount. It's that simple! See our How-To page for details of using the Port-A-Lift. See our Installation page for more information about mounts.

Return to Top

What's the Port-A-Lift made of?

The Port-A-Lift is constructed of extruded aluminum for strength, light weight and durability. Mounts are made of high-grade steel. The sling is made of durable, washable fabric. Hand wash with mild soap and air dry.

Return to Top

How is the Port-A-Lift powered?

Port-A-Lift is powered up and down using a 12-volt electrical source. Your vehicle's battery provides the power; at home or in buildings, a transformer allows the Port-A-Lift to plug into a wall outlet. Sideways motion is done manually. For more information about installation, see our Installation page.

Return to Top

Where can the Port-A-Lift be installed?

Your Port-A-Lift can be installed in virtually any vehicle and in most rooms in homes and buildings. Creative thinking can even allow Port-A-Lift access in surprising spots -- for instance, a small bathroom might be accessed by putting the Port-A-Lift in the hallway. For more information about installation, see our Installation page, and for answers to specific questions about your situation, contact Ability Access.

Return to Top

How does the Port-A-Lift attach to a vehicle?

A mounting bracket is bolted securely to the car. For details, see our Installation page.

Return to Top

How is the Port-A-Lift installed in a home or building?

Mounts are securely installed against the wall or attached to the floor. For details, see our Installation page.

Return to Top

Can the same Port-A-Lift be used in both vehicle and home or do I need to purchase a unit for each location?

A separate mount is needed for each location where you plan to use the Port-A-Lift. You might choose to have a swing arm and lifting mechanism in each location, too, but it's also possible to economize by using just one swing arm and lifting mechanism, and moving the unit from mount to mount. See What are the requirements for independent use? for information about independent use of the Port-A-Lift and the swing arm and lifting mechanism.

Return to Top

How far can the Port-A-Lift reach?

The standard Port-A-Lift can extend up to 6 1/2 feet, or up to a 13 foot radius, depending on the user's weight. An accessory is available to extend Port-A-Lift's span up to 13 feet - far enough to reach from a hallway into a bathroom. The vertical reach is from 6 in. to 6 ft. depending on configuration.

Return to Top

Is there a weight limit?

Lift capacity for the standard Port-A-Lift is 250 lbs. The heavy-duty version can lift up to 300 lbs.

Return to Top

How long has the Port-A-Lift been on the market?

The Port-A-Lift and previous models (under different names) has been sold and installed by Ability Access & its sister companies since 1994.

Return to Top

How much does the Port-A-Lift cost?

Cost varies according to your individual needs but is far more economical the usual alternatives. The Port-A-Lift Personal Transfer System is much less expensive than a vehicle conversion, and a Port-A-Lift can be moved from one vehicle to another. Port-A-Lift accessibility in your home or building can save thousands of dollars in frustrating and time-consuming renovations.

Return to Top

Where can I buy the Port-A-Lift?

Ability Access is the sole manufacture of the Port-A-Lift.You may buy directly from us.

Return to Top