How To Remove the Wheelchair Lift From a Van [5 Easy Steps]

Written by Claire Bonneau
Last Updated :
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Do you need to know how to remove the wheelchair lift from a van?

Wheelchair lifts are excellent accessories for people with disabilities. Installing them in a van is quite easy, but is it the same for removing the lift?

Read on for the perfect guide on removing the easy detaching mobility device off a van.

Also Read: Best Lightweight Manual Wheelchair

Key Takeaways

Removing a Wheelchair Lift From Van (Step-by-Step Guide)

wheelchair women getting out from van

Platform lifts, or as they’re commonly called, wheelchair lifts, are electric mobility devices that help a wheelchair user to pass over vertical barriers.

They act as a mechanical access ramp because they lift the wheelchair. Ramps don’t rise, they only offer allowable slopes for a wheelchair.

Vertical wheelchair lifts are excellent, especially if you have a van or other vehicle that would make it difficult to climb in a wheelchair. (2)

So how do you remove a vertical platform lift off a van? Here is what to do.

Step 1. Prepare Your Tools

Gather all the tools you’ll need. Full-size vans can have any kind of platform lift, from the easily removable to the downright difficult. But you’ll need the same tools to install or uninstall them.

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Angle Driver
  • Enough Help (one person will be enough)

Step 2. Remove Parts

This step depends on the type of van you have. The lift will cover a considerable part of the vehicle space if it is an old model van. No need for floor measurements in this step.

Start by removing all the interior parts of the van. Remove the bolts that hold the seats with a wrench or angle driver. If your van has floor control buttons, the easier for you to gut it.

If you’re working in a garage space, you’ll have to ensure you have adequate space for the seats.

Step 3. Remove the Floor

Next, remove the finished floor from the van. Floor surfaces are often held to the van with other bolts and nuts. Use the wrench or angle driver to remove them. Whatever tool works.

Step 4. Look For the Battery Wires

Once all the van’s interiors are out, check for the wires connecting the vertical lift to the car battery. The battery provides the power to make the lift operational.

Also, check for the wires that connect to the lift’s battery backup, and remove them. You won’t need any tools for that.

Step 5. Remove Bolts and Screws

Use the angle grinder or screwdriver to unfasten the bolts or screws that hold the lift surface onto the van.

Remove the lift from the van, place it on a trolley, and push it away. That’s where you’ll need help. The lift will be heavier if it’s a heavy crane lift!

The video below should offer all the guidance you need:

External lift platforms won’t need you to rip away the car interior. All you need to do to remove an external lift platform from a van is to unfasten the bolts or screws that hold it to the van’s doorway.

Why Do You Need to Remove a Wheelchair Lift?

women in a wheelchair

Platform lifts are placed on the primary entrances of vans for people with disabilities to have a proper level landing when they are disembarking.

Lifts ensure safe alighting from automatic door openers on a vehicle door by giving a platform to lower the wheelchair.

They drop the wheelchair to an accessible level for the user to alight. Sometimes they have a few inches of ramp length with an ideal max slope for a wheelchair.

So what would cause someone to remove a lift from their vehicle?

There are several reasons.

1. The Lift is Broken

A broken wheelchair lift won’t offer quite the same service a functional lift would. So it makes sense to remove it either for repair or replacement.

2. The User Has Passed On

If the user passes on, there’s little use for the platform lift still on the van. Most relatives remove it and donate or sell it.

Also Read: Where Can I Sell a Wheelchair Lift?

3. You’re Changing Your Vehicle

Most modern vehicles have additional space for wheelchair users to add a lift or access ramp.

Sometimes the user will want to use the platform on another vehicle or they’ll be selling the current vehicle. So it makes sense to remove the lift.

Things To Consider When Removing Vertical Platform Lifts

What are you supposed to keep in mind when removing the platform lift?

1. Safety Concerns

You’ll need adequate space to unpack the platform lift and wheel it away. That’s also when an easily accessible entrance should help, especially if you plan to keep the lift in a garage or in the house.

2. Adequate Help

Platform lifts are rather heavy. Once you remove it, you’ll need to carry it. Without help, that could be a tall order.

So it’s best to consider having some help with you as well as a direct route to where you’ll store the lift.

Help from a family member or friend is an affordable solution you can take advantage of.

3. Damage to the Vehicle or Lift

When removing the lift, be careful not to damage the vehicle or any part of the lift. If the lift has an auto-folding ramp, take care not to ruin it as you remove the platform lift.

A broken wheelchair lift won’t be of much help to anyone.

Also Read: Best Stair Climbing Wheelchair


Which is better? To remove the lift myself or hire someone?

That depends on the type of lift. Some advanced types might require expertise beyond the DIY level. Inclined platform wheelchair lifts, for instance, need pros to handle them.

Are platform lifts better than wheelchair ramps?

Though few people have difficulty with ramps, they’re usually harder to use in inaccessible entrances. Ramps must have accessible parking spaces to serve people with mobility disabilities well.


If you were looking for how to remove the wheelchair lift from a van, there you have it. Van wheelchair lifts are far from the temporary solution that most people might view them.

But there comes a time when you won’t need them anymore.

That’s when the steps I’ve outlined here will come in handy. Removing the easy-detach lifts is a straightforward process you can achieve with little help.

a men on front thinking that How to remove the wheelchair lift from the van

Try the steps in the article and let us know how it goes in the comments.


1. Whitten C. How to Choose a Wheelchair [Internet]. WebMD. 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 29]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/how-to-choose-wheelchair

2. Best Wheelchair Lifts For Vehicles Of 2022 [Internet]. Forbes Health. 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 30]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/best-wheelchair-lifts-for-vehicles/

About Author

Claire Bonneau
Claire is a registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors in a variety of medical settings to provide high-erLATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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