Wheelchairs are vital mobility aids that serve seniors and differently-abled people all over the world every single day. These mobility tools provide many folks with independence, comfort, and improved quality of life. Wheelchairs create a more inclusive and accessible world.
Since many seniors need to use them every day, you can’t leave a wheelchair behind if you are moving. This is why it is important for you to learn how to ship a wheelchair if you want your chair to get to the destination safely. In this complete guide, we cover how to ship a wheelchair, including tips on packing your wheelchair.
How to Ship a Wheelchair
If you need to ship a wheelchair from one place to another, there are some weight limitations and sizing requirements that you must adhere to. The US Postal Service system hand s guidelines out on the basis of the size of the box you will be using. If you are not adhering to specific limitations that they have outlined, you will have to make sure that you select one of the specific additional options available.
The most common problem that people face while shipping a wheelchair is the box. If you have anything other than the manual wheelchair, the box will cause issues for you. This is because power/electric or heavy-duty wheelchairs can often cross the regulation limits outlined for the common wheelchair box. If this occurs, you will have to try other shipping services like FedEx or UPS. They are the most cost-effective options, second to the US Postal Service.
In-Depth Tips for Shipping a Wheelchair
Before you head to the postal office, you should take the time to determine the right weight and dimensions of the box you will be using for the shipment. Whatever approximate weight you estimate, add around 10-15lbs more just to be safe. The sizing should also most likely be exaggerated so that no shipping issues arise based on small things like a few inches or pounds.
After you have an approximate of the weight and size specification for the wheelchair box, now is the time to finally decide which carrier would be the best option to ship a wheelchair.
Here is some information that can help you make the decision:
- FedEx, DHL, and UPS all have a shipment weight limit of 150 lbs
- US Postal Service has a shipment weight limit of 70 lbs
- DHL has a maximum size limits of 108 inches for boxes
- FedEx has a maximum size limit of 165 inches in girth and length
Packing the Wheelchair
Once you have chosen a carrier that you are confident in as well as one that offers the most suitable pricing, you can move onto the packing of the wheelchair. The best option is to have a wheelchair that is foldable since you will be able to move it to a thinner, small box rather than use the large manufacturer box. This can be a more cost-effective option for you.
Here are some tips for packing the wheelchair for shipment:
- 1Fold the wheelchair as much as you can. If the wheelchair has any removable parts, detach them so that you can pack them as small as you can.
- 2Once it is the smallest it can be, tightly fix it into place with some layers of tape so that it will stay securely in its place. This means taping any removable parts to the main frame as well.
- 3Now that it is tightly in place, you can wrap the chair in bubble wrap. Another good idea is to line the bottom of the box with cushioning materials to make sure that the wheelchair doesn’t take on any damage during the journey.
- 4Nest the chair into any sturdy shipping box you can find.
- 5Any voids or gaps inside the box should be filled with cushioning materials and foam padding.
- 6The box should be closed and sealed with several layers of tape on each side of the box so that it is secure.
If you have an electric wheelchair, it will require another method of packing. This is especially for packaging as a non-standard item or on the pallet:
- 1A cardboard sheet should be placed on the surface of the pallet.
- 2The wheelchair should now be placed on top of the sheet on the pallet.
- 3The entire thing should be wrapped in foam wrap, corrugated cardboard, and moving blankets.
- 4Straps and stretch foil is used to make sure the wheelchair stays attached to the pallet.
- 5For additional protection, you should build a solid crate around the wheelchair to keep it safe.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to shipping your wheelchair is to check the guidelines for the carrier service. Some postal services have helpful guidelines for wheelchair shipment that you may find useful through this process. You should also make sure that the senior in your family has an alternative while the wheelchair in transit to make sure they can move around easily.