3304-6-08 Wheelchair/scooter handling devices.

[Comment: For dates of non-regulatory government publications, publications of recognized organizations and associations, federal rules, and federal statutory provisions referenced in this rule, see the "Incorporation by Reference" section at the end of rule 3304-6-01 of the Administrative Code.]

Wheelchair/scooter handling devices are devices for retaining an unoccupied wheelchair/scooter on or in a vehicle. This function includes provisions for hoisting or lifting the wheelchair/scooter onto the vehicle or into it after its user exits the chair; retaining the wheelchair/scooter on the vehicle or in it, and placing the wheelchair/scooter within reach of the user after a trip in the vehicle is completed. Before a carrier or hoist can be funded by OOD, the consumer's vehicle shall be inspected as required by paragraph (K) of rule 3304-6-04 of the Administrative Code.

(A) Car top carriers. Car top wheelchair carriers include any mechanism for loading or unloading a wheelchair into and out of a closed container specially designed for storage and permanently mounted on the vehicle.

(1) Performance requirements. Carriers shall incorporate an enclosure or cover to protect the wheelchair from the elements, and to prevent damage to the chair when it is in the stowed position. Carriers shall not extend beyond the perimeter of the vehicle, unless approved on a case-by-case basis by OOD.

(a) The wheelchair shall be secured or restrained at all times by the carrier when the chair is stowed.

(b) Hoist devices may be levers or arms, or may incorporate cables or chains. Components, even when in a worn condition, shall not expose the wheelchair user to sharp edges or abrasion during any point in the operation of wheelchair containment.

(c) Hooks or other devices for retaining the chair during loading or unloading shall incorporate provisions for avoiding accidental release.

(d) Wheelchair containers or covers shall be designed to fulfill their function without damage to the chair.

(e) Wheelchair containers or covers shall be designed so that, in the event of mechanical or electrical failure, a manual override is available to allow the wheelchair to be removed from the device.

(2) Installation. The carrier with intended wheelchair load shall not be so heavy as to statically deform the vehicle sheet metal on which it is resting in excess of 0.125 inch at any single point of contact. Any penetrations into the passenger or luggage compartment for carrier retention or for electrical cables or similar connections shall be sealed to prevent moisture entering the passenger compartment. Exterior controls shall meet the requirements of paragraphs (C) to (C)(2) of rule 3304-6-07 of the Administrative Code, as applicable. Wheelchair carrier controls shall be located to allow the wheelchair user to operate the carrier unassisted during all phases of the loading, stowing, and unloading operation.

(B) Wheelchair/scooter carriers/hoists that are permanently mounted on the vehicle bumper via a towing hitch or in a similar manner and carry the wheelchair/scooter shall not be approved.

(1) Wheelchair/scooter carriers/hoists that temporary attach to a vehicle towing hitch to assist in storing the wheelchair/scooter in the trunk of the car or other interior area of the vehicle may be utilized.

(2) Specialty trailers that are designed to carry only wheelchair/scooters in a secure, weather tight enclosure will be considered on a case by case basis and shall be documented by OOD before the approval process begins. At the discretion of OOD the specialty trailers will be considered if it complies with the performance requirements of paragraph (A)(1) of this rule.

(C) Hoists. Wheelchair/scooter hoists include any mechanism for loading and unloading a wheelchair/scooter from the passenger compartment of a vehicle, the luggage compartment of a sedan or station wagon, the cargo space of a van or minivan, or the bed of a pickup that does not fit the description of a wheelchair lift or car top wheelchair carrier. These devices pull a wheelchair/scooter into the vehicle, extract it from its stowed position, and place it back onto the pavement. Wheelchair/scooter hoists may be manually or power operated.

(1) Hoist devices may be levers, platforms, arms, or may incorporate cables and chains. Components, even when in a worn condition, shall not expose the wheelchair/scooter user to sharp edges or abrasion during any part of the operation of a wheelchair/scooter hoist. Hooks or other devices for retaining the wheelchair/scooter during loading or unloading shall incorporate provisions for avoiding accidental release. A wheelchair/scooter hoist shall not compromise crashworthiness provisions of the vehicle, and shall not be located in such a position that the driver or any front-seat passenger is likely to strike a structural member of the loader if they are properly restrained in the vehicle.

(2) Any mounting holes drilled in the vehicle structure to install the hoist shall be sealed. Electrical wiring shall be routed and/or protected to limit abrasion or interference with any vehicle mechanism, or interference with the driver's ability to enter or exit the vehicle.

(a) Installation of the hoist in a pickup truck bed shall not interfere with the normal operation of the tailgate whenever possible. Installation of the hoist in the luggage compartment shall not interfere with closure of the luggage compartment deck lid.

(b) Installation of the hoist in a pickup truck bed may require installation of a motorized pickup bed cover (truck cap) based upon the recommendation of the driver rehabilitation specialist and with approval of OOD. Powered pickup truck cap operators are any powered device that will open and close the pickup cap. Controls are typically on an inside pendent and/or remote control. If outside controls are used, they shall meet standards of paragraph (C) of rule 3304-6-07 of the Administrative Code. Powered pickup truck cap operators shall meet the following specifications:

(i) Powered pickup truck cap operators shall permit complete closing of the cap such that the cap fits the pickup body in the closed position equivalent to the cap manufacturer's original installation intent.

(ii) Cap hinges shall be secured to the pickup box by manufacturer specified fasteners.

(c) Installation of the hoist in the luggage compartment shall not interfere with closure of the luggage compartment deck lid and shall not interfere with access to the spare tire when the wheelchair/scooter is removed.

(d) Wheelchair/scooter hoist controls and operating mechanisms shall be located to allow the wheelchair/scooter user to operate the hoist unassisted during all phases of loading, stowing, and unloading.

(3) The wheelchair/scooter hoist and the wheelchair/scooter shall not cause the gross vehicle axle rating (GVAR) or the vehicle to be exceeded.

(4) The combined weight of the wheelchair/scooter hoist, the wheelchair/scooter, and the number of passengers that can be transported in the vehicle, assuming a weight of one hundred fifty pounds for each passenger, shall not cause the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle to be exceeded.

Effective: 09/08/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 06/23/2014 and 09/08/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3304.15(C)(1)
Rule Amplifies: 3304.15 , 3304.17
Prior Effective Dates: 05/10/1995, 08/02/1999, 06/03/2002, 08/04/2008