Generally, handicap vehicles are considered as technological innovations which are designed to provide persons with disabilities a certain degree of comfort when attempting to move from one place to another. These types of vehicles can range from as small as a handicap scooter to as big as a handicap bus. Careful consideration must be done before attempting to purchase one of these vehicles designed to bring a sense of normalcy to the life of the handicapped.
Sometimes these vehicles are also referred to as ADA compliant buses in reference to the law which covers the rights to public transportation of disabled people.When planning to buy handicap buses for sale, make sure to consider some of the following criteria so that all the needs of your passengers will be met.
1. Brand New or Used Buses for SaleThere is a significant difference between purchasing a brand new handicap bus and the used bus sales cost. For one, like many other things, the value of anything brand new is always higher compared to that which is used or refurbished. If you believe that you have the money to spend, then by all means get a brand new one. However, if money is an issue, the wise choice would definitely be to purchase a used handicap bus.
Used handicap buses after all are not that bad. You simply need to consider the amenities that go with the vehicle. For example, the type of wheelchair lifts installed. Normally, a heavy duty dual-arm is the lift in use for big vehicles like buses. If it will be used for private transportation of your group, then it would be easy to evaluate whether the width of the lift is enough to accommodate the various sizes of wheelchairs or other transports used by your members. Remember that all buses for sale come with a manufacturer’s recommended retail price, with emphasis on the recommended. So try to bargain for the best price available on the unit that you need. Dealers like Absolute Bus Sales and Florida Church Bus offer competitive pricing schemes.
2. Diesel or Gas Used BusAgain, this would depend on how much you have set aside for maintenance and fuel expenses. For brand new buses, this is not that big of an issue because the engine should still be functioning at its optimal level. For used handicap buses however, some engines may already be refurbished making it a gasoline monster. If diesel pump prices remain lower than gasoline, then a diesel engine handicap bus would be just the right one for you to maximize its potential. It is likewise wise to voice out your concerns to the dealer prior to purchasing the vehicle so that they can be adequately addressed.
3. What is the purpose of the handicap busThere are different intended uses for a handicap bus. One of the most common reasons for buying handicap buses is to use them as church buses. This type of handicap bus is used by ministers to visit their congregations who no longer have the ability to go to church because of their handicapped condition. It may also be used to spread the church’s ministry to neighboring cities or towns. It is important that the dealer you talk to has a vast experience specifically with church buses, because he can give you an accurate detail on the maintenance requirements as well as the expected mileage of the vehicle. For church buses, you need to know whether your driver has a commercial license or not. You also need to consider the seating capacity including the luggage room required. Since you will be using it as a handicap bus, it is imperative that it has all the safety requirements installed like seatbelts, secure locks for wheelchairs, and the like.
Another potential use is as a paratransit bus, this is dedicated for persons with disabilities who require assisted living. School bus for handicapped children is also commonly found in various school districts. If you know a bus builder who is familiar with the disabilities act, it would be wise to consult him to get an idea on exactly what to look for.
4. WarrantyWarranty is another important thing to consider when attempting buying used buses for sale. This will guarantee that you will have the best value for your money and to a certain degree, limit the maintenance and operation cost for the first few years. You would not want to have to immediately shoulder repair costs during the first year. Along with the warranty, try to find out the kind of after sale service they are going to offer. You can be more confident buying from a dealer with a service center where you can bring your vehicle in case it bogs down.
5. Things needed to improve handicap accessibilityA ramp and lift are the most common equipment found in handicap buses. To purchase a bus to include those which are not basic like air conditioning, tinted windows, power locks, and other extras would provide additional comfort to the passengers. Normally, people who purchase handicap buses look for wide center aisles, comfortable seats, low steps, assist rails, and other installations to assist not only the handicapped but also the elderly.
You may also want to look for a handicap bus that have special anchoring equipment for the floor and walls which will secure the wheelchair inside the bus during the travel. Look also at the seating section of the vehicle to ensure that everyone would be at ease during the trip. Information on how safe the bus is would also be helpful to allow you to place your disabled passengers in the correct section of the bus.