Practical advice for all your Loading, Hauling, & Transport needs

How To: Determine Proper Wheelchair Ramp Length

Oct 23, 13 • How-To, MobilityNo CommentsRead More »

Determining the proper length of ramp for handicap access.

  • Determine how much of an incline your power wheelchair or scooter can go up (should be listed in your owners manual).
  • If it is a straight shot into or up the stairs/step measure the amount of space or distance that you have going straight out from the highest point.
  • Take a measurement of the total useable width of the area you plan to have the ramp rest as the ramp width will obviously need to be smaller than this in order to fit.
  • Take a measurement of the total vertical(up and down) rise that you are trying to overcome.
  • Use the measurements in accordance with the ADA requirements below to find the length of ramp needed for your situation.

ADA requirements:

Residential Use: For loading unoccupied wheelchairs/scooters (unoccupied means nobody is sitting in the wheelchair/scooter while it navigates up the ramp):
ADA recommends a 3:12 slope which means for every 3″ of vertical rise you are required to have at least one foot of ramp (14.5 degrees incline)

To determine the length of ramp needed:
Measure the vertical rise from the ground to where the ramp will sit on the vehicle, stairs or threshold.
Take that measurement (inches) and divide it by 3. This will determine the length of ramp needed for an unoccupied power chair.
Example: 24 inches of rise requires an 8 foot ramp minimum (24 divided by 3).

Residential Use: For loading occupied power chairs/scooters (someone is riding on the power wheelchair/scooter):
ADA recommends a 2:12 slope which means every 2″ of vertical rise requires one foot of ramp (9.5 degrees of incline)

To determine the length of ramp needed for residential usage (Note: Business use requires a 1:12 slope):
Measure the rise from the ground to where the ramp will sit on the vehicle, stairs or threshold.
Take that measurement (inches) and divide it by 2. This will determine the length of ramp needed for an unoccupied power chair.
Example: 24 inches of rise requires a 12 foot ramp minimum (24 divided by 2).

Commercial Use: For loading occupied power chairs/scooters (someone is riding on the power wheelchair/scooter):
ADA recommends a 1:12 slope which means every 1″ of vertical rise requires one foot of ramp (5 degrees of incline).

To determine the length of ramp needed for business usage:
Measure the rise from the ground to where the ramp will sit on the vehicle, stairs or threshold.
This measurement equals the length of ramp needed in feet.
Example: 24 inches of rise requires a 24 foot ramp minimum (24 divided by 1).

Not sure what ramp length you need? Find out with the ramp calculator!
Ramp length calculator for wheelchair ramps

wheelchair ramp length chart

Residential Use Ramp Length Chart

Occupied – 2:12 Ratio (9.5 degree angle)
(Sitting in chair when loading)

Unoccupied – 3:12 Ratio (14.5 degree angle)
(Nobody in the chair when loading)

Rise – inches Required ramp length – feet Rise – inches Required ramp length – feet

4”

2’

4”

1’

6”

3’

6”

2’

8”

4’

8”

3’

10”

5’

10”

3’

12”

6’

12”

4’

14”

7’

14”

5’

16”

8’

16”

5’

18”

9’

18”

6’

20”

10’

20”

7’

22”

11’

22”

7’

24”

12’

24”

8’

26”

13’

26”

9’

28”

14’

28”

9’

30”

15’

30”

10’

The chart below is to help get a better understanding as to degree of angle each ramp length will give you.

Wheelchair & track ramps degree of angle chart

(Author: Bob Kay)
Click here to view our portable wheelchair ramps & track ramps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *