Snow removal options tend to be limited for wheelchair users.
What’s more, getting around in your wheelchair can become more strenuous in heavy snowstorms. If you’re in a manual wheelchair, you need to exert more effort to move. This can be particularly difficult if you’re not used to the effort.
However, power chair users can also feel the strain of winter weather because their batteries can lose up to 60% of their charge as temperatures plunge.
Are snow melting mats the best solution for homeowners who use wheelchairs? Can HeatTrak mats handle the weight of a wheelchair?
Let’s take a closer look.
In short, it’s perfectly fine to use wheelchairs on HeatTrak mats. We have thousands of customers who are wheelchair users and who have installed mats for snow removal at home.
But there are a few factors to keep in mind when wheelchair owners are considering heated snow melting mats.
Can the mats accommodate the width of your chair?
For starters, you should take into account the width of your chair and the size of the mat. Will the mats be wide enough to accommodate your chair? Typically, wheelchairs are approximately 30” wide between the wheels, which is the size of our widest residential mats.
The width of this mat will work for many wheelchairs but if it’s not wide enough for your model, we recommend you go with an industrial mat. We carry a commercial mat that’s 36” wide, which will work well for the majority of wheelchair designs.
Another benefit of using our industrial mats to create a path on your wheelchair ramp or walkways is the longer stretch of mats you’ll have with no need to daisy-chain them together.
This will help make maneuvering a wheelchair easier because the small gap that naturally occurs between connected residential mats is eliminated.
What about power-chair users?
We sometimes hear from customers who want to know if HeatTrak mats can handle the combined weight of a power chair and its owner.
Don’t worry. The truth is, the total weight won’t affect your mats. Power chairs are perfect for snow melting mats because they generally have inflated rubber tires, and the weight where the tires hit the mat is of little consequence.
In short, our snow melting mats can handle your wheelchair whether you use a manual chair or a power chair. The only thing you need to consider is the width of the mats vs. the width between your wheels.