ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliant Wheelchair Buses For Sale, Buses and Wheelchair Buses
Wheelchair buses, handicap buses, and paratransit shuttle buses are a basic operating tool for a countless number of businesses and organizations. Retirement home buses and assisted living buses make up just a fraction of the total paratransit buses on the road. ADA compliant buses are also especially useful for hospitals, schools and churches that must be able to accommodate handicap persons. Many private businesses find that the addition of ADA compliant buses expands their business to new markets and customers that they would not have been able to reach otherwise.
CDL (Commercial Drivers License) Requirements for ADA buses.
Most wheelchair buses can be put into one of two categories. The first bus license category is the non-CDL wheelchair bus. These buses can carry a total of 14 passengers (10 in California) and do not require a special drivers license to operate. Wheelchair buses are typically based on a Ford E350 or E450 bus chassis and can be 20-24 feet in length. Capacities will usually range from 1-3 wheelchairs in this size of bus, though some have been made that will hold up to 5. Wheelchair positions can be either dedicated spots or they can use special flip seats that literally flip up out of the way to make room for a wheel chair or scooter. Anchor points in the floor and wheelchair straps are used to secure ADA passengers while in transit. These straps can either be simple pull-straps or a more elaborate self-retracting style. The non-CDL buses can be a great fit retirement homes and assisted living facilities that would like a bus that anyone can drive.
The second category of wheelchair shuttle bus licensing would be those that are over the CDL limit that you would need a commercial drivers license to operate the bus. This is any wheelchair bus that can hold 15 or more passengers. The most common sizes are going to be in the 15-25 passenger range. The largest of these style buses can reach almost 40 feet long, though this is rare. These mobility buses can be built on several different chassis including but not limited to a Ford E450 chassis, Freightliner bus chassis, International bus chassis, or a Chevrolet C5500 bus chassis. With the availability of these larger chassis higher wheelchair capacities are possible, though most buses will have 4 or less wheelchair positions. The majority of these buses are going to be diesel with the exception of the Ford E450 where gas engines are very common. The CDL required to drive most of these style buses is a simple Class B license with a passenger endorsement. If the bus does happen to have air brakes then an air brake endorsement will also be needed.
Engines available in an ADA compliant bus.
Under the hood of a wheelchair bus you may find either a gas or turbo diesel engine. Both diesel wheelchair buses as well as gas wheelchair buses can provide years of trouble free service when well maintained. Diesel units will get slightly better fuel economy than gas variants, but this is oftentimes offset by the fact that diesel fuel is more costly per gallon. Getting into the heavy duty chassis buses (Freightliner, International, etc) diesel tends to be the only option. As with any vehicle, a strict maintenance program will ensure a long service life.
When looking for wheelchair buses for sale, many questions may arise. Call us today to speak with one of our mobility specialists. 1-877-456-9804