Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Boot hoist user tests

User testing

In November 2014, we tested some car boot hoists with members of the Rica consumer research panel at QEF where we looked at some of the features of different hoists to rate how important they were to users.

Four-way hoists

  • A four-way hoist is easier to use with a heavy wheelchair/scooter.
  • However, in our tests some users found it difficult to position the wheelchair/scooter in the right place to attach it to the hoist.
  • One user, who stands with the aid of crutches, found it difficult to load the wheelchair/scooter using a four-way hoist as they could not operate the control while moving to help guide it into the boot.

Straps and cords

  • Hoists where the wheelchair/scooter is attached to the end of a strap or cord caused users difficulties during the tests.
  • The load is more likely to swing and sway and it requires at least one hand to steady it as it is being hoisted.
  • Some users also thought they might get their fingers caught in the winch on some of these hoists.
  • Users preferred hoists where the wheelchair/scooter is attached directly to the end of the lifting arm.

Unload to pavement

  • The Autoadapt UK hoists are able to move the wheelchair/scooter through 180°, which means you can load/unload it to the pavement.
  • This was considered a very useful feature which users would like to see available on more products.

Stow out of sight

  • The Autoadapt Carolift 40 and the Brig-Ayd Evotech hoist can be stowed out of the driver’s line of vision when the wheelchair/scooter is loaded in the boot.
  • This was considered a very useful feature which users would like to see available on more products.

Preset stops

  • The Autoadapt Carolift 6900 and Brig-Ayd Evotech and Telescopic hoists can be programmed when they're installed so the movement in each direction stops at just the right point
  • This was considered a very useful feature which users would like to see available on more products.

Controls

  • Users preferred a control that could be held in the hand separately from the hoist.
  • Sometimes the wires caused problems: users struggled to hold the control against the resistance of the springy wire or they found it wouldn’t stay where they had put it when they put it down.
  • Users need to be able to put the control down somewhere where they know it won’t fall off.
  • Some controls had buttons that were too close together, which made them difficult to access. Some were also difficult to press, which meant that users with weak grips found them difficult to use.

Clips

  • All hoists we tested had the same kind of clips which were very difficult for many users.
  • Hoist suppliers tell us that all hoists can be supplied with alternative clips.

Last updated: February 2015


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