Harbor Freight has been a part of my life for a long time. If you’re not familiar with this bargain hardware giant, they have everything from tools and hardware to tarps, fountains, paint and a whole lot of things I can’t even identify. Truth be told I once saw a small windmill at our local store.
The store is usually pretty crowded, not always tidy and filled to the rafters with men covered in grease, sweat and dirt. Add in the super 20% off coupons and the free stuff you can get with your purchase, and it’s somewhat of a nirvana for do-it-yourselfers. And believe me, we’ve been there many a time for parts or tools that we couldn’t find anywhere else.
But it never occurred to me that they might also carry a decent folding wheelchair-ramp for a bargain basement price. OK, they don’t call it a wheelchair ramp, but it looks exactly like the ramps that the specialized wheelchair equipment dealers carry. The big difference is the price and the capacity.
A friend of mine made this discovery the other day when he found a six-foot long folding ramp with a capacity of up to 1200 pounds for $150 at his local Harbor Freight. Add in the 20% discount (you can find coupons online, in AARP Magazine and in the Harbor Freight monthly mailer) and that knocked the price down to a very reasonable $120. So how does that compare with the models that the specialty wheelchair ramp places carry? Well I did a little research and the cheapest comparable one that I found sold for $231 – and it only had a capacity of 800 pounds.
I asked my friend how it worked out and he’s very happy with the ramp. It was designed for putting stuff in the back of a truck so there were two chains attached at one end to anchor it down, but he was able to remove those pretty easily; and for his purposes (not a steep pitch) he really doesn’t need them. He’s quite happy with it, and it holds up the weight of his power chair and him with no problem. And did I mention that he got it for a song?
I know a lot of folks who travel with folding ramps – they are especially handy on road trips for those unexpected entry steps – so if you are thinking about getting one, be sure and check out Harbor Freight. I’m sure you’ll also find a few other cheapie items you can’t live without while you’re there, but that’s part of the fun of the store. And don’t forget your coupons!!