How do I Strap a Wheel Chair in a Wheel Chair Van?

Updated February 21, 2017

A vehicle that is made to transport a wheelchair is equipped with a tie-down system, which consists of four straps with hooks on the ends. These straps are bolted to the floor and can be tightened to the corners of the wheelchair to keep it securely in place. Each location capable of accommodating a chair in such a vehicle has its own set of tie-downs. The system helps keep occupants of wheelchairs and other passengers safe.

Move the wheelchair to the part of the van that has been fitted for wheelchairs. Confirm that the tie-downs and the seat belt are securely bolted to the floor. Place the wheelchair so that its wheels are as close to the respective tie-downs as possible. Lock the wheels in place.

Place the front-right hook over the top of the bar running across the bottom front of the wheelchair behind the footrests. The hook should be placed on the bar near the front right wheel. Repeat this with the other three hooks, placing them on a sturdy part of the wheelchair's frame close to the respective hook.

Tighten the tie-downs using the device at the floor end of them. Most tie-downs are mechanical; you just push a switch on each one to tighten the strap and secure the wheelchair. These devices look like a metal enclosure with a switch. If the switch does not work, the tie-downs have a wheel on the side of the enclosure; you can turn the wheel to tighten the tie-down.

Strap the seat belt on the person by pulling it around their waist and across their chest. Put the seat belt tab into its buckle and pull on the belt to ensure it is securely attached. Adjust until it is comfortable to the person in the wheelchair.


According to Mobility Advisor, a person should never be transported in a side-facing position.


Always use the wheelchair tie-downs when transporting a person in a wheelchair.

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