Modular Wheelchair Ramps - Legal Compliance in DIN 18040

Modular Wheelchair Ramps and the German legal compliance

In our function as ramp experts here in Der Rampen Shop we often get asked, clarify the situation in Germany concerning the law and disabled access.

In Germany these laws are regulated in the Standard DIN 18040 for barrier-free building. Please check in your country for similar regulations.

According to the standard the maximum gradient of 6% for ramps should not be exceeded, it cannot be assumed that a wheelchair user can get over this gradient by himself. The ramp should have a minimum usable width of 120mm and be equipped with handrails on both sides, in heights between 85cm and 90cm. From 6m onwards the ramp has to offer resting platforms with a min. size of 150cm in length and width.

Furthermore the modular wheelchair ramp has to have upstands of 10cm and manufactured from a robust and weatherproof material, so the ramp can be safely used in bad weather conditions.

Our modular ramp systems meet all of these requirements and can obviously also be used for domestic and private use.

We offer two different durable and robust systems, manufactured from either galvanised steel or anodised aluminium, both weatherproof materials. Both systems also offer an anti-slip mesh surface for good grip in wet conditions.

Our recommendations for gradients in various applications:

  • 6-8% for the individual wheelchair user without help
  • 8-10% for strong wheelchair users without help
  • 12-20% when the wheelchair user is pushed by someone

For electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters we ask you to check the manual for the recommended gradient. It is impossible to have a standard gradient to safely cover all electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters, with its various models, which react differently to the gradients. We recommend gradients between 10 and 15%, as these mobility aids are often equipped with 'anti-tip-wheels' or the battery pack under seat reduces the ground clearance significantly. If the gradients are too steep it can happen that the electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are getting stuck on the ramp which prevents a safe usage of the ramp.

For normal wheelchairs it is important to keep in mind, that too steep gradients can make the wheelchair tilt. Which is why we recommend on gradients over 8% the wheelchair user is pushed by someone. This, again, is no rule of thumb, as there are always exceptions. Persons with missing legs have a different center of gravity, as other people, which means the wheelchair can tilt easier with smooth gradients. Some wheelchairs are equipped with additional wheels for these circumstances.

If you have questions regarding modular ramps and wheelchair ramps, our service team is happy to help with your wheelchair ramp solutions.