Straight and Curved Stairlifts – Spotlight on Hinged Tracks and Slide Tracks


If you are considering buying straight stairlifts or curved stairlifts, one of the things to bear in mind is that not all homes are fortunate enough to have a spacious hallway or landing. In fact most hallways, especially those in terraced or semi-detached homes, or even some new detached houses, are quite compact. Some may well have a doorway or hallway by the stairs, or a cupboard close enough to the staircase that at first glance you may think a stairlift is impossible to install.

However, there are straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts to suit most requirements and styles of buildings, so you will always find one to fit your needs and the design layout of your property.

Here we shall spotlight three important stairlift features – powered hinged tracks, manual hinged tracks and slide tracks –  which are available as optional extras on certain types of stairlifts. We will explain what these features are, how they work, who they are most suitable for, and the makes and models of stairlifts we sell that offer these particular features.

Straight Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products

Curved Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products

Manual Hinged Tracks

For those of you who have a corridor or doorway at the bottom of the stairs, this should not put you off getting a stairlift as there are various solutions available to you.

One of these is the manual hinged track – and to discover more about this you can arrange a free, no obligation home visit, where our friendly engineer will discuss the suitability of this for you and explain how it works in detail.

Manual hinged tracks are required because all stairlifts need to be installed at the right height for the user to get on and off comfortably. For this to happen, however, the track needs to extend beyond the staircase to reach the hallway floor. In some cases, this will block access to a room or corridor at the base of the stairs. So if you have a doorway or opening there – and many homes have this – you may need to think about having a hinged track fitted.

The manual hinged track means that you will need to fold the track away from the door by hand. This is a good option for homes that don’t have multiple users, or have a carer who is willing to operate this for you. The device is easy to use – it just gently lifts up or down – and lifting it by hand will provide clear access to the room, corridor or cupboard.

If you are choosing a manual hinged track, you will need to be able to bend down to operate it. Another important point of note is that for safety reasons you should make sure the hinge is raised at night time to allow access to a front door, or to enable other users to gain access to the premises.

Examples of the makes and models of stairlifts sold by Ransome Mobility that have the option of a manual hinged track are: Minivator Simplicity, Simplicity Plus, Minivator 2000 and the Minivator 1000.

Powered Hinged Track

Powered hinged tracks work in a similar way but are more convenient as you don’t have to bend down to lift the track up manually. Instead, the track is lowered and raised automatically when the toggle is operated and the stairlift is in use.

When the stairlift is not in use, it’s also possible to operate the hinged track via remote control. When you use the remote control to move the stairlift upstairs and park it, the hinge track works automatically, leaving doorway access clear and free.

Powered hinged tracks are ideal for those who will have difficulties using a manual version, either as a result of knee problems or a bad back, for example, and they are also suitable for multi-user households.

Powered hinged tracks are available on various makes and models of stairlift including: the Minivator 1000 and 2000 stairlifts, Homeglide, Homeglide Extra, Homeadapt Elite (straight and curved stairlifts) and Freelift.

Slide Tracks

Slide tracks are exclusive to Minivator stairlifts and work as soon as the toggle is activated and the stairlift is in use. It moves up or down at the same time as the stairlift so your doors and corridors are left completely free of obstruction.

The slide track is fitted with safety sensors at both ends of the track, so the track will immediately  stop if there is something in the way. You then have two options: to move the track and stairlift away from the blockage, or go towards it, so you can manually remove the object in the way.

Another advantage of this system over the traditional versions of a hinged or manual track, is that  there’s no risk of something becoming trapped in the hinge. Slide tracks are ideal for multi-user households or single person households as they  as they avoid creating an obstruction for other users and do not require assistance to operate.

Stairlifts featuring Minivator’s unique slide track are the Simplicity and Simplicity Plus stairlifts.

Straight Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products

Curved Stairlifts – click here to view our range of products