Manual vs. Powered Gurney Stretchers: How to Choose Your Best Option

manual vs powered gurney

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The non-medical transportation industry is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing markets and is expected to expand by 4.4% before 2026.

As the industry grows and more equipment and tools become available, it’s important to have all the facts and do your research. Your main priority should be your patients, but it can be difficult to know what is the best product for them and their needs.

Emergency transportation is talked about a lot more than non-emergent, but we are going to change that right now.

In this article, you’re going to read about a manual vs powered gurney. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Continue reading for more!

How To Choose

There are many different factors that you must consider before making your final decision. Making the wrong choice can be costly, so it’s crucial that you look at it from all sides. Rushing the decision is also not a good idea.

Know Your Options

Knowing your options is key, as it can help you make the right decision. When you know all the available information, you can make a list of pros and cons. By looking at all the options, you reduce your risk of making a quick decision that may not be right for your patients or business.

Consider Cost

Before making your decision, you should also look at the cost of all your options. Having a budget and sticking to it will prove to be beneficial in the future as well. Going over the budget can take funds away from other areas that may need it more.

What can your healthcare facility afford? You may need to opt for the less expensive option or you may have the financial freedom to choose what every gurney you want or think is best.

Know Your Patients’ Needs

Before making your final decision, consider all your patients. Do your patients have limited mobility?

What medical conditions do you see most often? You should also consider their size and weight. All patients are different and have different needs, so it’s important you have options so you can accommodate everyone, or at least the majority.

Manual Gurney

There are several pros and cons that you need to know about manual gurneys before you make your final decision.  Coming into this decision with an open mind can be very beneficial.


One of the main benefits of manual gurneys is the low cost. If you’re on a tight budget, manual gurneys are going to be the best option.

They don’t require batteries, which is another advantage, but it also helps keep the price low. Since no batteries or technology is required to use these, you don’t have to worry about them breaking down or not working because of technical issues.

There’s also a lower risk of any problems at all. There are no complicated motors that can malfunction.

Another benefit is that there is very low to no maintenance. You don’t have to change or charge batteries and you’ll never have to schedule a technician to come out and fix it.

At times, manual gurneys can be easier to maneuver. Healthcare providers can easily adjust the speed with their own strength instead of using a switch or a button.


While there are a lot of great advantages of manual gurneys, there are a few downsides that you need to be aware of. First, they may not have the weight capacity that powered gurneys have. There is also a higher risk of injury for healthcare providers if they don’t use proper lifting techniques.

It’s also going to take longer for the patient to get where they are going. This isn’t typically an issue with non-emergent transportation, but it is something to consider.

Powered Gurney

When you’re making your decisions, it’s important that you keep in mind what works for your competitors or other medical facilities may not be the best option for you. The decision between a manual vs powered gurney should be personalized to your business, staff, and patients.


Electric gurneys are much easier to use. It doesn’t must the healthcare provider to exert any physical strength. It’s also a faster mode of transport. While this may not be a necessity, it can be beneficial and time-efficient.

They also have safety features that other options don’t. For example, automatic locking brakes. These can come in handy and also help keep the patient safe. They also have a greater weight capacity.


The disadvantages of powered gurneys are the cost and the maintenance requirements. There’s a higher risk of breakdowns, which can be inconvenient and also costly.

You will also have to change the batteries or charge them. If they run out of power during a transport it could make the situation very difficult. However, as long as you have regular maintenance checks and always have extra batteries on hand, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Manual vs Powered Gurney

Choosing between a manual and a power gurney can be challenging. However, the information in this guide should help make the decisions a little easier.

The more information you have, the better. At the end of the day, having reliable medical transportation is the most important thing. Discussions about a manual vs powered gurney will continue to be ongoing. Take your time evaluating the facts in this article.

In the meantime, our team of professionals is available to help you with all your medical transportation needs. Contact us here for more information.

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