Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Power wheelchair quality

  1. #1

    Power wheelchair quality

    I've heard rumors that power wheelchair quality has deteriorated in the United States in the last seven years or so due to cutbacks in Medicare.

    I'm in the market for a new powerchair, one with tilt/recline/elevator. Considering Invacare and Permobil. I've heard Invacare has gotten worse quality-wise; don't know about Permobil as my chair predated the cutbacks (and was good quality). Also, not sure Permobil would be as sensitive to U.S. Medicare changes, since they're foreign.

    Can anyone shed light on the highest quality power chairs, and whether Invacare is worth trusting? Looking for something sturdy, smooth, fast for outdoor use, as well as good for indoor use.

  2. #2
    fast, tuff, versatal your talking bounderplus. i had my first 1 for 10 years. never had a problem ever (not counting the broken off right caster when i rolled into a concrete beam warp speed 13mph). the one i have now is almost 5 years and has developed a small electrical problem. got to get an old manual chair out so i can get this fixed. YES there are areas on the newer chair that are LOWER quality than the old one. imo still better than the rest. donnie

  3. #3
    Invacare does have their problems, however, picking a power chair is like voting for president. It's about picking the lesser of two evils.

    My $.02 invacare is the lesser of two evils.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hampshire, England.
    Posts
    5,004
    Given the cost of power chairs quality control should be 100%, unfortunately it's not and every manufacturer lets Monday morning/Friday afternoon chairs slip through.

    I think it all comes down to luck not manufacturer whether you get a peach or a lemon.

  5. #5
    I cant speak about other companies but in regards to Invacare, in my experience I have to recommend the TDX SR. Do not get an SP or any chair that uses the motors it does( 4 pole ). The SR or TDX5's motors( Gearles Brushless TrueTrack Motors ) are faster***, quieter***, and in my opinion more efficient. With that, get you chair with some 24 Gel** not 22 NF batteries. Get the latest MK6i controller, and have your chair programmed right. Ive had techs who want to program my chair within 5-10 minutes..No way, take your time and get it right. Tighten up the casters, tighten up the controller hardware and tune footplates, back and whatever else. You will have a reliable and powerful chair. Just do your homework and dont let the dme people decide for you.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by WHEELAS416 View Post
    I cant speak about other companies but in regards to Invacare, in my experience I have to recommend the TDX SR. Do not get an SP or any chair that uses the motors it does( 4 pole ). The SR or TDX5's motors( Gearles Brushless TrueTrack Motors ) are faster***, quieter***, and in my opinion more efficient. With that, get you chair with some 24 Gel** not 22 NF batteries. Get the latest MK6i controller, and have your chair programmed right. Ive had techs who want to program my chair within 5-10 minutes..No way, take your time and get it right. Tighten up the casters, tighten up the controller hardware and tune footplates, back and whatever else. You will have a reliable and powerful chair. Just do your homework and dont let the dme people decide for you.
    dittos on that.
    I am the happy owner of a 2008 Invacare 3G Arrow with GB motors, MK6i controller, shock forks etc. No problems, high quality.

    Also Quickie has maintained their quality with the S-63X series. I've owned them all. Have one now too.

    If I could afford a Bounder H frame, I would buy one.

    Power chairs took a big funding hit, so many class 1 and 2 consumer chairs became excessivly poor in quality. For instance Medicare used to pay prox $3500.00 for 1's and 2's grandma chairs. Now they only pay $2500.00 prox. I see them all over the place now. They look like bar stools on casters. They are now rented for the first 13 months before purchased by Insurance.

    Class 3 Rehab chairs maintained most of their quality inspite of cuts there too. Nobody escaped, except class 4 self pay chairs.

    The manufactures had to downgrade to conform to the insurance market that dominates the industry. Build chairs that will be funded.

    I did not know that insurance would pay for ELEVATE. I would guess that the origional poster is paying out-of-pocket for that.

    Elevate is great for a high C injury. I had a permobil C300 and liked that feature a lot. I had to buy that myself.

    If one owns an older FAST chair, hang on to it. They will become rare.
    Speed is not a necessity but a luxury. Not enough paying markets anymore to justify the build.
    IMHO
    C3,4,5....no deltoids.

  7. #7
    I just got my second Invacare TDX-SP. I had to get a chair with elevate and tilt. My older chair, TDX-SP, needed a right motor after 2.5 years but insurance covered it. The speed is 7.5 MPH, the joystick is very responsive and the chair will easily step up or down a 3" curb.

    Good luck with your choice.

    Millard
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


  8. #8
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    1,094
    Blog Entries
    1
    I'm glad to hear that Invacare has apparently improved its GB motors. I had them on the chair before this one and the motors were a headache.
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  9. #9
    My Permobil stander has been junk from the day they delivered it. The service was horrible from the vendor and the factory. Brad
    jbs

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by johntom View Post
    dittos on that.
    I am the happy owner of a 2008 Invacare 3G Arrow with GB motors, MK6i controller, shock forks etc. No problems, high quality.

    Also Quickie has maintained their quality with the S-63X series. I've owned them all. Have one now too.

    If I could afford a Bounder H frame, I would buy one.

    Power chairs took a big funding hit, so many class 1 and 2 consumer chairs became excessivly poor in quality. For instance Medicare used to pay prox $3500.00 for 1's and 2's grandma chairs. Now they only pay $2500.00 prox. I see them all over the place now. They look like bar stools on casters. They are now rented for the first 13 months before purchased by Insurance.

    Class 3 Rehab chairs maintained most of their quality inspite of cuts there too. Nobody escaped, except class 4 self pay chairs.

    The manufactures had to downgrade to conform to the insurance market that dominates the industry. Build chairs that will be funded.

    I did not know that insurance would pay for ELEVATE. I would guess that the origional poster is paying out-of-pocket for that.

    Elevate is great for a high C injury. I had a permobil C300 and liked that feature a lot. I had to buy that myself.

    If one owns an older FAST chair, hang on to it. They will become rare.
    Speed is not a necessity but a luxury. Not enough paying markets anymore to justify the build.
    IMHO
    Right, elevate and much of cost is out of plan. Just focused on quality here will worry about funding later. Elevator well worth money IMHO just for the flexibility.

Similar Threads

  1. New Power Wheelchair
    By Aspen in forum Equipment
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-01-2011, 06:24 PM
  2. Wheelchair Industry: Quality Absent
    By Katja in forum Equipment
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-22-2011, 10:54 AM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 07-15-2008, 12:51 PM
  4. Power Wheelchair
    By mujozo in forum Equipment
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-26-2005, 12:59 AM
  5. Best Power Wheelchair?
    By Vike in forum Life
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-20-2003, 12:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •