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Thread: Powerchair replacement

  1. #1

    Powerchair replacement

    I am replacing an I-bot since parts will not be available after this year. It seems all 4-wheel drive power chairs are big and bulky and have a wide turn radius. Dose anyone have suggestions on what kind of powerchair is available for off pavement use. My job requires use on gravel and grassy surfaces.
    Thanks,
    Semper fi

  2. #2
    I am assuming you are a veteran, so thanks for your service. I work at an SCI Center and used to do the iBot evals there. When someone didn't meet the strict criteria that needed to be met, we recommended the Innovation In Motion Frontier X5 mid wheel drive. These days, they sell it as the V6 (not sure why their marketing department felt that was a good name).

    There are few places that it will not go, but it performs best when it is properly programmed.

    They do not sell many in the US, but the Levo C3 stander is actually a pretty good off pavement chair. Some described the iBot as a "powerchair for paras", and the Levo is kind of similar in that respect. It has 6 wheels., but the drive wheels and front casters are both under power. When the standing function isn't used, thr front casters are still powered, but do not touch the ground on level surfaces. They will assist getting up and over obstacles. When the standing function is used the casters are in contact with thre ground and thr drive wheels don't make contact. It is a difficult concept to explain, but I 'll try to post something this weekend.

    If that chair is too bulky a P222SE, a Torque SP with 4" wide pneumatic rear tires, or perhaps a Permobil M400 would work. None would have off pavement performance that is even close to the V6 however.

    Your VA should be able to get a V6 demo or M400 easily. Unlike the all wheel drive X8, a V6 would not need to be approved by Central Office.


  3. #3
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    I have an X5 I bought years ago just for offroading, I'm a para and normally in manual, but we do a bunch of rv'ing and having this powerchair makes it way more fun.

    I have taken it places that scared the crap out of me, like inclines much larger than they recommend, and it has never gotten me stuck. It goes thru grass, mud, gravel without missing a beat.

    Search X5 on here, you'll find a few threads expounding it's abilities. Being only 2 wheel mid drive, it also moves thru tight places pretty easily, but is a little "bulky" so gotta be careful. I use it in my motorhome when we are camping.

    Here's one of the threads:
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=82918
    Last edited by McDuff; 01-11-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: added thread link
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  4. #4
    Thanks for the information. I will get the VA going now so hopefully I will have chair this fall. They have been very good to work with at Jefferson Barracks.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fi View Post
    Thanks for the information. I will get the VA going now so hopefully I will have chair this fall. They have been very good to work with at Jefferson Barracks.
    I'll share my thoughts with a couple of the therapists I know there. They are a very cool group to work with.


  6. #6
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    Although I an not sure about their program anymore, I believe that the MTS OmegaTrac is far and away the best outdoor power wheelchair that can be used sucessfully inside. Built by aircraft enginners I never had one single problem for years and I live in the middle of a national forest. You would not believe where I have been in that chair. I started with a rear wheel drive Quickie S- 626 which did pretty well busting around in the woods and flying down dirt roads. Next was the Omegatrac which of course can go anywhere but its stability when jumping of the edge of paved roads at full speed onto non-existing berms to avoid logging trucks is impressive. No outside/ inside power wheelchair can manage that, if one tried with another, they would roll over.

    I demoed the Otto Block C2000, it was too big for inside but was great al-terrain, still rather run the OT.

    I settled next on the Frontier X5 which I still use mostly outside but it does not have the stability of the OT. I hate having all those wheels to deal with inside. Large spining front casters suck, they jump sideways when I attempt to bust through fallen tree limbs and towells and such get caught in them inside. Good in snow but slow. Minor prolems but not bad.

    I unfortunately picked a Permobil C500s which is a piece of junk, way too many things wrong to even discuss. Gets stuck on wet grass and I would never leave the pavement with it but it is fast. Got it because I may move to normal type place.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 01-11-2013 at 09:19 PM. Reason: bLOICK
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

  7. #7
    I haven't tried one of these yet, but the Bounder looks like something I would love to try. It appears there are no limits to what they can be configured to do. www.wheelchairs.com (FYI: They are 100% built in the USA!)

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


  8. #8
    I too have never tried a Bounder, but they look amazing and like Millard said are 100% American made. An H-frame with suspension and knobby tires might suit you well. The Invacare RangerX is tried and true, with a bit of experience you can traverse nearly any terrain. I would stick to rear wheel drive, my experience with front and mid-wheel drives was they are useless off hard surfaces.

  9. #9
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    Ranger Wheelchairs from Canada has the Yukon. I have been waiting for them to be OK in the US. Maybe my next chair.

    I see that CC prefers RWD but from my experience FWD works best off road. I often need to climb over tree branches or bust through fallen limbs and large, knobby front drive wheels work best. When travelling on uneven terrain front casters lose contact with the ground, spin around and whenever they decide to make contact again, you go in the direction THEY want. Sucks.

    I have thousands of hours using a powerchair on uneven and unforgiving terrain. As soon a I leave my front door it begins. Winter is obviously the most difficult but as long as I was in my Omegatrac, I was confident. My concern was, and always is breakdown, leaving me subject to freezing. No cell phone service and few people around, especialy where I go in my powerchairs. Few chairs can be used both indoor and outdoor sucessfully. Finding a balance that fits your lifestyle is the challange.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 01-12-2013 at 08:07 PM.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

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