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Thread: SmartDrive Power Assist

  1. #1
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    SmartDrive Power Assist

    I went to the 2015 Boston Abilities Expo today and tried the SmartDrive MX2 Power Assist. It's awesome. Mark from Max Mobility was there and he put it on my wheelchair in about 3 minutes. He gave me about a 1 minute explanation of operating the unit and wristband and I was off.

    This motor is quiet, powerful and smooth. I had no trouble with starting, stoping, turning or anything. It allowed me to push up a steep pitched ramp into a wheelchair van. No way I could do that before without help. I could effortlessly cruise through the expo hall without crawling up someone's ankles....I was very comfortable using this device very quickly. I felt fully in control.

    Like anything, there is a tiny learning curve but I tell you folks...even a caveman like me could do it.....no sweat.

    Hope my insurance will cover it because I would definitely use and need something like this. I'm not quite "power chair material" yet but I ain't getting any younger!

    http://www.max-mobility.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Thank you for the report. Really glad you enjoyed yourself at the Expo and the SD seems to work for you. I first saw it at an Expo years ago and later had a demo at home and in my neighborhood. I use it every day and it makes all the difference. I am still though trying to learn to use it. Getting it to engage is my biggest problem. Also, figuring out when it is going to engage and accelerate on it's own. Still can't figure out why it seems to sense some tiny slope near my door I can't even see that sends it into sudden top speed. Many other times I can't get it to engage even when I push hard, slow hard, fast hard, long hard, sudden, every combination I can think of. A long push seems to communicate best with the drive but I'd still either like some lessons, which I am not sure should be needed after years of using it, or a software upgrade. It's a great system and an awesome motor, great switches too (my model not the newest single-unit model) but the programming has never quite worked for me. I have to keep a close eye on it. I wonder if Mark has new programming for the newest drive.

  3. #3
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    What a bummer. My DME provider just informed me the only way Medicare will pay towards it is if I am unable to push my chair throughout my home. They don?t cover for "community mobility." And if i did need it to get around my home, then i wouldn?t qualify for the level of chair I currently have under Medicare guidelines (Quickie HP2). So if I ever wanted a new chair they wouldn't pay for that type of chair. They would only pay for a lower level chair, as a rental, too.
    So Medicare would pay if I wanted to get a $30,000 power chair but they won't pay 6000 $7000 for a SmartDrive power assist unit. Fuckers.
    Last edited by smokey; 09-23-2015 at 11:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    What a bummer. My DME provider just informed me the only way Medicare will pay towards it is if I am unable to push your chair throughout my home. They don?t cover for community mobility. And if i did need it to get around my home, then i wouldn?t qualify for the level of chair you currently have under Medicare guidelines (Quickie HP2) so if i ever wanted a new chair they wouldn?t pay for that type of chair. They would only pay for a lower level chair, as a rental, too.
    So Medicare would pay if I wanted to get a $30,000 power chair but they won't pay 6000 $7000 for a SmartDrive power assist unit. So Medicare would pay if I wanted to get a $30,000 power chair but they won't pay 6000 -$7000 for a smart drive power assist unit
    Some people here have managed to get medicare to fund SmartDrive. I don't know how* they did. I paid second hand used.
    Last edited by nonoise; 09-22-2015 at 02:57 PM. Reason: * added
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  5. #5
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    What a bummer. My DME provider just informed me the only way Medicare will pay towards it is if I am unable to push your chair throughout my home. They don?t cover for community mobility. And if i did need it to get around my home, then i wouldn?t qualify for the level of chair you currently have under Medicare guidelines (Quickie HP2) so if i ever wanted a new chair they wouldn?t pay for that type of chair. They would only pay for a lower level chair, as a rental, too.
    So Medicare would pay if I wanted to get a $30,000 power chair but they won't pay 6000 $7000 for a SmartDrive power assist unit. So Medicare would pay if I wanted to get a $30,000 power chair but they won't pay 6000 -$7000 for a smart drive power assist unit
    I am really sorry. This is familiar to me. Years ago I needed to replace the seat cover fabric on my Jay Deep & Tall contour backrest. The fabric was $40. Insurance would not pay for it. They would however immediately pay for a new seat back which cost $600. I hated to do it but I took the new seat back which came with the new fabric I needed. Insurance is so tough to navigate. It's why whenever I can, even when it really hurts, I pay out of pocket. I know we are talking about huge amounts of money but I need my wheelchair and insurance wouldn't buy a Tilite or Icon for me. They would't buy a SmartDrive for me. If I didn't have my SmartDrive I would be hardly leaving my house and if I did it would be in a powerchair. I hope you figure something out, for me having the SmartDrive has made all the difference. Having a good manual chair has too.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Same here.
    I would have to show somehow that I would use the smart drive in the house.
    They won't even count the ramp to get into the house!

    Love my smart drive I'm getting outside so much more than I ever did before.

  7. #7
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Check this out; http://www.ebay.com/itm/Max-Mobility...item1a06748ed2

    Used SmartDrive MX-1 on eBay $1,980

  8. #8
    they certainly are great for our arsenal. I don't recommend any quad use it as a means to get up a mini van ramp. ran into a guy that bought a mini and did just that. flipped himself many times etc. now regrets ever buying the mini.
    its great on flat with no pitch, the pitch really gets me in trouble using mine. many times I wont bother because of that... my unit is I think v2 with wired button on my leg.
    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    I went to the 2015 Boston Abilities Expo today and tried the SmartDrive MX2 Power Assist. It's awesome. Mark from Max Mobility was there and he put it on my wheelchair in about 3 minutes. He gave me about a 1 minute explanation of operating the unit and wristband and I was off.

    This motor is quiet, powerful and smooth. I had no trouble with starting, stoping, turning or anything. It allowed me to push up a steep pitched ramp into a wheelchair van. No way I could do that before without help. I could effortlessly cruise through the expo hall without crawling up someone's ankles....I was very comfortable using this device very quickly. I felt fully in control.

    Like anything, there is a tiny learning curve but I tell you folks...even a caveman like me could do it.....no sweat.

    Hope my insurance will cover it because I would definitely use and need something like this. I'm not quite "power chair material" yet but I ain't getting any younger!

    http://www.max-mobility.com
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

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