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  1. #1

    Lower Powerchair

    I've been using a Permobil C500 Lowrider for 10yrs. Yesterday I received my Permobil F3 but ran into an issue that it sits to tall. (Permobil discontinued the lowrider.) I'm 6'4 so now with this chair my head is in the roof of my 14" dropped floor van and my legs are too close to my handcontrols. I've been using J2 cushions since 2000 with no skin issues but they asked if I'd like to try a ROHO to maybe sit lower. I'm needing to sit 2 inches lower. My C500 measures 16 from floor to seat pan where my F3 is almost 18. My rep asked if we could run a smaller rear caster but Permobil said no. Any suggestions?
    John-B

  2. #2
    I think you may be limited to a lower cushion as Permobil integrates power seating. I know Amysystems and Quickie du ultra low STF heights.

    I use a low profile 2" ROHO but depending on your diagnosis it may not offer proper protection.

  3. #3
    I share you pain. I'm the same height and I know how every fraction of an inch is important to being able to access under tables, desks, and sinks and function in lowered floor vans. I just took delivery on a Permobil m300. It has 8 inch seat elevation and the lowest seat to floor (STF) height I can achieve with Group 24 batteries is 17.5 inches. If I didn't have seat elevation, I've been told I could get 16.5 inch STF height with Group 24 batteries. If you go with Group 34 batteries, you might pick up an inch. But Group 34 batteries aren't as highly rated as Group 24. So there would be trade offs.

    All the reviews and specs that I have read indicate the lowest STF height on the f3 is 17.5 inches. Hopefully you'll hear from some members who are f3 users.

    All the best,
    GJ

  4. #4
    I don't think there's any power chair with tilt and recline that will go below 17, probably even 17.5. The Permobil F series, the F3 and the F5 both have a 17.5 STF height without an elevator. With the elevator the minimum is 18.5. I believe, based upon a post previously given at this website by an OT that that height stays the same, regardless of which batteries one chooses. I completely sympathize with everybody's difficulties. I do not use my elevator much, but I think this time around I am going to forgo it to gain that inch, since the new F3 seat pan is unable to accommodate any rear dump (before using any tilt) that my present C 300 has. In the pan on my C 300 they were able to drop down the rear pan between the side rails a full inch, which is a huge boon. So the only way I can stay at my present 17.5 STF is to forgo the elevator. I am only 5'10" by the loss of an additional inch to 18.5 would make visibility out of the windshield even more problematic than it already is. The only way one can counteract poor visibility out of the windshield is to take out all of the tilt to bring one closer to the floor, but that has the downside of creating a bit of postural strain and instability when driving.

    Power chairs basically suck for being functional. They are good for getting from point A to point B and for pressure relief. But for desk work, moving around constantly in an office environment (whether home or elsewhere) or socializing around a meal where table heights are an issue the downside is immediately apparent and one not easily adapted to. If I have to do an extended amount of paperwork or computer work I will often wait until I am in my power assisted manual chair to do it.

    Trying to lessen STF height at the expense of your skin by using a thinner cushion may be a short-term remedy with potential long-term consequences.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    With the chair you got, you are probably pretty stuck. This is the DME's fault, but they will never own up to it. It is their responsibility to make sure that any new chair they are recommending actually works in all phases of your life. I had this happen when a DME highly recommended a chair. When I got it, it didn't fit on my van lift. Any competent DME would have recognized this. The result was that I had to donate the chair to charity and continue using my old chair for another several years. Luckily I moved to Hawaii and a new insurer and was able to get a new chair sooner. That can't happen anymore, as they now share information.

    It's too bad as there are other chairs with tilt and recline that are in the 16" range. Amysystems will go down to 15.5" using their smaller wheel option. And there is the possibility of custom builds, if required. Or, an Amysystems aftermarket tilt/recline seating system can be added to many other branded wheelchairs achieving a seat height that is usually lower than stock and often in the 16-17 range.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  6. #6
    I'm thinking of trying 6in rear casters instead of the 8in. I tried a ROHO today but it didn't lower me enough
    John-B

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 490 View Post
    I'm thinking of trying 6in rear casters instead of the 8in. I tried a ROHO today but it didn't lower me enough
    6" casters would lower you an inch if they work with the forks. However that will also lower the chassis .The Permobils already are pretty low. You will hang up a lot. I am in the process of getting an M300 with the 6" caster option. They have different forks that will keep the ground clearance the same as that of the 8" casters.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 490 View Post
    I've been using a Permobil C500 Lowrider for 10yrs. Yesterday I received my Permobil F3 but ran into an issue that it sits to tall. (Permobil discontinued the lowrider.) I'm 6'4 so now with this chair my head is in the roof of my 14" dropped floor van and my legs are too close to my handcontrols. I've been using J2 cushions since 2000 with no skin issues but they asked if I'd like to try a ROHO to maybe sit lower. I'm needing to sit 2 inches lower. My C500 measures 16 from floor to seat pan where my F3 is almost 18. My rep asked if we could run a smaller rear caster but Permobil said no. Any suggestions?
    The web site on that chair is 17.5'' 18.5'' or 19.5'' Did you not demo one and check it out on your van before you bought it?
    Art

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Art454 View Post
    The web site on that chair is 17.5'' 18.5'' or 19.5'' Did you not demo one and check it out on your van before you bought it?
    When measured in my C500 there was about an inch difference in height to the 17.5" of the F3 on paper. Now that we have the F3 in person it's 18". We didn't try one since when I drive I raise my chair up about an inch due to when the C500 is lowered all the way the seat bottom and plastic covering the batteries touches causing annoying squeaking. I now wish we'd tried one out.
    John-B

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 490 View Post
    When measured in my C500 there was about an inch difference in height to the 17.5" of the F3 on paper. Now that we have the F3 in person it's 18". We didn't try one since when I drive I raise my chair up about an inch due to when the C500 is lowered all the way the seat bottom and plastic covering the batteries touches causing annoying squeaking. I now wish we'd tried one out.
    Since they made the mistake on paper.....Make them take it back and make it right. I think that would be your best fix. Or take it back and get one you can use. they can always get rid of the f3
    Art

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