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Thread: Telescoping steering wheel column

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Telescoping steering wheel column

    I?m finally about to acquire a new vehicle after 23 years. The choice boils down to either the 2017 or 2018 Chevy Traverse. The 2018 is a complete redesign model, and for many reasons, I am leaning towards it. Except, one thing gives me pause. The manual telescoping steering column that was standard in all 2017 models has been removed and isn?t even an option in any 2018 model. For all of you who drive from wheelchairs, do you think this is an important feature? I am just worried that in my wheelchair, I won?t be able to get as close to the steering wheel as a driver in an unmodified vehicle.

    Background: My current vehicle is a 1995 Ford Econoline which does not have telescoping. I use a 6-way transfer seat, and slide the seat forward until my knees hit the dash. I tilt the steering wheel as far forward as possible, so that it is less vertical. I just ?palm? the leather steering wheel (although I have a V-grip attached when it is absolutely necessary).
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  2. #2
    That's a very legitimate concern and definitely might case some problems that I see. I have a little experience with vehicle modifications sales. AS I sold modified vehicles in phoenix as for several years. I am guessing because you have a v-grip attachment. You have limited hand function and your disability might be guadriplegia? The problem I see right off the bat with out the telescoping steering wheel. Most spinner knob or v-grip attachments. They are installed in the 2 or 3 a clock position for driving. Most people have more strength by attaching that driving adaption in that position. It's a natural position to turn right or left. If your not close enough to the steering wheel you might have to attach. The v-grip to the 5 or 6 a clock position. My guess with guadriplegia it's not a natural position make any sense. Let's say you had to avoid an accident from happening and had to turn to the right or left immediately. Do you think you have the strength in you triceps to do that immediately.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmireles View Post
    That's a very legitimate concern and definitely might case some problems that I see. I have a little experience with vehicle modifications sales. AS I sold modified vehicles in phoenix as for several years. I am guessing because you have a v-grip attachment. You have limited hand function and your disability might be guadriplegia? The problem I see right off the bat with out the telescoping steering wheel. Most spinner knob or v-grip attachments. They are installed in the 2 or 3 a clock position for driving. Most people have more strength by attaching that driving adaption in that position. It's a natural position to turn right or left. If your not close enough to the steering wheel you might have to attach. The v-grip to the 5 or 6 a clock position. My guess with guadriplegia it's not a natural position make any sense. Let's say you had to avoid an accident from happening and had to turn to the right or left immediately. Do you think you have the strength in you triceps to do that immediately.
    Fortunately I have reasonably strong triceps in my right arm, but you are correct that my strength dissipates as my arm is extended. I am much more comfortable steering with my arm bent about 90 degrees. In thinking this through, I realized why I don't like using the V-grip. Besides it being uncomfortable to be "locked in" all the time, I think I don't like keeping my wrist perpendicular to the wheel when it is angled up like that. When it is closer 45 degrees (not quite a bus driver steering wheel), I like my wrist flat against the wheel (palming it) at 1-2 o'clock. While I might have been comfortable using the Palm Grip from Sure0Grip, I also realize that I rotate my wrist as I am turning, so that it is perpendicular when in the 7 o'clock position. This is the most natural from a wrist perspective and also allows me to maintain the forward pressure against the wheel to establish "grip". I suspect that even with tilt, the wheel on the new vehicle is going to be more vertical (since drivers tend to be seated lower in these vehicles than full-sized vans), which means I will probably want my wrist perpendicular. *That whole thought process might have been slightly of topic, but I am also trying to choose between a V-grip and palm-grip.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
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    I guess the question is whether I can get close enough through positioning the wheelchair? What complicates this is there is absolutely no way for me to get into a converted vehicle to try out before hand. There are no samples in Hawaii and I am not going to fly out to North Carolina (or anywhere, really, because I kind of really hate the whole airplane/airport experience).
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  5. #5
    Senior Member RoJo's Avatar
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    No tilt telescope would be a deal killer for me. Over time as strength, posture, etc. change I would want the ability to make changes as needed. I use a trip-pin-pin as I don't like the feeling that I could lose my grip on the wheel at an inopportune time. I use my pin in the 5 o'clock position. I like it there because my arm is at rest when going straight. Can you check with mobility dealers if they have sold that type van in the past year. Maybe the owner would let you take a look. By the way, I hate the whole airplane experience too. And with a power chair you have rent a van to get around. $$$. It's an RV for me. Sleep in my own sheets with my pillow and I know where the TV remote was the night before.

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