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Thread: Para in a power chair?

  1. #11
    Here is a short explanation of the different drive configurations from Spin Life: https://www.spinlife.com/en/drivewhe...eelchairs2.cfm

    You will likely find as many opinions about which drive is best as there are users. Currently the two most popular and available drive bases are Mid and Rear Wheel drives.

    A good place to start is with an evaluation by a physical or occupational therapist. The therapist may have recommendations for durable medical equipment suppliers in your area, where you can get demonstration models to try. The longer you can use the demo models the better to find a chair that suits your needs.


    Drive Wheel Differences on Power Wheelchairs

    Your specific needs determine which drive wheel is a good buy for you.


    The drive wheels of a power wheelchair are connected to the motor. There are three drive wheel types, rear-wheel drive, mid-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, each of which are ideal for a certain type of user and needs. Each drive wheel type has its own driving and handling characteristics, turning radii, and advantages and disadvantages. Below is a brief overview of the different drive types.

    Rear-Wheel Drive
    The original drive type, rear-wheel drive power chairs are some of the most stable chairs on the market. This type of chair has the highest top speeds available, as well as the largest turning radius. Note that with rear-wheel drive chairs, going up steep hills will cause the chair to lean back on the anti-tip tubes to assist in preventing the chair from tipping backward.

    Front-Wheel Drive
    In this type of chair, the drive wheels are actually in front of your seat. A sturdy solution for uneven terrain and up and down hills, front-wheel drive chairs can easily climb over small obstacles. Most of the chair is behind you with this type, so remaining aware of what is behind you is key. Think of this drive type like a forklift. The overall speed of this drive type is slower, because it can fishtail at higher speeds.

    Mid-Wheel Drive
    While in this type of chair, your center of gravity is about even with the center of the drive wheels, so they are essentially under you. With mid-wheel chairs, there is an equal amount of the chair in front of and behind you, making it ideal for maneuvering in smaller spaces. Unlike front-wheel drive chairs, this type of chair is not ideal for varied, uneven terrain with steep transitions. There is a possibility of you getting “stuck” on the front or rear casters; suspending the drive wheels so they have no contact with the ground.

  2. #12
    Hi Lone Beagle

    Well we are almost identical in terms of age and years in chair. I am going through the same process. i have ordered an m3 because i like manuevarbilty and it seems like a great chair. i am working on an ATC conversion
    for 4wd pick-up. i live in Mn and 4wd to me is a necessity. You can also get SUV conversions from them. But make sure to check compatibility of Chair and vehicle because they are all different. I feel it's going to be a big change and as someone stated i will need to keep up on some form of exercise to keep burning some calories. There are lots of people on here that really know power chairs and trade offs etc. I wish you all the luck and pm me if you wish. ( we also have similiar ins. coverage)

    Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Beagle View Post
    After 61 years on the planet and 34 years in a chair my right shoulder has given it up. I have completely torn 3 of the 4 muscle groups that make up the rotator cuff and it has been deemed not repairable. I am fortunate enough to be able to get a PT/OT re-eval by therapists who actually know something about SCI and should get the appointment soon but I really don't see anyway around a power chair. Have any paras out there gone into a power chair after decades? comments on the experience?

    Also what are good power chairs? Looking through google it seems like there are fewer choices than with manual chairs. What are people using that they like?

    Thanks,
    John

  3. #13
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    What about the max mobility smart drive ?
    It's easy to put on your chair when you want it, easy to take off and transfer into your car with your chair etc.
    Can give you push assist or just full on power when you're really feeling lazy.
    I really can't say anything bad about mine, and the company has totally rocked supporting me when I've broken stuff.
    http://www.max-mobility.com/smartdrive/


    Then there is this guy, he used to be on here.

    http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/




  4. #14
    Senior Member Lone Beagle's Avatar
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    I saw the wheelchair driver's site. That is kind of over the top but cool.

    So why won't anybody say anything about Quantum?

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Beagle View Post
    I saw the wheelchair driver's site. That is kind of over the top but cool.

    So why won't anybody say anything about Quantum?
    Most comments about Quantum would be pejorative.

    You'll get lots of positive comments about Permobil M3 (mid wheel drive) and F3 (front wheel drive).

    Invacare is in and out of trouble and design remediation with the FDA (seems like for years and years) so lots of people avoid those bases.

    There are a few other power wheelchair manufacturers around, but they don't generally represent a strong presence in the marketplace.

    All that said, I am talking generally about the United States and various regions in the U.S. will have a stronger representation and preference for one or two manufacturers over others.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    I'm a c3c4 quad. I'm on my second Quickie 646SE. Before that I had a Quickie 636. I haven't had any serious problems with any of them.

  7. #17
    "Lone Beagle"

    Do you have private insurance or Medicare? If you have Medicare, you will need a lot of physical/occupational therapist and physician support and justification to get into a group 3 or 4 power chair. Private insurance may cut you more slack than Medicare. Justification about your shoulder injury is going to be crucial to funding and getting you into the chair that may be the best fit and choice for you.

  8. #18
    I am Polio paralyzed and in my mid 70's, got a ZX1 scooter about 4 years ago and love it. I had started having problems pushing my chair outdoors, such as from my van to shopping, restaurant, etc. This device was in the process of being sold to Spinergy and I think I was one of the early customers to purchase from them. They provided excellent help when I needed tinkering on it. I have had NO problems with it and had lithium batteries added and "snow" tires (left them on as they worked well on grass).

    I use it every time I go outdoors, and disconnect when I get home, placing it indoors. On days when my bad behaving shoulder is painful I get into it for tooling around the house. In the recent past I underwent almost daily PT and OT for eight weeks for my left shoulder (about 70 years of transfers causing arthritis and bone spurs and I'm not surgery candidate). Post therapy I have about 80% less pain and must continue exercise daily or pain will recur. I use a prescription gel in addition to alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

    I'm stating these therapeutic measures as I'm wondering if you will experience significant improvement after therapy, and that may determine what sort of mobility device you choose. For instance, if you can transfer safely to a van seat you may be able to use the ZX1. If not, you may need to consider driving a van from a power chair. (Note: no one to my knowledge has perfected a safe tie-down for driving from ZX1.)
    Suggest you wait for completion of therapy for a final decision. In short, I would think you'd want to start thinking about a van, at the least. Any shoulder-saving techniques are so important, in addition to an exercise program you can do yourself daily, provided by your therapists. I did road racing for years and never had pain or discomfort in my shoulders, it was the aging process and continued transfers that got to me.
    Very best to you.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Lone Beagle's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I wanted well informed when I hit the PT/OT functional evaluation and you have all helped. I am hoping to be able to go with a power add on but will probably still need to go back to a van as the seat transfers are much easier than getting in and out of my Mazda5. Damn, I like driving that Mazda! The physiatrist is leaning toward an electric chair and driving from it. We will see. As I have said, I am "fortunate" to have been hurt on the job so funding is not a huge issue. That did take 15 years and catching the insurance company trying something illegal but I can get anything an MD says I need.

    Thanks again,
    John

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Here is a short explanation of the different drive configurations from Spin Life: https://www.spinlife.com/en/drivewhe...eelchairs2.cfm

    You will likely find as many opinions about which drive is best as there are users. Currently the two most popular and available drive bases are Mid and Rear Wheel drives.

    A good place to start is with an evaluation by a physical or occupational therapist. The therapist may have recommendations for durable medical equipment suppliers in your area, where you can get demonstration models to try. The longer you can use the demo models the better to find a chair that suits your needs.


    Drive Wheel Differences on Power Wheelchairs

    Your specific needs determine which drive wheel is a good buy for you.


    The drive wheels of a power wheelchair are connected to the motor. There are three drive wheel types, rear-wheel drive, mid-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, each of which are ideal for a certain type of user and needs. Each drive wheel type has its own driving and handling characteristics, turning radii, and advantages and disadvantages. Below is a brief overview of the different drive types.

    Rear-Wheel Drive
    The original drive type, rear-wheel drive power chairs are some of the most stable chairs on the market. This type of chair has the highest top speeds available, as well as the largest turning radius. Note that with rear-wheel drive chairs, going up steep hills will cause the chair to lean back on the anti-tip tubes to assist in preventing the chair from tipping backward.

    Front-Wheel Drive
    In this type of chair, the drive wheels are actually in front of your seat. A sturdy solution for uneven terrain and up and down hills, front-wheel drive chairs can easily climb over small obstacles. Most of the chair is behind you with this type, so remaining aware of what is behind you is key. Think of this drive type like a forklift. The overall speed of this drive type is slower, because it can fishtail at higher speeds.

    Mid-Wheel Drive
    While in this type of chair, your center of gravity is about even with the center of the drive wheels, so they are essentially under you. With mid-wheel chairs, there is an equal amount of the chair in front of and behind you, making it ideal for maneuvering in smaller spaces. Unlike front-wheel drive chairs, this type of chair is not ideal for varied, uneven terrain with steep transitions. There is a possibility of you getting ?stuck? on the front or rear casters; suspending the drive wheels so they have no contact with the ground.

    Front-Wheel Drive
    In this type of chair, the drive wheels are actually in front of your seat. A sturdy solution for uneven terrain and up and down hills, front-wheel drive chairs can easily climb over small obstacles. Most of the chair is behind you with this type, so remaining aware of what is behind you is key. Think of this drive type like a forklift. The overall speed of this drive type is slower, because it can fishtail at higher speeds.


    This information is sure wrong being a rear wheel rider, then mid wheel and now front wheel the speed is the same 6 mph which is the same for most class 3 power chairs.

    Back in the day when there was only rear wheel drives when we all moved in to mid wheel we all complained about the fish tailing and clipping things with the back castors but after a few months the feeling was gone and business as usual!

    Now with technolgy and gyroscope in front wheel drive chairs the stability is there! Once you get over the learning curve front wheel drives they out maneuver mid wheels and no fear of getting stuck, and dont have the wide turning issues of rear wheel!

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