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Thread: Confidence in DME techs

  1. #1

    Confidence in DME techs

    My new Ki Rogue, I have had over a month now, with one fork that sticks. I previously wrote how the regional rep came, and changed the bearing in it, which did zilch. Now they ordered and just got in carbon frog legs. I was called by the tech, who said he needed to take the chair for two DAYS because he didn't know how to put on the forks. What?? So already this chair creaks and cracks LOUDLY when I move, super annoying, and I'm thinking it's the way this guy put it together. It has got to be 'off' somehow. So my confidence is low that he will do this right. But it's the place I got the chair, through Medicaid, and not sure what if any options I have. I don't want to be without it for two days. It's a two HOUR job! What if he messes it up, too? Ugh. Possibly he doesn't know how to put forks on a Ki chair, but still. Jeez. What would you do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    There is a lot that can be inferred as to WHY someone is working as a wheelchair 'mechanic'...and why contact with such types is best avoided

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by heartdog View Post
    My new Ki Rogue, I have had over a month now, with one fork that sticks. I previously wrote how the regional rep came, and changed the bearing in it, which did zilch. Now they ordered and just got in carbon frog legs. I was called by the tech, who said he needed to take the chair for two DAYS because he didn't know how to put on the forks. What?? So already this chair creaks and cracks LOUDLY when I move, super annoying, and I'm thinking it's the way this guy put it together. It has got to be 'off' somehow. So my confidence is low that he will do this right. But it's the place I got the chair, through Medicaid, and not sure what if any options I have. I don't want to be without it for two days. It's a two HOUR job! What if he messes it up, too? Ugh. Possibly he doesn't know how to put forks on a Ki chair, but still. Jeez. What would you do?
    In my experience, DME "techs" and shop managers have piss poor basic mechanical knowledge. I have no doubts that your chair is "off" because the DME guy worked on it. If you are unable to do the work on the chair yourself, your best option is to find a good bicycle shop to get your tires changed, bearings replaced and such.

    Carbon Frog legs come with the caster stem bolt installed, it's an hour job at most. Go to a bicycle shop that builds wheels and repairs bicycles...ask them to install, if you can get them away from the DME tech. He probably won't want to let them go because of the super high labor per hour they charge.

  4. #4
    Well. This is just making me SMH. He did find it was easy to do, and got the chair back. On a hilarious aside, the footplates have been too low, so they ordered risers, and I did a foam hack with sticky stuff. Well, the footplate, an H style angle adjustable, was able to go up another inch. Now it's perfect. A month later. Oh, and the creakingcracking ? Loose screws all over the seat pan. Jeez.

    The FrogLegs Carbon forks are a dream, floats on our jaggedy sidewalks. However, got the dreaded flutter, and in a weird way. Like light rapid vibrating kind. I call the tech. He swears he 'machined' the surface of the chair where the forks attach (?!) and asked about my dog pulling me again. Dude, I say, I've gone fast in chairs my whole life, it's not some stupid thing nobody does. People have dogs, and go fast. It shouldn't flutter. He says there's nothing to do, because there is no bearings. So you can't tighten it.
    Needless to say, I'm over this place. There must be some way to fix the flutter. Gonna go visit Hands On Concepts soon, and Steve can work miracles I'm sure.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    There is a lot that can be inferred as to WHY someone is working as a wheelchair 'mechanic'...and why contact with such types is best avoided
    Unfortunately, the same can be said of almost all "professions"...

    OTOH, most "customers" are clueless as well.

  6. #6
    Well let's face it, nothing prestigious about wrenching on wheelchairs. There's probably not many out there that has the aspersations of becoming a wheelchair mechanic. Hence, most are delivery people/techs. They get taught by a lunch and learn and become technicians.

  7. #7
    So far the best DME Techs are ones that are owners or partners in the business they are doing their own tech work. Mostly other Techs liked already posted are 'it's only job I could find'. Course they usually move on when they find a better paying job.
    Had some Techs do more damage than helped.
    Once had flat, ca;;ed atoind til found shop that had tube in stock that fit. Should of called bike shop, learned that later. Well that tech took wheel off and when putting it on for some reason could only get part way on with rubber mallet.
    Stopped at another DME for them to see why chair was wobbling on that side. That Tech pulled took nut, only partly on and then had get bar pried off wheel saying one thing wrong no key in keyway but no reason for wheel be on like that. But, he soon learned why, sure enough key was a good ways past keyway. They called around and found a new set of drivewheels with no flat tires mounted to replace both on my chair. No more flats!

  8. #8
    Does anyone know how to tighten Frog Legs? I think the composite ones are slightly different. I can't find anything on the web. They're vibration fluttering something awful, and the tech is not going to fix. Still pisses me off that so many blame the fact my dog pulls me in my chair. Which isn't really, it's just momentum cruising.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Rather fix my own chair. Have done so for 30+yrs.

    Faster, more reliable, cheaper.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    Rather fix my own chair. Have done so for 30+yrs.

    Faster, more reliable, cheaper.
    Unfortunately, not everyone has the dexterity, skillset and motivation to do so.

    I've been accused of doing too much "by myself" -- instead of hiring (cough) "professionals".

    OTOH, when you start digging into something (chair, car, computer, etc.) you are more likely to notice other upcoming problems than some guy who's just trying to deal with the problem at hand and get back to his lunch. "Gee, this wire is frayed..." "Hmmm, is this a crack forming?" "What the heck has been rubbing against this??"

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