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Thread: Quad steering question/issue -- driving from chair

  1. #1

    Quad steering question/issue -- driving from chair

    So I am getting older(c5/6 quad) and have driven for 35 years. Figured it out the other day and close to 600,000 miles. I have never caused an accident in all my years. I have been hit multiple times, 3 from the rear and once head on. None my fault. I am safe to a fault. I am thinking out to the future and I anticipate as I get older that driving will be come an issue if I don't get further modifications. I drive from a powerchair which is not nearly as steady or safe as driving from a regular seat. You never feel as comfortable or balanced driving from a wheelchair. This makes at least for me the left turn not nearly as smooth as right turns. I anticipate that becoming an issue at some point. It is more of a balance issue than a strength issue. I have used low effort and regular power steering and they both have same issue for me. I know there are joystick solutions but I believe the cost to be outrageous. I wonder if changing the steering quick ratio may be the solution I am looking for and was wondering if anyone has done that or know if it's even a possibility? My current steering is 3.5 turns from lock to lock. My thought is if you could get it below 2 then you wouldn't have to come all the way over the top for left turns. Any thoughts on this or ways to make the body more stable for turns? Appreciate any discussion.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by miltongm09 View Post
    So I am getting older(c5/6 quad) and have driven for 35 years. Figured it out the other day and close to 600,000 miles. I have never caused an accident in all my years. I have been hit multiple times, 3 from the rear and once head on. None my fault. I am safe to a fault. I am thinking out to the future and I anticipate as I get older that driving will be come an issue if I don't get further modifications. I drive from a powerchair which is not nearly as steady or safe as driving from a regular seat. You never feel as comfortable or balanced driving from a wheelchair. This makes at least for me the left turn not nearly as smooth as right turns. I anticipate that becoming an issue at some point. It is more of a balance issue than a strength issue. I have used low effort and regular power steering and they both have same issue for me. I know there are joystick solutions but I believe the cost to be outrageous. I wonder if changing the steering quick ratio may be the solution I am looking for and was wondering if anyone has done that or know if it's even a possibility? My current steering is 3.5 turns from lock to lock. My thought is if you could get it below 2 then you wouldn't have to come all the way over the top for left turns. Any thoughts on this or ways to make the body more stable for turns? Appreciate any discussion.
    You are describing my situation. For me too its becoming a challenge to make a left turn.I thought about switching over and steer with my left arm. my left arm is a lot stronger.

  3. #3
    That wouldn't work for me. I actually use my left for hand controls and to lean against door with left elbow to steady myself. Good luck.

  4. #4
    there are a lot of things that can be done to make you more stable and improve your ability to steer.

    reducing the turns lock to lock isn't one of them.

    reduced effort steering, zero effort steering, column extensions, reduced diameter steering wheels are just a few of many things that can be done.

    your best bet will be to meet with someone local to you experienced with fitting quads to driving equipment.

    jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by miltongm09 View Post
    So I am getting older(c5/6 quad) and have driven for 35 years.
    fwiw: We started right around the same time.

    i've been building vans and custom controls for quads for 35 years.

    we experimented with reducing and increasing turns lock to lock long long ago.

    I've done between just under 2 turns to around 8 turns and pretty much everything in between.

    jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Automotive Innovations View Post
    there are a lot of things that can be done to make you more stable and improve your ability to steer.

    reducing the turns lock to lock isn't one of them.

    reduced effort steering, zero effort steering, column extensions, reduced diameter steering wheels are just a few of many things that can be done.

    your best bet will be to meet with someone local to you experienced with fitting quads to driving equipment.

    jim
    Do you know if its a big deal to install zero effort streeing in a Chevy venture van ? I have reduced offer now.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by easyway View Post
    Do you know if its a big deal to install zero effort streeing in a Chevy venture van ? I have reduced offer now.
    Seeing as you have reduced effort now its even easer to make it zero effort.

    As long as your back up power steering system is still working it will be a lot less expensive than starting from scratch.

    Depending on how many miles are on the van now, i'd either modify the current system or replace some parts.

    Jim
    Jim, MA, MMET
    Bridgewater, MA

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by miltongm09 View Post
    So I am getting older(c5/6 quad) and have driven for 35 years. Figured it out the other day and close to 600,000 miles. I have never caused an accident in all my years. I have been hit multiple times, 3 from the rear and once head on. None my fault. I am safe to a fault. I am thinking out to the future and I anticipate as I get older that driving will be come an issue if I don't get further modifications. I drive from a powerchair which is not nearly as steady or safe as driving from a regular seat. You never feel as comfortable or balanced driving from a wheelchair. This makes at least for me the left turn not nearly as smooth as right turns. I anticipate that becoming an issue at some point. It is more of a balance issue than a strength issue. I have used low effort and regular power steering and they both have same issue for me. I know there are joystick solutions but I believe the cost to be outrageous. I wonder if changing the steering quick ratio may be the solution I am looking for and was wondering if anyone has done that or know if it's even a possibility? My current steering is 3.5 turns from lock to lock. My thought is if you could get it below 2 then you wouldn't have to come all the way over the top for left turns. Any thoughts on this or ways to make the body more stable for turns? Appreciate any discussion.
    I'm C5-6 as well and have been driving with handcontrols for 45+ years. I transfer and drive from the van seat(full-size) and it's always been harder making that left turn. I use the regular factory power steering and no mods. I don't anticipate it becoming an issue but if it does, I'd do as AI recommended and extend the steering column.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    With most hand controls you have to select which hand applies gas. You have to steer with the other. No choice. With push pull hand controls (I use the Freedom Staff), you may have the choice on which hand applies gas and which hand steers. You pull with the left hand or you push with the right hand to apply gas. I use both hands depending on the turn and how I feel at the time. This selection helps not only with turning corners but also with reducing hand fatigue.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Automotive Innovations View Post
    there are a lot of things that can be done to make you more stable and improve your ability to steer.

    reducing the turns lock to lock isn't one of them.

    reduced effort steering, zero effort steering, column extensions, reduced diameter steering wheels are just a few of many things that can be done.

    your best bet will be to meet with someone local to you experienced with fitting quads to driving equipment.

    jim
    Thanks, I like the idea of a reduced diameter steering wheel. Any idea on who might do this? I asked my local mobility dealer and they have never done one.

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