Electric Wheelchair Buyers Guide

electric_wheelchairWhether you have paralysis or you’re unable to walk for long periods of time, buying an electric wheelchair requires product knowledge. In order to make the right purchase when looking to buy an electric wheelchair online, you should know about the major brands, types and models that are available on the market. Most manufacturers do not sell power wheelchairs to consumers but rather a dealer who sells them to the end user which is you. If you don’t thoroughly research the product that you are going to buy, you could end having to pay restocking fees and turning your purchasing experience into a nightmare. We pride ourselves on adding as much valuable information on every product page and by having a blog, forum and FAQ section that is constantly being updated. Learning a thing or two about the industry and product that you are going to buy is a great way to ensure your buying experience is a pleasant one so let’s get started.

What Are The Best Power Wheelchair Brands?

Pride, Golden and Drive are the most popular manufacturers that make electric wheelchairs and they provide great products with excellent manufacturer warranties. Each manufacturer offers a service contract which is important because over time electric wheel chairs are known to need service and repair.

Pride Mobility Corp is based out of Pennsylvania with several distribution points and they have been in business for over 20 years (since 1986). Some of the most popular power wheelchairs made by Pride are the Quantum, Jazzy series and the Go-chair. They have excellent products and they offer a very appealing warranty on all power chairs made by Pride.

Golden Technologies is based out Pennsylvania as well and have also been in since 1985. They have warehouses throughout the US and product quality products as well. They provide a 1 year in home service contract with each sale just like Pride. Some of the popular electric wheelchairs by Golden Technologies are the Alante Sport, the Compass (and Compass HD) and the LiteRider.

Drive Mobility is based out of New York and have been around since 1984. They have excellent pricing and quality products. They are also known to provide excellent customer service and service contracts with each sale. Some of the more popular electric wheelchairs by Drive Medical are the Trident, the Cirrus Plus and the Titan.

Types of Electric Wheelchairs

Standard electric wheelchairs are those that don’t fall into the travel/folding category or into the heavy duty category but more of a mid or full size category. These are generally a bit faster and more versatile, they aren’t really known to have extremely high weight capacities but certain models can go a long way like The P312 which is made by Merits Health that has a travel range of up to 18 miles. If you’re an average weight and size you will find that standard or full size scooters are the most comfortable way to go.

Travel Handicap Power Wheelchairs are much lighter than standard or heavy duty power chairs and mostly all of them disassemble into smaller pieces making the very easy to store away and transport while traveling. They usually have a smaller body frame as well which allows them to squeeze through tight spaces such as doorways or hallways with little to no hassle.  A prime example of a reliable and durable travel power chair would be the LiteRider PTC Portable by Golden Technologies. This light weight electric travel wheelchair breaks down into 5 pieces in total weighing 116 lbs and can easily go in the back of even the smallest of trunks. Although they do not last as long as most standard or heavy duty power chairs but electric travel chairs are the most convenient way to get around both in and outdoors.

Folding Electric Wheelchairs are also technically considered a type of travel power chairs as they are able to fold and fit into compact spaces like an air plane overhead or in the trunk of a car. Electric wheelchairs that fold are known to have a weight capacity that is lower than average typically because the frame work is made with light weight material not capable of supporting heavy weight. However there are exceptions to that and they can be found in products like The P181 by Merits Health. Available with quite a few different seating options, this folding handicap power chair is capable of holding anywhere between 450 and 700 lbs as a maximum weight capacity.

Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchairs are best for going outdoors and for supporting above average sized riders. There are many options to choose from that can carry anywhere from 400 to 700 lbs in weight capacity, one example is the Jazzy 614 power wheelchair. Heavy duty models usually have a lot more torque to add to their performance and also a longer lasting battery life allowing all heavy duty power wheelchairs go quite a traveling distance. Most importantly a majority of heavy duty power chairs come with solid or flat-free tires making them durable enough to smoothly ride through most rugged terrains.

Things to Avoid When Using Your Electric Wheelchair

For first time users there a few things to remember never to do when using your power wheelchair otherwise you will take a risk of damaging or possibly breaking your handicap power chair. For one when using your power chair to drive up hill make sure that it is designed to go up an incline or have a good climbing degree  anything between 8 degrees and 12* will perform well up hill, this does not mean that you should constantly ride up hill. By doing so you make your power chair perform under more power and if this is constantly done it can ruin your batteries or motor. Also make sure you never go over the weight capacity, it is usually best to stay at least 20 to 30 lbs under the capacity so you do not make your power wheelchair provide more power to move than necessary, as a result your battery can drain faster or if over the limit you can ruin the motor or possibly break the frame or smaller parts. Another very important thing to remember is never leave your power chair out in the rain or outdoors all the time. Parts can get rusted or even worse defected and they will not be covered under most warranty’s if this is the reasoning for the damage. Remember these simple things and you will be able to keep your power wheelchair in great shape for a long period of time.

Do you have a better understanding?

Now that you a have been given this information you know the basics of what to look for and not to look for when searching for something based upon your preference. With the information I have provided above now you know some of the best brands, models and the types of scooters available, as well as what you should avoid doing while using your reliable electric wheelchair. I hope you found this information helpful. Thank you for reading!