Wheelchairs & Scooters

October 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Hi – I’ve been using an electric wheelchair (Jazzy1143) for about 8 years now. I have had some experience with icy conditions and don’t know of any set up that will overcome plowed roads and ice. I’ve considered ‘chaining up’ and give it a go but the chairs aren’t built for that. Scooters are just a smaller version of a wheelchair. There are lots of used chairs and scooters on the market so getting ‘something’ is not that hard to do. But like owning a car or a horse they require maintenance. I’ve developed a sense of where I can and cannot go, been places I probably shouldn’t have and got stuck in places that looked easy.

So here’s my plan… wheelchairs are fairly basic machines, operating with two electric motors, a gear box to transfer power, and a controller/joy stick … why not build one yourself!!! or at least get someone to one built it to meet your needs. I go in several directions on that: 1) my neighbor, ex-navy chief, patched up airplanes during WWII and I don’t think there was a machine he couldn’t build ~ he’s passed on now but you know, I think he could have done it to meet his needs. Being an ‘uneducated’ man he wasn’t aware of what he couldn’t do ~ so he just did it. Or we go to the College of Mechanical Engineering and convince them what and awesome project it would be to prototype the perfect wheelchair for Canadian winters – I mean the have chairs that go up stairs now and these guys know all the math. Another thought is a snowmobile with a sidecar to hold your regular chair until you can get to a spot where its OK to unload. The same thing could be done with a three-wheel motorcycle, instead of a seat you just drive your chair up a back ramp, lock it in and drive from the chair. Can’t be that hard.

I suppose there are some limits about where you can go with whatever you develop. I haven’t done these things but don’t have the need. If I did, I would. One thing I do want to do is set up a golf cart with a trailer that converts to a work bench, and lots of options for whatever project I’m working on. I live rural so I’m not talking about sidewalks and stuff, but my pasture and garden and barn and workshop. Gotta say though, physics rule, learned that from logging, but physics work both ways ~ forya and againstya, just got to figure it out, adapt and overcome. Works for me and I got the scars to prove it. How about a motorized toboggan – little hard to control maybe but what’s life without a challenge or two.