Did you know that there are three million Americans who use wheelchairs?
For someone who lives with a disability, a power wheelchair can greatly enhance one’s quality of life. Power wheelchairs are advanced electric wheelchairs that can help someone across various parts of regular life.
However, one should know that there are many different kinds of power wheelchairs. Depending on what your needs and goals are, you’ll want to choose the right wheelchair for you.
Luckily for you, we’ve got the information you need. So if you would like to learn more, then keep on reading and we will take you through the main types of electric wheelchairs that you need to know about!
A rear-wheel-drive power wheelchair comes with four wheels that give traction when operating. It comes with two big drive wheels and two small front castors that help with stability.
These chairs are called rear-wheel because the driving wheels are found at the back of the chair. This means that when you operate this kind of chair, all of the power is coming from the rear of the device. This is going to help you propel over soft or rough terrain.
Rear-wheel chairs are extremely comfortable. They handle small changes in gradient well and provide great shock absorption. This leads to a smoother driving experience.
However, rear-wheel wheelchairs are not that common these days. As the techology continues to advance, these machines are becoming less popular. This is because there are a few disadvantages when it comes to these kinds of wheelchairs
First off, the turning radius is a lot bigger than other kinds of power wheelchairs. This means that they are not great for people who want to go out to cafes and stores where you need to make turns in tight spaces.
Also, these devices aren’t great at getting past obstacles. The little front wheels need to climb over everything first. This means that they aren’t able to go over many curbs and other raised surfaces.
If you don’t have enough power to get those wheels past the edge then you might get stuck.
A front-wheel power wheelchair also has four wheels that give traction while operating. This machine comes with two big drive wheels in the front and two small rear castors.
There are a few models of front-wheel power chairs that come with two extra castors in front of the drive wheels. However, these extra castors won’t provide a ton of traction. They mainly help make smoother movements at slow speeds.
These wheelchairs are known as front-wheel because the drive wheels can be found at the front of the chair’s base. Like the rear-wheel chairs, these chairs provide a smooth drive.
Unlike rear-wheel electric chairs, front-wheel power chairs are also good at getting past obstacles. The biggest wheel is at the front of the chair so that means it is much easier to climb over curbs and bumps.
A power chair can’t pass over an object that is above the height of the axle. The axle is at the center of the wheel. When you have the drive wheel at the front, you greatly increase your chances of getting past obstacles.
With all that said, a lot of people find it a bit tricky to get the hang of driving a front-wheel electric chair when they start out. The movements aren’t totally intuitive.
However, you get an exceptionally smooth ride with this kind of chair.
The turning radius is also something that consumers should consider. A front-wheel device is going to have a bigger turning radius than a mid-wheel chair. This can lead to less maneuvering ability for people who spend a lot of time at home and could benefit from a full range of movement.
Unlike the other two wheelchairs that we listed, a mid-wheel electric chair is going to come with six wheels. It will come with two large drive wheels and four small wheels at both the rear and front.
This kind of wheelchair is called mid-wheel because the drive wheels are going to be located at the middle of the base of the chair. This is going to keep the center of gravity right over the drive wheels, giving you optimal stability.
This also makes it easier to drive mid-wheel chairs. These chairs are relatively intuitive and easier to turn and maneuver. Even first-time users have an easy time driving these machines.
The biggest benefit is the turning radius. You can make tight turns with this kind of wheelchair, making it easier to take to different places.
With that said, there are some disadvantages too. In order to get good stability, there’s a bit of a trade-off when it comes to comfort. Because you have so many wheels, you’re going to feel the bumps in the road a lot more easily.
Some models can also lose traction every so often. This happens when you go over uneven ground.
By knowing about how each wheelchair differs, you’ll have an easier time when searching for electric wheelchair sales near me.
The Importance of Knowing About the Types of Power Wheelchairs
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now understand the differences between the types of power wheelchairs out there. As we can see, each kind of chair comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
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