In the world of electric wheelchairs, we find three categories that are really useful to the elderly. They are: front, mid and rear wheel power chairs. Each one of them is designed for a specific purpose and helps seniors in different ways.
1. Front Wheel Drives
They are called this way because the drive system is set in the front part of the machine. The wheels are in the front and the casters can be seen in the rear of it. This seat has the capacity to go through bumpy places of up to 2 inches high. You can’t turn very well with it but it’s possible to maneuver it in tight corners.
It is advisable to put the battery on the back side of the machine so this motorized wheel chair can go up and down slopes without difficulty.
It is important that the chair doesn’t have too much weight or load on either of the sides (front or rear). Although many people recommend this seat for the great stability it provides, it is also known that it can sometimes fishtail when it runs at higher speeds. Keep this drawback in mind.
2. Mid Wheel Drive
As its name suggests, the operating system of this gadget is placed just in the middle of it. For this reason, people also call it center drive. This chair features tighter turning radius which makes them ideal for malls, apartments and places where there’s not too much space. It stands to reason that you wouldn’t have any problem handling it on flat surfaces. They can be perfectly utilized for park rides or when you need to move from A to B inside the household.
If you have a mid-wheel drive, don’t use it in places where the terrain is too soft. This is because it is easy for this device to lose traction and sink in those circumstances. Unfortunately, we can’t say it’s a portable chair. You will need a van or something to transport this wheel seat since it’s heavy and not easy to carry at all. Nonetheless, this machine can be used on an incline because it doesn’t have problems travelling on it. These devices are designed to support up to 600 lb without breaking down.
3. Rear Wheel Drive
Unlike the other two types of chair, this one has the entire drive system in the rear and the casters are installed in the front side. Having the drive system in that position allows performing certain actions that you can’t do with the mid wheel chair. In fact, you are at the liberty to drive it at higher speeds effortlessly. The turning radius of this motorized seat is larger, so the space to make turns is wider. You don’t need to oversteer it because of it possesses directional stability. In other words, this power chair tracks straight meaning it is not hard to use over bumpy terrain.
In a nutshell, there are three types of battery powered wheelchairs. Of the three, the least recommended of all is the front wheel drive. Of course, if you want to save some money, choose the first alternative then. But if you want great maneuverability, go for the rear drive one, because it enables you to travel faster and provides you a wider turning radius in tight places.