The first wheelchair was invented by Englishman John Dawson in 1783 and since then mobility equipment has come a long way. There are so many different varieties of mobility solutions now that it’s a full-time job knowing them all. Luckily, our AutoFarm Mobility team of experienced professionals are more than up to the task!
Here are our customers’ most frequently-asked questions about mobility equipment.
Do you take Insurance?
No, we do not take insurance due to the long wait time for approval and the difficulty in getting our customers approved. We do consider this when we are pricing our mobility equipment and have marked items to compensate for what Insurance would pay.
Our financing program can also help by dividing the cost of larger items into easily-manageable monthly payments.
How much do the portable scooters/chairs weigh?
Portable units disassemble into several lightweight pieces to fit into the trunk of most vehicles. Weight of the heaviest piece usually is between 29.5# to 55# or so. The Pride Go-Go Elite 3w is the lightest. The lightest power chair is the Golden Envy.
How long does it take to charge the batteries?
It’s best to keep batteries fully charged. For daily use, charge your batteries overnight after every use (minimum 6-8hrs, some batteries prefer 10-12hrs). If you’re not going to use the scooter for more than a week, fully charge the batteries and then remove the battery pack(s) from the scooter/chair. Tips: Avoid deep discharges and never drain the batteries completely. Fully recharge batteries regularly. Check stored batteries monthly and recharge as necessary. Refer to the owner’s manual for complete instructions.
Can the batteries be kept plugged in when not in use?
The batteries can be kept plugged in when you are not going to be using the unit for a period of time. The charge will become a trickle charge and this will prolong the life of the battery.
How far can a scooter go on a single charge?
Depending on the model, standard scooters may range from 7miles-18 miles per charge. Factors such as terrain, user weight, and battery condition will affect the results. Extended range models, such as E-Wheels, can go up to 45 miles per charge.
Where is the charging port for my unit?
Scooters may have up to 2 places to charge the unit. Look on the side of tiller near the controls and/or on the battery pack itself. If it’s directly on the battery, this indicates that you can remove the battery pack from the unit and charge it separate from the unit. This is helpful in travel situations, or when you want to leave the scooter in the vehicle but charge the battery for the next day’s use. If charging at the tiller, the entire unit needs to be assembled. Charge unit when the power/key is ‘off’.
Power Chairs typically have the charging port located on the underside of the joystick controller. Also charge when power is ‘off’.
What are the main differences between 3-wheel and 4-wheel scooters?
Turning radius and stability. Where will you be using it the most? 3-wheel scooters are recommended for tight indoor spaces due to their increased maneuverability. They’re best on level ground such as carpet, tile, concrete, or even sidewalks. 4-wheel models have a wider turning radius and are more stable on uneven terrain. They do better on grass, gravel, hills, and trails. Looking for a smooth ride outdoor? We recommend a unit with suspension to minimize bumps or transitions as well as larger/wider tires for best performance.
To improve my circulation, what type of lift chair should I consider?
Lift chairs come in 2 position, 3 position, and MaxiComfort or Infinite position types. All types will Lift, Sit, and Recline. The 2 position will elevate the leg rests and recline the backrest with an unchanged seat angle. The 3 position will recline further and increase the angle for those that want more of a ‘napper’ position. MaxiComfort lift chairs have programmable memory and factory set positions of TV watching, ZG-zero gravity, SIT, and SLEEP positions. Best of all, you can adjust the backrest independently of the footrest for customized comfort. To get the best circulation, try ZG on a Golden MaxiComforter lift chair and then lower the backrest down further to obtain Trendelenburg position (feet above your heart)!
What are the benefits of a side-entry verses a rear-entry mobility van?
Think of position, loading, and budget. Side-entry vehicles often have powered ramps and the wheelchair user can roll into the vehicle and park in the center, passenger, or sometimes driver’s seat. It does require extra space to the right side of the vehicle for loading/unloading. A rear-entry vehicle often has a lightweight manual folding ramp (but some power options are available). The wheelchair user can roll into the rear of the vehicle and park behind the 2nd row seats or sometimes in-between the 2nd row seats depending on space and conversion type. These are usually less expensive due to the manual components and nearly maintenance-free. Parking does not require any extra width, just room behind the vehicle to load/unload.
Should I get an interior or exterior vehicle lift for my scooter/chair?
One of our mobility specialists can work with you on finding the right solution. The vehicle and what you are lifting will determine what lift is compatible. Interior lift applications often require a minimum of 31” clearance to accommodate the arm of the lift and have room to store a mobility device. It would be secured inside away from the weather. If you need the interior cargo space, most vehicles accommodate a hitch-mounted lift. Power and manual options are available. A protective weather cover is recommended for your device while traveling. Need access to your hatch/rear door? Check out the convenient ‘swing-away’ lift options.
What are the requirements for Assisted Living?
Most assisted living housing now requires a physical therapist to do testing with the Scooter or Powerchair to determine if the customer is able to operate the unit before they allow it to be brought into their facility.