Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Disabled Scooters

For many individuals with mobility disabilities, a disabled scooter is an attractive alternative to a manual or powered wheelchair. Small sit-down motor scooters provide important advantages to people with mobility problems throughout the world. Also, swivelling the seat of an electric scooter is generally easier than moving the foot supports on most conventional wheelchairs. A mobility scooter is very helpful for persons with systemic or whole-body disabling conditions.

Scooter Features and Components
Electric wheelchairs and Mobility scooters all share a recognisable set of features. Each has a seat at the rear of a wheeled platform, with controls and sometimes handrest on a column in front of the seat, called the tiller. The wheeled platform is the base unit. It supports the feet and batteries and contains the drive system. Scooters can have either front- or rear-wheel drive, and most have either four wheels or three (two in back, one in front).

Base Unit
The base unit is the body of the scooter. Generally it consists of a steel, aluminium, or composite frame with a fibreglass or composite floor to support the feet and batteries. Some scooter bases include a shroud over the front wheel and drive head, giving the scooter a bullet-shaped appearance. The base also includes the wheels and the drive train. In some scooters, the seat post is part of the base. The scooter’s manoeuvrability and its suitability for indoor or outdoor use largely depend on the characteristics of the base unit such as its turning radius, the size of its wheelbase, its ground clearance, and its overall dimensions. The base unit also affects the comfort and safety of the rider. When evaluating a scooter, it is important to be certain that the base can accommodate the user's needs. The floor should provide enough space to comfortably support the feet at a natural angle, and the overall dimensions should permit the controls to be easily reached and manipulated.

The drive train is an integral part of the base unit and provides either front- or rear-wheel drive for the scooter. Front-wheel drive is usually found on smaller scooters designed primarily to be used indoors or outdoors on flat, paved surfaces. The motor of the front-wheel drive scooter is located over the front wheel and drives only that wheel. Because of the motor and wheel configuration, front-wheel drive scooters are usually direct-drive units, eliminating chains and belts.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Disability Scooters same as F1 Cars!!

In their wisdom, the EU's Customs Commitee has voted to reclassify disabled scooters, making them subject to an import duty of 10%. This ruling classifies scooters as "motor vehicles for the transport of persons", a classification that also includes F1 cars.

Rob Tolan, Senior Policy Officer at Elizabeth Finn Care, a grant-giving charity which helps people buy the scooters, said:

"Put simply, this is a tax on the disabled. Disabled people are twice as likely to live in low income households than the able bodied and two fifths of adults between 45 and 65 on below average incomes have a limiting, long-standing illness or disability.

"This will cause unnecessary suffering to so many disabled people already struggling with financial hardship."

If you're concerned about these changes or would like to buy a disabled scooter online, give Mobility Buddy a call on 0115 975 7900.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Caring for your Mobility Scooter

There is that old saying, 'care for something and it will care for you'. Just like any advanced bit of engineering, a little bit of cares can make a huge difference where it matters most...reliability!

When buying a car, a dishwasher or even a mobility scooter, the more care and attention you put into maintaining it the longer it will last for you. For people who really rely on their car for example, you would be a fool to think that all you need to do is add petrol when it runs empty and that is enough to keep it going. Cars need regular servicing, checks, water, oil, tyre pressure etc. Left unattended and you can quite easily find that just when you need your car the most, it will not be there for you. Or as above, you didn't care for it so it stopped caring for you.

The same can be said of miss-using your scooter on the road. There was a recent incident of an elderly lady falling off a cliff whilst on her mobility scooter as she took a corner too fast. Luckily she escaped with only minor injuries but her ordeal lasted over an hour. Some scooters are not designed for more 'off road' driving, as this tends to be for the Heavy Duty Scooters. Most pavement or portable scooters are only suitable for driving on pavements and in towns and therefore cannot cope with the demands of country paths or lanes. More information about the different classes of scooters can be found in our previous post about how to choose a mobility scooter.

Ok, so what sort of care does a mobility scooter need? Well, firstly, and most importantly, to know is that you need to take care of your rechargeable battery. The type of battery that comes with your scooter can vary in size and type. This can determine both the speed and the range of your scooter. The different manufacturers often have instructions on how to charge and take care of your battery, which can vary from a full re-charge after every occasion you use the scooter to simply recharging when the battery gauge tells you to. The variation of battery life can be around 1 to 2 years before you need to replace it and this is also determined by how often you use the scooter. For example, using a scooter for occasional trips to the shops will not reduce the battery life at the same rate as using a scooter for doing several miles a day. How often you use the scooter should help you determine what size batter you will need or how long it should last.

The most reputable scooter dealers should offer servicing for you as this is an essential part of keeping your scooter in good working order. This is not as involved as a car servicing nor is it like an MOT, but for your peace of mind and convenience this is an essential part of ownership. Mobility scooters can be quite an investment so you need to make sure that your scooter will last as long as the manufacturer's guarantee. Different scooters have different levels of reliability. For example, the Pride Go Go or the Shoprider Sovereign are perhaps the most reliable scooters, offering exceptional build quality and durability. Invariable, mobility scooters need a service every 12 months but sometimes this can be longer.

Servicing can be done at your dealers who can simply check the battery, the tyres, breaks and other essential systems on your scooter. Most of the servicing requirements should be outlined in your manual to give you an idea of what needs to be maintained. With a little care and understanding of your scooter, there is no reason why your scooter cannot care for you.

General wear and tear can be easily maintained and most scooters make it easy enough for you to take care of yourself. Along with replacement body work, there are a variety of extras that you can update your scooter with, including baskets, covers, storage holders and ramps. Your scooter dealer should be able to advise you on the accessories available.

Mobility Buddy stock a variety of Disabled Scooters that are specially selected for being the 'best in class' for Portable, Pavement and Heavy Duty scooters. We also offer a full 12 month warranty as well as a dedicated after sales service and scooter care. Visit www.MobilityBuddy.co.uk for our selection of the best, and most reliable, mobility scooters.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Nottingham - the centre for Mobility Scooters

Over the past few months, Mobility Buddy have been hard at work with our new showroom in Nottingham. With our ever expanding range of Disabled Scooters it became difficult to effectively display all of the range online. We know that buying a disabled scooter can be a very confusing and long process and sometimes you just need that extra bit of reassurance that the Scooter is right for you. There are also some people that prefer to see a Scooter before they buy as lets face it, there's nothing quite like that feeling of being able to have that tactile experience of seeing the scooter for yourself.

We get a lot of customers who want to know a lot about the scooters available and sometimes it is difficult to provide all the information that people need. Being able to speak to someone first hand who has the experience and knowledge to help you is vital and this can be even more helpful to speak with someone in person.

To answer some of these questions, Mobility Buddy has extended our Showroom in Nottingham, to provide our larger range of not only Disabled Scooters but Wheelchairs, Living Aids and general mobility equipment. This has allowed us to increase the range without becoming too confusing for you. Just like our Online Store, the showroom is organised into the different scooter ranges of Portable, Pavement and Luxury Scooters.

To complement our comprehensive range of Disabled Scooters and Wheelchairs, Mobility Buddy has a wide selection of Living Aids. All designed to make like that little bit easier, all of our living aids have been specially selected to be ideal for all areas of the home. We have grab rails for all uses including the bathroom, the kitchen or around the home. Recently, we have increased our range of rise and reclining chairs for comfort and support. You can find a variety of rise and reclining chairs that have functions for comfort and disability.

Here at our Nottingham Showroom, we have many friendly and helpful staff that are on hand to answer all of your questions you might have on any of the products. We have over 20 years experience in the mobility equipment industry so we know our products well and also our customers needs. We understand that buying mobility equipment can be an important decision so we make sure that your needs come first.

Visit our showroom for some amazing in-store specials, for example the Kymco Micro Mobility Scooter at a special price of £475. We will be happy to talk to your about your needs and provide you with the right Disabled Scooter or living aid. Why not pay us a visit at our Nottingham Showroom and see how we can help you today.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Alternative Disabled Scooters

Most people's searches for Disabled Scooters brings them to either the Pride Go Go or the Shoprider Sovereign. Both fantastic scooters with great features and ultimately reliable. Not a bad word to say about them really and I've blogged about how customers reviewed the Pride Go Go before here.

You can quite easily see that the Pride Go Go really ranks highly in not only popular opinion but also for the number of places to buy it. Likewise with the more expensive but more sturdy Shoprider Sovereign. This is a very popular model for its excellent all-round ability thanks to the larger 10" tyres. Both of these scooters positive reviews are well deserved and are easily found in stores and online. However, we often get people asking about other scooter ranges.

If you were to do a lot of research for a quality and reliable Disabled Mobility Scooter, you would most likely come across the two I have already mentioned. Dig deeper though, and you might come across other less known scooter that are just as good and really make a good alternative. Just like buying a car, there are many manufacturers that offer quality and reliability without the big named brand. Two fantastic scooters that are as good as the Pride and Shoprider are the Little Gem 4 and the Kymco Micro Mobility Scooters.

Sterling Little Gem 4

Made by Sterling, a brand of Sunrise Medical, the Little Gem 4 is one of the lightest portable scooters on the market thanks to its removable parts. The specifically designed 'Gem-Lock' allows you to dismantle the scooter and easily pack away in the boot of a car. Although super lightweight, this is a very comfortable scooter with a newly added soft padded seat and smooth to drive. The seat also comes with lift up arm rests to allow you to easily get on and off the scooter.

The Sterling Scooters have over 30 years of manufacturing experience and each scooter goes through rigorous testing to make sure they meet the quality standards. With this quality comes reliability so you can count on your Little Gem mobility scooter to be by your side where ever you go.

Kymco Micro Mobility Scooter

Maintaining the portable scooter theme, the Kymco Micro mobility scooter is designed for maximum comfort and portability. Also consisting of parts that can be easily dismantled, the Kymco Micro is one of the most stylish scooters around. This is emphasised with the extra features of puncture proof tyres and very user friendly operating functions making it easy to manoeuvre and very reliable.

Just like a quality built car, you want to be assured that not only will you have a comfortable ride but that your scooter has all the reliability to get you to your destination every time. advanced features of a larger scooter. This reliability comes from years of Kymco manufacturing quality motorcycles so you know that every part is assembled to the highest quality and robustness. With a range of up to 13 miles you can be assured that this is no occasional scooter and can be used whenever you need to get out and about locally.

Not to dismiss the Pride or Shoprider scooters at all, but sometimes a bit more research can uncover some hidden gems. What is also to note is that the price tag doesn't always have to be high as well. Mobility Scooters come with a variety of different features and it is simple to get the right one for your needs. For starters, portable scooters don't come any better than the Little Gem 4 and the Kymco Micro.

If you're still having problems considering which is the best scooter for your needs, Mobility Buddy have a huge selection of disabled scooters together with helpful friendly advice. Visit us in store or online at www.MobilityBuddy.co.uk/disabled-scooters.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Road Worthy Disabled Scooters - The Facts

One of the news stories that has dominated all of the news pages recently, and might I add all over the world, is that of 90 year old Stanley Murphy on his scooter. Poor old Stan was found driving down the A27 on his Disabled Scooter doing around 8 mph in lane 1. He was later flagged down by a motorist and found that he 'took a wrong turn on the way to buy a newspaper'. It was a luck escape and highlights the need for awareness of the mobility scooter. Read more about this in this news article.

8mph Luxury Scooters

Disabled Scooters fit into one of four categories; portable scooters that are designed for quick use and being transported around, Pavement Scooters are more robust than the portable scooters and are designed for frequent use. Luxury Scooters come with far more features and designed to have a little bit extra and Heavy Duty Scooters that are suitable for prolonged use or carrying more weight.

Each of the different categories of scooter have features associated with them. Most notable is the speed that they are able to travel at. Portable and Pavement scooters require the scooter to travel at a maximum speed of 4mph. This is for obvious safety reasons and so that the user does not pose a danger to anyone on the pavement.

Luxury and Heavy Duty Scooters however, come with a switch that allows them to travel from 4 to 8 mph and therefore on the road. There are of course legal requirements for driving on the road, such as headlights, break lights and indicators. This also requires the user to be proficient in the highway code and of course not allowed on the motorway as in the article above!

For more information on the legal aspects of Disabled Scooters, read this page or Mobility Buddy's guide to Choosing Disabled Scooters.

New Luxury Scooters

With the weather warming up for Spring and the snow melting, we can look forward to the sunshine and getting out and about. That's why Mobility Buddy have introduced some exciting new Disabled Scooters to the range, from Kymco and TGA.

The Kymco Maxi is a fantastic luxury scooter designed for road and pavement use. It comes equipped with adaptive suspension providing great comfort and reliability, whilst taking the driver around for up to 25 miles. A must for anyone wanting to get around in comfort both on the road and around the shops.

Probably the most advanced and comfortable scooter around at the moment is the truly magnificent TGA Breeze 4 heavy duty scooter. Boasting features such as integrated electronics, active adjustable suspension and large leather seat, this scooter is suitable for all conditions and is strong enough to cope with a variety of different road conditions. A must for everyday use and flexibility and stable enough whilst on the road at 8 mph.

Remember a disabled scooter comes in a variety of different models and categories so if you are needing to drive on the road, make sure you have the scooter that is designed to do so!

Find out about our other new additions to the Disabled Scooters range at www.MobilityBuddy.co.uk

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Top Accessories for your Wheelchair

Over the past few months, we have been busy adding in new Wheelchairs to our range to meet the ever growing demand. There are numerous articles (including some that we've written) on advice and information on the different types of Wheelchair, but not so many on the accessories for them. So to fill this void and help people out even more we thought we'd write a post on our top 10 accessories for your manual wheelchairs.

Somewhere to put your drink.

The ultimate accessory for when you are out and about. Simply attach a clip on cup holder to your wheelchair so you can enjoy drink on the go. One of the most popular is the 'Drink Thing' that fits a variety of different container sizes and clips neatly onto the frame of any wheelchair. A must for the summer months or being out in the shops.

Hand Protection.

Using manual wheelchairs quite often can certainly be hard work on your hands. Developed by wheelchair users to make life comfortable for wheelchair users, gloves can protect against blisters and callouses yet are light and comfortable to wear. For those who want even more comfort and robustness, there are the Globeleather gloves which have been described as "the best wheelchair gloves available".

Added Storage and Saving Space

A handy device for packing things away and also saving on space to store items is an under seat wheelchair pouch. This excellent device clips securely and easily to the wheelchair with buckles and hides away under the chair. An ingenious accessory for the wheelchair provides convenient storage and is easily accessible from the front by the user.

Additional Security and Padding

With an extra secure wheelchair belt, you can have an added feeling of being secure by having a belt that criss-crosses across the back of the wheelchair and loops around the levers. Machine washable and made from heavy duty nylon, this belt fits comfortably around the hips.

Space Saving Oxygen

Ideal for persons with emphysema or other respiratory conditions then the perfect solution is a CarryON wheelchair bag that conveniently stores oxygen tanks out of the way. A large mesh bag easily holds one or two 'E' Cylinder tanks and also comes with a deep mask/nasal cannula pouch that is machine washable.

Keep on Working on the Move

If you have visual perception problems, then a transparent tray that attaches to all different types of wheelchair is ideal for you. With an aluminuim lip that keeps the tray from falling off, this durable see-through tray will provide a clear line of sight to your lap and offering a sturdy platform to perform work or tasks. The tray can easily be attached and removed thanks to the hook and loop straps that attach onto the wheelchair armrests.

Added Comfort

What would an accessory list be without something for extra comfort? One of the best methods of getting a softer surface to sit on is a cushion made from silicone gel and foam. Ideal for relieving pressure areas this cushion will make any wheelchair feel comfortable and relaxing all the time.

Accessibility Accessory

Last but by no means least is the most popular (and some would argue most essential) is the Wheelchair Ramp. Mostly constructed from aluminium and being lightweight and very portable, they are ideal for providing access to and from buildings, stairs and cars. Ramps come in a variety of different sizes and portable options and can quite often come complete with a carry bag for transportation. Some of the ramps can also be used for mobility scooters as they are made from very tough, durable materials.

With so many different accessories to choose from, Mobility Buddy provide all the help and information on Manual Wheelchairs, Mobility Scooters and Wheelchair Accessories that you need. Visit www.MobilityBuddy.co.uk and find the right mobility aid for your needs.