The mobility scooter is a relatively new sight on the streets of Ireland. This mobility aid has been around for a long time, however the Irish consumer up to now, has been slow to embrace the freedom and independence the right Mobility Scooter can offer. However, it is now an incorporated form of transport within out towns and cities.
If you have reduced mobility or feel unstable or insecure whilst walking, particularly when travelling any distance, a mobility scooter may be helpful. Mobility scooters have been designed to ensure that older people and those with mobility issues can travel longer distances with little effort.
The size of the scooter will determine its ground clearance, turning circle, overall dimensions, and manoeuvrability. It is important to ensure that the driver sits comfortably, and that he/she can reach and use the controls. A scooter should not tip during sharp turns or on inclines. Momentum Healthcare offer scooters in each size category from a micro scooter to a large all terrain one.
The size of the wheels on a scooter determines the ability of the scooter to mount obstacles and affects its comfort and stability. Smaller wheels are generally found on scooters intended for indoor use. The larger the wheels, the more stable the scooter, and the larger and wider the tyres, the greater the ability of the scooter to manage kerb climbing and to be driven on rough terrain.
How Many Wheels?
The number of wheels affects the scooter’s performance.
• Four wheeled scooters tend to be more stable than those with three wheels especially for kerb climbing and turning sharp corners.
• Three wheeled scooters tend to be more manoeuvrable i.e. have a smaller turning circle.
Type of Tyres
There are different types of tyres including:
• Pneumatic tyres, which need to be inflated regularly to maintain air pressure and need to be checked as they can puncture. They give a smoother and more comfortable ride and better traction on kerbs, slopes and rough ground than solid rubber tyres. Punctures can be repaired in a similar way to bicycle tyre punctures.
• Solid tyres do not puncture or need inflating and may make it easier to manoeuvre on some surfaces. However, there will be some sacrifice in ride comfort.
Acceleration on a scooter is controlled by a single proportionally controlled lever (i.e. the greater the pressure applied to the lever, the faster the vehicle moves). This may be situated on the right or left hand side, or both sides of the tiller. This lever is often controlled by thumb movement or by squeezing (rather like the action required applying a bicycle cable brake). This may be difficult for people who have poor flexibility or little strength in their hands, so it is important to try before purchase.
Some scooters have a speed limiter which determines the maximum speed to which the scooter can accelerate. The speed dial allows more varied and accurate control of maximum speed. Another safety feature to look out for is automatic speed reduction on corners.
This is the manufacturer’s prediction as to the scooter range under optimum conditions with new batteries on a full charge. Range can be affected by:
• Condition of batteries – older, well used batteries will not store as much power.
• Weight of user – the heavier the person the more power will be used.
• Terrain – climbing hills and kerbs uses up more power.
• Accessories – lights and indicators are powered by the wheelchair batteries.
• Weather – batteries do not perform as well in cold weather. 4.8 Gradient This is the manufacturer’s prediction as to the maximum gradient under the best conditions, taking into account the user’s weight, temperature, surface etc.
Scooters can be dismantled for transporting and storage. However, the components still tend to be heavy. Check the weight of the heaviest component and compare it to the weight of a bag of sugar, which weighs only 1kg.
In addition to the standard features, manufacturers offer a range of optional accessories, including crutch and cane holders, oxygen bottles carriers, front and rear baskets, as well as canopies.
Why not have a look at our full range here Full range of scooters.