There are various kinds of power wheelchair configurations when it comes to wheel placement. You need to consider all before deciding what suits your requirements the best. Here are some highlights of the advantages and disadvantages of rear, mid and front drive wheelchair base configurations.
Rear Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs
Rear drive wheels are located just behind the center of gravity of the user. The casters are located in the front. It is easy to drive and is stable too. It can be difficult for some to maneuver, especially in small spaces. This is because it has a large turning radius. This means that you should not opt for it in case you are living in a small apartment or a condo. But it is perfect for a big house or in case you would like to spend a long time outdoors.
Front Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs
In this type of power wheelchair, the drive wheels are located just in front of the center of gravity of the user. Here, the rear wheels are the casters with a stable design. It has a small turning radius which means that it is a good option in case you are living in a small apartment or a condo. However, it may fishtail and can be difficult to drive it in a straight line when traveling fast and the surface are uneven. This means that it may not be the best option if you wish to travel long distances outdoors.
Mid-wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs
In this type of power wheelchair, the drive wheels are located just below the center of gravity of the user. The turning radius is small which means that indoor mobility is easy. Mid wheel drive wheelchairs are ideal for maneuvering any small environment such as apartments, small homes, offices, etc. Often this chair may be a little more difficult to maneuver depending on what type of outdoor environment you are in most.
A mobility base for a power wheelchair is extremely important when deciding mobility. Deciding on the configuration can be a very important part of selecting a wheelchair and using the joystick or alternative controls to operate the chair. Just as important, if not more important, is making sure that the wheelchair user is properly fitted and positioned in the wheelchair. This will impact the wheelchair user’s ability to use the controls to operate the chair. Making sure the joystick or other driving options is in an adequate position to compensate for the user’s ability is as important as any set up in the chair.
There is complexity when it comes to selecting a power wheelchair and it is very important that you work with a trained professional and your healthcare team to be evaluated for the correct wheelchair base and seating components for safe and maximum driving capabilities. Keystone Mobility can work with you to select the most appropriate power wheelchair for your unique needs. We have many different types of wheelchairs available to trial to help determine the best solutions for you or your loved one. We have worked with consumers all over central Pennsylvania including Dauphin, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Cumberland and other surrounding areas over the years and have helped thousands of customers become more independent in their lives. Contact us today for a comprehensive wheelchair evaluation.