Posts Tagged ‘adult scooters’

Avoiding the High Pressure Sales Pitch: Learning About Mobility Scooters

Many people have seen the commercials for Rascal Scooters or any of the other types of mobility scooters and thought to themselves, wow that would really make my life easier. Mobility scooters are powerful tools for the elderly, as well as others who have difficulty walking for longer distances. However, if you actually call up their number, you are very likely to end up talking to a high pressure salesman, who is payed off of commission and therefore motivated to make a sale, much more than they are to help you find the right mobility scooter.

So, rather than simply call up these companies, it is a good idea to learn about mobility scooters first and explore all of your options. That way, rather than leading you to a sale, you can lead the salesman to what you really need.

What is a Mobility Scooter?

The mobility scooter is a special type of home medical equipment that provide a motorized platform to move its user from one area to another. That is to say, they are a type of mobility vehicle, similar in function to a wheelchair, but using a much different design.

Mobility scooters are battery powered, running off of at least one rechargeable battery. Some mobility scooters can travel over 20 miles on a single charge, but when looking at a medical supply companies website, it is important to keep in mind there are a lot of factors that can affect a mobility scooters range. For example, a heavier rider will see a shorted range than a lighter one. Along the same lines, if the mobility scooter is driven up hill, the battery will wear out much more rapidly than if it is driven across flat ground.

Other factors that affect range are the age of the battery, with it wearing down over time and usually needing replacement every 12 to 18 months, as well as how the battery is charged. Like all electronics, regularly and correctly recharging a battery is very important, with the first few months being the most important. So, make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions for recharging your scooter to ensure the best possible per-charge range.

What Kinds of Mobility Scooters Are Available?

There are many different types of mobility scooters, but they can basically be broken down into heavy duty scooters, travel scooters, and regular scooters.

Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters are arguably the most fun to drive, because they have the highest weight capacity and are designed to be driven almost anywhere, including over off-road terrain. They have a reinforced frame, larger tires, higher top speeds, a larger per-charge range, and higher ground clearance. However, heavy duty scooters are not just designed for outdoor use, but have a much higher weight capacity. One downside to a heavy duty scooter, however, is their size, which makes them impractical for use in some homes.

Travel Scooters are essentially the polar opposite of a heavy duty scooter. Where the heavy duty scooter is designed to be as powerful and strong as possible, the travel scooter is designed to be as light as possible. As a result, they are no where near as sturdy and lack a number of features common on other types of scooters, but they can be taken apart easily and placed in the trunk of a car. The main idea behind a travel scooter is that when it is taken apart, the individual pieces are light enough that they can be moved by the user without the need for a scooter lift. As a result, everything, from the frame to the seat, is minimized to reduce weight.

Regular scooters form the middle ground, falling in between travel scooters and heavy duty scooters. They have many more features than a travel scooter, but are not as easy to transport, sometimes requiring a vehicle scooter lift. However, they are much more comfortable than a travel scooter and usually have a higher per-charge range, yet unlike a heavy duty scooter, they are usually small enough to work in all homes.

What Mobility Scooter Manufacturer Should I Choose?

There are quite a few different manufactures of mobility scooters, so it can be confusing knowing which one to select. Inevitably two names stick out, however, as Golden Technologies and Pride Mobility are both known for their home medical equipment, which includes not only mobility scooters, but also lift chairs, adjustable beds, and electric wheelchairs. ShopRider is another popular manufacturer, which offers a less expensive option.

Since there are so many manufacturers of adult scooters, it is important to compare the different electric scooters available to find the one that will best fit your needs and your budget. When comparing different scooters, make sure to look at the warranty offered, as well as how well known the brand is. For example, it is possible to get some really cheap no-name mobility scooters from overseas, but chances are, they won’t last very long and will be covered by a much less inclusive warranty that requires expensive shipping if something breaks.

Mobility Scooter Buyers Guide and FAQ

Among the elderly, the mobility scooter provides one of the most valuable services for those who have difficulty walking. There are a number of different mobility scooter models available, as well as a number of different manufacturers, so it is sometimes overwhelming finding right mobility scooter, but when you know a little bit about them, it is not as difficult as it might seem.

Mobility scooters have been around for over forty years, but it was not until the eighties that they really became popular and more common place. Today, mobility scooters, which are sometimes called electric scooters or adult scooters, are very popular and provide a lower cost alternative to an electric wheelchair.

Below, you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about these extremely useful senior mobility vehicles.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Mobility Scooters?
  2. Where Can I Use My Mobility Scooter?
  3. What is the Difference Between Three Wheel vs Four Wheel Scooters?
  4. What Type of Speed and Battery Life Should I Expect?
  5. What Extra Features and Accessories Are Available?
  6. What Are Travel Scooters?
  7. What is a Heavy Duty Scooter?
  8. Who Are Some Popular Mobility Scooter Manufacturers?

What Are Mobility Scooters?

A mobility scooter is an electric vehicle that is used to carry a single occupant, typically both indoors and outdoors. They are similar to electric wheelchairs, except mobility scooters have a longer base, with the captain’s chair positioned more towards the rear of the scooter. A set of handlebars, called a tiller, is attached to the front of the scooter, which allows the scooter to be turned, as well as regulating speed, braking, and controlling the extra features, such as the horn and lights.

The main difference between a mobility scooter and an electric wheelchair is the addition of the tiller. Electric wheelchairs typically use a joystick control that is mounted to the side of the wheelchair’s arm rest, which allows the wheelchair to be driven directly up to a table or bench. Mobility scooters, on the other hand, are controlled by the tiller, which prevents it from being driven directly up to a table. Mobility scooters also usually cost a good deal less than electric wheelchairs.

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Where Can I Use My Mobility Scooter?

Most mobility scooters are designed to be used indoors, as well as outdoors over tightly packed terrain. However, if you intend to use the scooter over loosely packed ground, such as dirt or sand, you may need to invest in a more durable mobility scooter. However, when driving over uneven terrain, even if it is tightly packed, it is important to be very careful in order to prevent the scooter from tipping over.

One thing to keep in mind is how much room you have indoors, as some mobility scooters are more maneuverable than others. The manufacturer will provide a turning radius, which describes the smallest space the scooter can turn it.

There are also environmental factors that can reduce the performance of the scooter. For example, driving a mobility scooter uphill will cause the battery to wear out quicker than when it is driven on flat terrain. Similarly, the weight of the rider also affect the per-charge range of the scooter, with a heavier rider reducing the range of the mobility scooter.

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What is the Difference Between Three Wheel vs Four Wheel Scooters?

One way that mobility scooters are classified is by the number of wheels that they have, specifically, either three wheeled mobility scooters or four wheeled mobility scooters.

In general, a four wheeled mobility scooter will provide better stability and higher weight support, where a three wheeled mobility scooter will be more maneuverable. This is because the four wheeled scooter more evenly distributes the weight of the rider between the front and back of the scooter.

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What Type of Speed and Battery Life Should I Expect?

Both the top speed and the per charge range, varies by model. However, most travel between 4-5mph and have a per charge range of between 8-10. There are, of course, exceptions to this, with some mobility scooters traveling over 10mph for distances of over twenty miles.

One thing to keep in mind when considering battery life, is that the amount you use the scooter will have a direct relation on how often you have to charge it and how long the battery lasts. For instance, someone that only uses their scooter once every few days probably would not need to charge the scooter everyday. On the other hand, someone who drives several miles each day on their scooter would probably have to charge it each night.

Environmental factors also play a part in battery life, with things like driving up hill or carrying extra weight causing the battery to wear down faster. Batteries do need to be replaced and depending on how much the scooter is used, this could mean replacing it each year or every few years.

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What Extra Features and Accessories Are Available?

There are a number of extra features available for most scooters, which include things like cane holders, oxygen racks, and visibility flags. Often, some of these can be purchased cheaper at a bike store, as is the case with side mirrors and visibility flags, than you would be able to purchase them from a manufacturer. So, it is important to determine if it is a scooter specific accessory, which will only work with a specific model, or if it is an accessory that is generic, which will work with any type of scooter.

There are a number of bags that are also available, including armrest bags, under the seat bags, and back of the seat bags. Trays are also popular, which make it easier to eat, write, or work on a computer while using the scooter.

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What Are Travel Scooters?

Travel scooters are lightweight mobility scooters that are designed so that they can be quickly and easily dissembled into several easy to manage pieces. Often, they use quick release snaps that can be activated with a single hand and the heaviest piece weighs only around 30 pounds.

The advantage of a travel scooter is that it can be stored quickly and easily in a plane, car, or other vehicle, without having to use a scooter lift. Most travel scooters are three wheeled, as this helps reduce weight. However, they are also usually bare bones in regards to included features, which helps to reduce weight. Travel scooters are also not able to travel as far on a single charge, nor are they able to support as much weight or preform as well outdoors as other mobility scooters.

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What is a Heavy Duty Scooter?

A Heavy Duty Scooter is one that is designed to support more weight and preform better outdoors than a regular mobility scooter. They typically are four wheeled, which provides the most stability and use air filled, pneumatic, tires, which improve suspension and off road performance. Heavy Duty Scooters are intended for outdoor use, so have larger wheels and a higher ground clearance, as well as having reinforced bumpers, extra large seats, and a number of other extra features.

While Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters are well suited for outdoor use, have a very large range, and a much higher weight capacity than other scooters, they are much bigger than most other types of scooters. As a result, a heavy duty scooter might not work well inside of a smaller home and to transport it, a scooter lift would be needed.

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Who Are Some Popular Mobility Scooter Manufacturers?

There are a number of mobility scooter manufacturers, but Pride Mobility and Golden Technologies are probably the most well known, with both companies having manufactured home medical equipment for over twenty years. While Pride Scooters and Golden Scooters are the most recognized, they also tend to cost more than other lesser known brands.

ShopRider is a company that offers a number of mobility scooters, which are typically priced lower than Golden Mobility Scooters and Pride Mobility Scooters.

Ultimately, if you decide not to go with one of the major brands, it is important to check for consumer reviews of the company and their scooters. Also, ensure that they provide a warranty for their scooter, which is similar to the length of a warranty on a name brand scooter. There are a number of very cheap scooters out there, but they will often have a very limited warranty, which means they should usually be avoided.

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What is a Mobility Scooter?

mobilityscootersIt is not uncommon for a senior to have difficulty walking and getting around. Around the home, it is possible that not being able to walk for an extended period of time isn’t all that big of an issue and in many cases, a walker or rollator will offset these difficulties. However, going places like the grocery store, shopping mall, or even walking around might not be possible, so many seniors use mobility scooters.

Mobility scooters are one of the most common types of mobility vehicles, which allow a senior to effortlessly get around. Many are able to travel over 10 miles per charge and some can travel even further on a single charge, with a range of over 30 miles. There are many different types of mobility scooters, but they can typically be divided into three distinct categories; Travel Scooters, Heavy Duty Scooters, and Traditional Scooters.

Travel Scooters are very popular, because they are designed to be easily transported. They can be taken apart into several pieces, all of which are light enough for the average senior to lift, with the heaviest piece often weighing less than 30 pounds. This means that the travel scooter can be dissembled quickly and placed in the trunk or back seat of a car, without the need of a special scooter lift.

While travel scooters can be very convenient, their lightweight comes at the cost of features. They also often have a shorter range than other scooters, are not quite as durable, and will typically have a lower weight capacity than a non-travel scooter.

Where travel scooter are made with transportability in mind, heavy duty scooters are designed to be driven almost anywhere. As a result, they are very heavy and will very likely require a scooter lift to transport, but they preform very well over almost all terrains. They have a much higher weight capacity than other mobility scooters, offer reinforced bumpers, a higher ground clearance, a larger more comfortable chair, and larger wheels. They also have a much larger range and top speed, with some heavy duty scooters able to travel over 10 miles per hour.

Many people who spend a great deal of time outdoors will go with a heavy duty scooter and they can be not only very practical, but also a good deal of fun to drive. However, they tend to have a rather large turning radius, which means that they wont do as well in very tight quarters, such as in a living room. This means that a heavy duty scooter is an excellent choice for outdoors and public areas, like the grocery store, but might not always be the best choice for use inside the home.

The last type of scooter is the traditional scooter and this is sort of a catch all category. If it isn’t a travel scooter or a heavy duty scooter, then it is a traditional scooter. They are more durable than travel scooters, yet not quite as durable as a heavy duty scooter. Most traditional scooters can be easily taken apart, but the individual pieces will not be as easy to handle.

For a senior, or anyone who has difficulty walking for that matter, a mobility scooter can greatly improve accessibility. These devices provide a cost effective alternative to electric wheelchairs and are very easy to use.

Mobility Scooters Explained

For the elderly, it is common for diseases like arthritis to make it very difficult to walk for extended periods of time. This can have a very big impact on the seniors life, as they are no longer able to spend as much time with family or even walking around a store. Many seniors will use rolling walkers, which are called rollators, or canes, but even when using this type of mobility aid, it still requires a great deal of effort to walk. For more extended use, a mobility scooter often provides a much more practical walking aid for seniors.

Mobility Scooter Basics

Mobility scooters are similar in function to electric wheelchairs, but they are designed quite differently and usually cost a good deal less as well. For example, typically a low end power chair costs as much as a high end mobility scooter, so for seniors who have difficulty walking, a mobility scooter is often the best choice.

The mobility scooter provides a platform with three or four wheels, upon which a chair is placed. The chair is positioned more towards the back of the electric scooter and a set of handlebars extends from the front. The handlebars, called a tiller, not only controls the mobility scooter, but also usually operates its running lights, contains a throttle to control speed, and a battery charge indicator. It is also not uncommon to place a basket on the tiller to hold groceries or other goods.

Three Wheel Scooters vs Four Wheel Scooters

The number of wheels that the scooter has, three or four, is an important consideration, as this relates to both maneuverability and stability. A three wheeled scooter will have better maneuverability at the cost of stability. A four wheel scooter, on the other hand, has better stability as the weight of the user is more evenly distributed. However, this improved stability comes at the cost of a decrease in maneuverability.

As a result, a three wheel scooter is a great choice for indoors and occupants with lower weights. For a higher weight capacity adult scooter or one that will be used a great deal outdoors, it is better to go with a four wheel scooter.

The Three Basic Types of Mobility Scooters

There are three basic types of mobility scooters, travel scooters, heavy duty scooters, and standard scooters.

Travel scooters are designed to be lightweight and taken apart easily. The individual pieces typically do not weigh more than thirty pounds and so it is not necessary to use a vehicle scooter carrier to transport a travel scooter. They are also easily transported on planes.

To reduce weight, most extra features are cut, including lighting systems, lower weight capacity, the type of seat used, and extra body panels to protect against low impact collisions, such as running into the leg of a table. Most travel scooters are also usually three wheel scooters, as this is also lighter. They also have a significantly lower per charge range and top speed.

Heavy Duty Scooters are almost the exact opposite of a travel scooter and are designed for off road use. They have a very high weight capacity and many extra features. This includes larger tires, improved suspension, upgraded body panels, reinforced bumpers, complete lighting systems, higher ground clearance, and an upgraded captain’s chair. Heavy duty scooters also have a very large per charge range and top speed.

Of course, due to the size of a heavy duty scooter, it is almost always necessary to invest in a vehicle scooter carrier to transport the device and they are not always as well suited for the tight quarters of a living room.

Standard scooters
form the middle ground, offering improved functionality, features, range, and speed when compared to travel scooters, but less so when compared to heavy duty scooters. Typically, transporting a standard scooter also requires a vehicle scooter carrier.

The Different Types of Mobility Scooters

For seniors and others who have difficulty walking around, the mobility scooter has been a powerful asset for some time. The first mobility scooters where developed about fifty years ago, but they really did not become practical or popular until the 1980′s.

Today, there are a number of different kinds of mobility scooters available, but they can basically be broken down into three distinct categories: Travel Scooters, Heavy Duty Scooters, and Traditional Scooters. Knowing the difference between these types of mobility scooters is very important, because they each offer their own advantages and disadvantages.

Travel Scooters

travelscooterTravel scooters are very popular, because they are lightweight and can be easily disassembled into several easy to manage pieces. Usually, the heaviest piece will weigh less than 30 pounds, so they can be easily picked up and placed in the trunk of a car, stored on a plane, or even placed into the backseat of a vehicle. Many travel scooter are also very easy to take apart and feature clasps that can be operated while only using a single hand. Since these types of scooters can be so easily transported, they can make them a great tool for going to an amusement park or visiting a new city.

While travel scooters can be very easy to transport, their lightweight comes at the cost of reduced functionality and stability. They are often not able to support as much weight, nor will a travel scooter fair as well over rougher terrain. Also, travel scooters are basically stripped of all extra features, to help reduce weight, including having a reduced per-charge range.

Travel Scooters Typically Cost: $800 – $1500

Heavy Duty Scooters

heavydutyscooterHeavy Duty Scooters are pretty much the exact opposite of travel scooters. A heavy duty scooter offers superior weight capacity and off road maneuverability. They feature reinforced frames and often include special bumpers for added protection. Larger off-road tires and improved ground clearance make heavy duty scooters able to be driven pretty much anywhere. These mobility vehicles also include a number of other features designed to improve comfort and usability, such as overstuffed captains chairs and upgraded suspension.

While heavy duty scooters are an excellent tool for those who need a higher weight capacity or want a scooter that can be driven off-road with confidence, they are fairly large in size. They also have a larger turning radius, so when combined with their large size, heavy duty mobility scooters might take up too much space to be used effectively inside of a home. Also, due to their size, a vehicle scooter carrier is required to transport them. Like other types of mobility scooters, a heavy duty scooter can be disassembled, however the individual pieces are much heavier, sometimes weighing over 100 pounds. It is also not as easy to disassemble as a travel scooter would be.

Heavy Duty Scooters Usually Cost: $1500 – $5000

Traditional Scooters

traditionalscooterTraditional scooters fall in between heavy duty scooters and travel scooters. They preform well inside of a home and can also be used over most outdoor surfaces, providing the surface is fairly well packed. They include a number of features, such as running lights, and typically have a per-charge range of around 8 – 10 miles. Traditional scooters provide a great deal more stability than a travel scooter and typically support more weight as well.

While traditional scooters are very sturdy, they are not as well suited for rougher outdoor terrain or wet ground. These types of scooters can be taken apart as well, but the individual pieces are not as lightweight as a travel scooter, nor is a traditional scooter as easy to take apart. In most cases, a vehicle scooter carrier is required to transport these devices, as they take up much more space and are a good deal heavier than travel scooters.

Traditional Scooters Typically Cost: $1300 – $2500

Increasing Accessibility With a Mobility Scooter

rascalscooterOften, for seniors walking for an extended period of time can become very difficult. Many times, this is not a big issue when at home, but it can make going anywhere, even to the grocery store, very difficult. To make it easier to get around, the mobility scooter is one of the more popular mobility vehicles available for a senior.

While wheelchairs have been used for thousands of years, the mobility scooter is fairly new, dating back only about fifty years. Mobility scooters also use a design that is very different from that of a wheelchair. One of the major differences is that due to the way a scooter is designed, you can not drive it directly up to a table or desk, so will likely have to transfer to a regular chair when eating or working.

Typically, the mobility scooter will have a rectangle shaped base, with wheels at the front and back. A chair is mounted slightly off center, positioned more towards the back of the base. Depending on the chair, it could offer a very simple lightweight design, or it could be a luxurious captains chair, with a reclining back.

A set of handlebars, called the tiller, extends from the front of the base and can be moved closer to the chair as needed. The tiller is used to control the direction and acceleration of the mobility scooter. A headlight, turn signal, and basket are also often attached to the tiller. They also typically have keyed entry, to protect the scooter from unauthorized use.

Mobility scooters are very popular, because they allow an individual to move easily over relatively large distances, with little physical effort. The range varies by model, but most adult scooters can travel at least five miles on a signal charge, with some capable of traveling more than 30 miles without requiring a charge. It is usually possible to purchase an extra battery pack for the scooter, which effectively doubles the range of the device. When one battery wears down, the battery can be taken out and charged, with the other battery pack being added. Most people will not require an extra battery pack, but it might be a good idea for those who are always on the go and don’t want to be stuck waiting for their mobility scooter to recharge.

Since the mobility scooter is battery powered, it can safely be used indoors or outdoors, although some are better suited at outdoor use than others. Typically, four wheel scooters provide a more stable platform for outdoor use and three wheeled scooters have a smaller turning radius, so are better for indoor use. Most will preform equally well over tightly packed terrain though, so for many people the extra stability offered by a four wheeled adult scooter is negligible.

For the mobility challenged senior, an electric mobility scooter is a very valuable tool that helps increase their mobility. These devices are available to accommodate people of all sizes and can be a valuable asset for those who have problems walking for extended periods of time.