An Ultimate Guide of Mobility Scooters

Limited mobility and difficulty getting around are two common problems for the elderly. Often, conditions such as arthritis result in difficulty walking, especially over long distances, which can make keeping up with the grandchildren impossible. This is one of the reasons that many seniors use mobility scooters, which provide a motorized base that can make it possible to travel miles and miles, with only the push of a button. I am here presenting a brief guide of mobility scooters including its benefits and types .

guide of mobility scooters

Guide of Mobility Scooters?

Mobility scooters are similar to electric wheelchairs, at least in regards to functionality, and electric scooters were first developed in the 1960′s, which is around the same time that the first electric wheelchair was developed. However, while the functionality of a power chair is similar to that of an electric mobility scooter, they feature a design that is much different. This difference in design is in part because where electric wheelchairs are designed for those who cannot walk at all, mobility scooters are intended to be provide a supplement to walking.

Most mobility scooters feature a long base, with a chair mounted towards the rear of the base, above the electric motor and batteries. A set of handlebars, called a tiller, is installed on the front of the electric scooter and is used to control the direction and speed of the scooter. As a result, however, it is not possible to drive a adult scooter directly up to a table or desk the same way you can with a best wheelchair.

There are a number of different types of electric scooters, with Pride Mobility and Golden Technologies being two of the more well known brands. Both of these companies offer a large line of mobility scooters that are intended to fill different needs, with Pride Mobility Scooters and Golden Mobility Scooters being some of the most reliable and well made ones around. Of course, there are many other manufacturers of adult scooters, including ShopRider, who offers several lines of low priced electric scooters.

With the many different models, manufacturers, and options available, it is easy to become overwhelmed when you begin shopping for a mobility scooter, but they can be classified by the number of wheels, weight capacity, and function. Understanding these classifications and their advantages can make buying a mobility scooter, even when buying online, much easier.

What is the Difference Between Travel Scooters, Standard Scooters, and Heavy Duty Scooters?

The intended function of the scooter is one of the most common ways that these devices are classified and if you visit any reputable online retailer, you will surely see an option to sort them by travel scooters, standard scooters, and heavy duty scooters.

A travel scooter is a mobility scooter that is designed to be as lightweight as possible and be broken down into several easy to manage pieces. As a result, it is seldom necessary to use a scooter lift to transport a travel scooter, as it can be quickly and easily disassembled, with the heaviest piece usually weighing less than 30 pounds. However, to cut weight, these scooters have reduced features and a much lower weight capacity, as well as often being less powerful and having a shorter range. This means a travel scooter is often not the best choice for an everyday driver.

​Heavy Duty Scooters are on the other end of the scale, designed to support the most amount of weight and be driven over much rougher terrain. They usually are much larger, featuring a big captains chair, higher top speeds, larger tires, and many other features, such as improved bumpers and reinforced structures. A heavy duty scooter can be a great choice for those who like spending time outdoors, as they are the most versatile and can be driven over most types of ground. This versatility comes at a cost, however, as their large size means it is necessary to use a scooter lift to transport them and that they are not always as well suited for the tight corners of a home. Heavy duty scooters are also the most expensive type of scooter.

​Standard Mobility Scooters form a nice middle ground, offering improved weight and power capacities over a travel scooter, while being smaller and easier to manage than a heavy duty scooter. For everyday use, a standard scooter is usually a good choice, as it has a long range, is very reliable, and includes a lot of features that are taken out of a travel scooter to reduce weight.

Why Do Some Mobility Scooters Have 3 Wheels and others 4?

The number of wheels, either three or four, a mobility scooter is another way that they are classified. Three wheeled mobility scooter are lighter in weight, so many travel scooters use a three wheel design. Three wheel scooters are also more maneuverable, as they have a smaller turning radius.

Four wheel scooters are a little heavier than other scooters and not quite as maneuverable, but because the weight is more evenly distributed, they tend to be more stable. As a result, most heavy duty scooters are four wheeled.

3 Types of Mobility Scooter

While seniors are not the only group of people to use mobility scooters, they are much more common among the elderly and are a powerful tool for patients who are only partially ambulatory. Mobility scooters are designed to provide supplemental walking assistance to the mobility challenged, safely transporting their rider over both indoor and outdoor terrain.

Mobility scooters, which are also called electric scooters or adult scooters, have been around for about fifty years, but did not really start to gain popularity until the 1980′s. Since then, names like the Rascal have become household names and many people take advantage of this powerful type of home medical equipment.

There are many brands of mobility scooters and several distinct categories. Understanding how these different types of mobility scooters work and how they are classified can make buying a mobility scooter much easier, as well as helping to narrow down the available choices.

Travel Scooters

Travel Scooters are often the least expensive type of mobility scooter and are designed to be taken apart into several manageable pieces. Many include special clips that allow the scooter to be broken down quickly, often with only one hand. When disassembled, the individual pieces of the travel scooter are lightweight and easy to move, with the heaviest piece often weighing less than 30 pounds.

Being able to take the scooter apart makes it much easier to transport, as it can be placed in the trunk of a car, rather than requiring a special scooter lift be installed on the vehicle.

While travel scooters can be a great choice in some cases, they usually lack a lot of the features other mobility scooters have. This is because in order to reduce weight, pretty much anything not related to safety or required for functionality is removed. As a result, travel scooters usually support less weight, have a shorter per-charge range, and are not quite as durable as other mobility scooters.

For everyday use, a travel scooter is often not the best choice, but they can make it much easier and less expensive to transport the device.

Traditional Mobility Scooters

Traditional Mobility Scooters are usually designed to be broken down in a manner similar to that of a travel scooter, but the individual pieces are not quite as lightweight or easy to manage. However, traditional scooter have many other features, both safety related, such as improved suspension, lighting systems, and larger weight capacities, as well as comfort related.

Typically a vehicle scooter lift is required to transport the mobility scooter, which has a significantly higher range than travel scooters.

Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters

Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters, as the name implies, are the Mack Truck of mobility scooters. They are much larger than other types of mobility scooters, making them more difficult to transport, but have a much higher weight rating and are designed to perform well across all types of terrain, including off-road.

They feature larger wheels, a higher ground clearance, reinforced bumpers, and many other features designed to make the device as rugged as possible. Heavy Duty Electric Scooters also have a larger per-charge range and can support a much higher weight capacity than other mobility scooters, as well as having many creature comforts, like a large comfortable captains chair.

Mobility scooters, while excellent for outdoor use, do tend to be pretty large, so they are not always the best choice for tight quarters in a home. Like other types of mobility scooters, most heavy duty mobility scooters can be broken down into several pieces, but it is not uncommon for the lightest piece to be over 100 pounds. So, it is usually not practical to break them down for transportation, at least not for daily transport.

Advantages of Mobility Scooter

Elderly people who have difficulty getting around often find that using a wheelchair is not the optimal solution, especially since manual wheelchairs can require a lot of physical strength to use. Instead, a mobility scooter is often a better choice and is usually considerably less than an electric wheelchair.

  • Mobility scooters, like wheelchairs, have been around for some time, but the first electric mobility scooter can be traced back to the 1960′s. Since then, there have been a number of improvements in their design and dependability.
  • An Electric Mobility Scooter, or adult scooter, is a motorized device used to help make it easier for someone to get around. The base of the device is elongated and has a chair positioned towards the rear and handlebars on the front. The handlebars, which are referred to as the tiller, extend from the front of the electric scooters base and can be adjusted to bring them closer or farther from the user. In addition to controlling the direction of the scooter, the tiller can also control acceleration and braking, as well as controlling any other extras, such as running lights.
  • One of the big differences between mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs is the tiller. On an electric wheelchair, an armrest control is usually used to move the device and there is nothing in front of the users legs. However, on a mobility scooter, the tiller is located on the front of the users legs, which makes it impossible to drive the mobility scooter directly up to a table or desk. As a result, the target market for a wheelchair and scooter differs in that mobility scooters are primarily intended for people who can walk for short distances, but have trouble doing so.
  • While there are many types of mobility scooters, many much less expensive than others, most are designed to work well both indoors and outdoors. There are several considerations though, such as tire size, ground clearance, and speed, which help determine if the scooter will work well outdoors. The number of tires can also have an effect, with 4-wheel mobility scooters offering more stability when used outdoors.
  • 3-Wheel Mobility Scooters, on the other hand, offer the advantage of being more maneuverable, as they have a smaller turning radius. So, for indoor use, a 3-wheel scooter may be preferable. Of course, this extra maneuverability comes at the cost of stability and weight support, so it is important to determine what type of scooter will work best for your individual needs.

There are also several types of scooters that are designed to fit special needs. For example, heavy duty scooters are designed to support more weight and perform better outdoors. Travel scooters, on the other hand, are essentially on the opposite side of the spectrum. Travel scooters are designed to be as lightweight as possible, so they can be transported easily without a scooter lift. They have fewer features and extras to help reduce weight, typically being designed to be broken down into several easy to manage pieces. Hope this huge guide of mobility scooters helps!

Dennis P. Baughman
 

Dennis P. Baughman is the Editor of UnbeatenRolling. His disabilities couldn't stop him to be self driven person. He started this blog to share his personal knowledge about all kinds of wheelchairs and different tips and advice about chairs.

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