When going through the process of selecting a new power chair, your therapist works alongside an ATP (Assistive Technology Professional), who works for your authorized Quantum dealer. Drive-wheel configuration is a major factor to consider. Working together, you, your therapist and the ATP can decide which Quantum power wheelchair is right for you. Quantum power wheelchairs are available in different drive wheel configurations. You can easily spot the drive wheels on any power chair, as they are the bigger wheels, though their placement can vary. Front-wheel, mid-wheel and rear-wheel drive each have their own benefits. Read on to learn more!
A Front-Wheel Drive Power Chair
One of the biggest advantages of a front-wheel drive Quantum power wheelchair is that is there is more force distributed to each tire. There are four tires total, compared to other drive-wheel configurations, such as mid-wheel, which has six. The increased force provides more traction, allowing the front-wheel drive power chair to drive over grass, uneven gravel or soft terrain more easily. The large drive wheels on a front-wheel drive configuration are the first to encounter an obstacle, such as a curb. The large drive wheels “grab” the obstacle and go over it, then pull the rest of the power chair with them.
The 4Front® 2 and the 4Front 2 HD power chairs offer front-wheel drive, and a host of other great features, such as 4-pole motors, Smart Traction Control (STC) and LED front and rear fender lights.
A Mid-Wheel Drive Quantum Power Wheelchair
A mid-wheel drive Quantum power wheelchair is an ideal choice for consumers who need greater stability. Mid-wheel drive is set up so that the drive wheels are in line with the user’s center of gravity. In addition, mid-wheel drive power chairs are easier to learn, especially for individuals who are just starting out in learning to operate a power wheelchair.
The Edge 3 Stretto offers a mid-wheel drive configuration. It has an ultra-narrow base, which is ideal for use in the home, navigating around sharp corners and through tight doorways.
A Rear-Wheel Drive Power Chair
A rear-wheel drive Quantum power wheelchair has two large drive wheels located on the rear of the power base. There are also two smaller caster wheels on the front of the base. The drive wheel location is the source of the chair’s power, which is ideal for more aggressive outdoor terrain. In addition, when driving over terrain that is softer, rear-wheel drive provides more power to propel the wheelchair forward. A rear-wheel power chair handles grade changes more easily for a smoother ride. Typically, rear-wheel drive wheelchairs are equipped with independent suspension or shock absorbers for a comfortable ride experience.
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