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Maintenance and Care of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-09-16      Origin: Site

Electric wheelchairs that can fold provide users with the best of both worlds - the ease and independence of powered mobility combined with the convenience of a chair that can be quickly folded for storage or transport. This guide covers everything you need to know about folding electric wheelchairs.

Overview of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Folding electric wheelchairs deliver powered mobility with the flexibility of a folding design. Key features include:

  • Portability - Fold up into a compact size for transport in cars or air travel

  • Convenience - Save storage space at home and avoid constantly transferring to a manual chair

  • Independence - Powered operation for self-propelled movement and range

  • Configurability - Available in front, mid or rear-wheel drive with options

  • Customization - Can accommodate specialized seating systems and adaptations

Folding electric wheelchairs combine the perks of both manual and power chairs. Let's look at the details.

Table 1: Folding Electric Wheelchair Benefits

Benefits Description
Powered mobility Electric motor drives the chair - no manual propulsion needed
Folding design Frame folds up into a compact unit for storage and transport
Flexible usage Alternate between power and manual chairs when needed
Independence Users can move around freely without assistance
Portability Fits in small spaces at home and can be taken along when traveling
Convenience Avoid transferring to a manual chair whenever leaving the powered one
Range Travel longer distances compared to manual wheelchairs
Configurability Available with front, mid or rear wheel drive options
Custom seating Accommodate specialized seating systems or customizations

Folding Electric Wheelchair Composition

Folding electric wheelchairs have a metal frame construction with composite plastic components. The main elements are:

  • Foldable aluminum or steel frame - Makes the chair collapsible for storage and transport when folded

  • Wheels - Typically include two large rear wheels and two smaller front casters

  • Electric motor - Provides powered driving of the wheels

  • Batteries - Removable batteries to power the motor

  • Controller - Controls motor speed and direction

  • Seat and backrest - Mounted on the frame to support the user

  • Legrests - Adjustable leg rests for comfort and support

  • Armrests - Flip-back or removable armrests for transfers

Additional optional components can include headrests, cushions, trays, crutch/cane holders, oxygen tank holders, etc.

Table 2: Folding Electric Wheelchair Composition

Component Description
Frame Foldable aluminum or steel frame
Drive Wheels Large rear wheels powered by motor
Caster Wheels Smaller front wheels for steering
Electric Motor Provides powered mobility when driving wheels
Batteries Removable to power the wheelchair
Controller Controls motor speed and direction
Seat and Backrest Mounted on frame to support user
Legrests Adjustable legrests for comfort and support
Armrests Flip-back or removable armrests for transfers

Folding Electric Wheelchair Specifications

Folding electric wheelchairs are available in different sizes, capacities, and parameters. Typical specifications are:

Table 3: Folding Electric Wheelchair Specifications

Specification Details
Weight capacity Up to 300 lbs
Top speed Up to 6 mph
Range per charge Up to 20 miles
Ground clearance 1.5" to 3.5"
Turning radius 32" to 39"
Overall length 33" to 44"
Overall width 23" to 27"
Folded dimensions As small as 14" x 12" x 36"
Seat dimensions 16" to 22" width x 16" to 20" depth
Seat to floor height 17" to 21"
Front caster wheel size 6" to 10"
Drive wheel size 10" to 14"
Total weight 75 to 140 lbs
Battery voltage 24V to 40V
Battery capacity 10Ah to 20Ah
Motor power 200W to 350W

Folding Electric Wheelchair Drive Types

Folding electric wheelchairs are available with front, mid or rear wheel drive configurations:

Front-Wheel Drive

  • Motor in front wheel hub

  • Better traction and torque for inclines

  • Tighter turning radius

Mid-Wheel Drive

  • Central motor and drive wheels

  • Balanced stability and maneuverability

  • Medium turning radius

Rear-Wheel Drive

  • Motor in rear wheel hub

  • Faster top speed on flat surfaces

  • Wider turning radius

Table 4: Folding Electric Wheelchair Drive Types

Drive Type Pros Cons
Front-Wheel Better traction, inclines<br>Tight turning Reduced top speed
Mid-Wheel Balanced stability and maneuverability Not specialized for any condition
Rear-Wheel Higher top speed<br>Less mechanical noise Wider turning radius <br>Less traction

Power Options for Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Folding power chairs get their electrical power from batteries. Typical options are:

  • Lithium Ion - Lightweight, long range, fast charging

  • Sealed Lead Acid - Lower cost, heavier, longer charge times

  • Gel Cell - Reliable performance, moderate weight

Higher voltage batteries allow higher speeds and longer range per charge. Higher capacity Ah provides more runtime.

Table 5: Folding Electric Wheelchair Battery Options

Battery Type Pros Cons
Lithium Ion Lightweight, long range, fast charging Higher cost
Sealed Lead Acid Lower cost, readily available Heavy, slower recharge
Gel Cell Reliable performance, safer Medium weight, cost

Specialty Folding Electric Wheelchairs

In addition to standard folding power chairs, specialty designs are available including:

  • Heavy Duty - For users up to 400 or 500 lbs

  • Reclining - Power reclining backrest for comfort

  • Standing - Power standing function for health benefits

  • Pediatric - Designed for children, smaller in size

Table 6: Types of Specialty Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Type Description
Heavy Duty For users up to 400 or 500 lbs
Reclining Power reclining backrest
Standing Power standing function
Pediatric Designed for children

Manual vs. Power Folding Wheelchairs

Folding wheelchairs are available in both manual and power versions. How do they compare?

Table 7: Manual vs. Power Folding Wheelchairs

Feature Manual Folding Power Folding
Propulsion Self-propelled Powered mobility
Weight Lighter, 15-30 lbs Heavier, 60-100 lbs
Folding More compact when folded Takes up more space
Maintenance Minimal Occasional battery and motor maintenance
Range Unlimited push distance Up to 15-20 miles per charge
Cost Lower, $100-$300 Higher, $1000-$5000
Transfers Easier to transfer in and out Heavier, harder for transfers

Folding Electric Wheelchair Usage Tips

Here are some tips for using folding power chairs safely and effectively:

  • Charge batteries fully each night for daily use

  • Minimize folding cycles to avoid damage to wires

  • Check tire pressures regularly, front and rear

  • Perform periodic maintenance checks per manufacturer

  • Adjust legrests for proper body positioning

  • Position and fasten securely before driving

  • Avoid steep inclines or declines if unsafe

  • Be aware of pinch points when folding

  • Engage wheel locks when stopped

  • Fold slowly and cautiously

Regular safety checks and learning proper driving techniques are advised. Also consult qualified technicians for repairs.

Maintenance and Care of Folding Electric Wheelchairs

To keep folding power chairs functioning properly:

  • Fully recharge batteries after each use

  • Check tire tread and air pressure monthly

  • Keep motors and gears free of dirt, hair and debris

  • Inspect frame, wheels and moving parts for looseness or damage

  • Keep batteries corrosion-free and terminals clean

  • Avoid exposure to moisture, extreme cold or heat

  • Lubricate moving parts as specified by manufacturer

  • Ensure controllers are functioning properly

  • Test brakes and check for unusual noises/vibrations

  • Follow all manufacturer maintenance guidelines

Proper cleaning, storage and battery care will maintain performance. Protect vital components from moisture.

folding electric wheelchair

FAQs About Folding Electric Wheelchairs

Q: How compact do they fold?

A: When folded, dimensions can be as small as 14” wide x 12” deep x 36” high. They fold into a narrow width for easy transportation.

Q: Can I take it on an airplane?

A: Yes, most can be checked at the gate or stowed with luggage if the batteries are airline-approved. Check airline policies.

Q: How heavy are folding electric wheelchairs?

A: Weights range from 75 to 140 lbs. Heavier than manual chairs, but foldability compensates when transporting.

Q: What add-ons are available?

A: Add-ons include crutch holders, oxygen tank holders, cushions, headrests, trays, specialty controls, and custom seating systems.

Q: How long does the battery last?

A: Average range per charge is 15-20 miles. Battery life depends on user weight, terrain, driving style.

Q: Can they be used outdoors?

A: Yes, folding power chairs work well outdoors. Front and mid-wheel drive provide good traction on rougher terrain.

Q: How much assembly is required out of the box?

A: Minimal assembly is required. Users must install the seat, backrest, batteries and maybe legrests when unpacking a new unit.

Q: What kind of warranty do they come with?

A: Expect a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, 1 year on electronics, 18 months on drivetrain components. Batteries 6-12 months.

Q: Can I get a custom seating system?

A: Yes, many providers can install custom seating, cushions, supports and adaptations suited to an individual user's needs.

Key Takeaways on Folding Electric Wheelchairs

  • Combine powered mobility with foldable portability

  • Available in front, mid or rear-wheel drive configurations

  • Fold compactly for storage at home or when traveling

  • Provide independence and avoid manually propelling a chair

  • configurable with many seating and accessory options

  • Require minimal maintenance if cared for properly

  • Offer users flexibility between manual and power chairs

Folding electric wheelchairs deliver the best qualities of manual chairs and power chairs. For those wanting compact storage or portability along with the perks of power mobility, a folding power chair can provide the ideal solution.