As someone who has a disability, mobility scooters are a big help to my daily life. It has become my aid and also my best friend everywhere and anywhere I go. However, if there is one thing that I learned through years of using mobility scooters is how important it is to take good care of it. Mobility scooters bring us anywhere we like, and it is crucial that mobility scooter owners like me should know how to maintain them. In this article, I will show you some tips and tricks on mobility scooter maintenance. I have been dealing with and using mobility scooters for years now, and as someone who wants to share my experience with anyone out there who is experiencing the same thing, I would like to share my knowledge about maintenance.
Electric vehicles are on the rise nowadays. Because of its convenience, many people prefer it. These are exponentially growing even in the medical field with mobility scooters.
The scooters started in 1954 when Sear, Roebuck, and Co. created electric wheelchairs. Although, it was not a success. The product opened new opportunities for betterment with disabled people.
This article will tackle mobility scooters. We will explain all its details, from its significance down to quality maintenance. Get ready for the best pieces of information today! We will make sure you get the most exciting things to maximize your wheels.
What is a mobility scooter?
If you do some research, mobility scooters are configured wheelchairs. These are often power-operated and rarely foot-operated. These perfectly fit the needs of elderly and disabled individuals.
There are a lot of motor-scooter versions in the market depending on how many wheels it has. Later on in this article, you will know more about it. Notably, this entails more than what it is proposed to be today. It is offering lots more advantages, so it keeps improving in style.
Even the motor’s structure has several options. Most of them have flat areas or footplates. There are also handlebars and steering wheel alternatives. All of these makeup for what the driver needs.
Mobility Scooter Maintenance Tips from Experts
We have discussed so many things about mobility scooters. Mainly, you have the essential knowledge whether to get one or not now. Maintaining it is the last part of this article.
Let us know from experts what you must do to keep it working for several years. Here are the best tips and bits of advice.
Do your homework before buying.
Getting a mobility scooter is a huge decision. Either you are doing it for yourself or somebody else, it entails detailed thinking. You must do a lot of preparation before doing it and doing your homework is one.
Find a lot of information about the vehicle first. Read about it so that you will get enough knowledge. You will understand everything about its use down to the pricing. It will help you decide whether you need one or not.
When you get what must you know, do the housework. You have probably decided what kind you will have now.
If it is a passenger type, there must be a storage room. A bulkier one will need a spacious location. Always remember that your model will depend on your needs.
Read and keep the manual well.
You have the mobility scooter now, and it is not the end. Read the manual and familiarize yourself with its specific information. There are several things about each version from different companies. Take note of them.
The user manual will contain how the scooter will work. It will explain what must be done under several circumstances to avoid damaging the vehicle. Some owners often do not know that they are harming it due to improper use.
Clean and clean the scooter.
Wear and tear are the most common reason why personal belongings break. It is from overuse over the years, and mobility scooters are not far. If you do not take care of it, issues will pile up.
Clean your vehicle frequently. Take care of it well so that it will remain new throughout. Your care will be a significant matter to maintain the scooter.
Store the scooter well.
The storage room is a massive thing for mobility scooters. You can’t simply put it outside where the seasons will destroy it.
Rain is a massive problem for things like this one. It can’t get wet, so it is commonly not fully waterproof. Its electric wirings will have short circuit problems.
The body will rust too. It is another issue which you must avoid. Too much sun then water are the main culprits here. Make sure to put it somewhere at a reasonable temperature. Always cover it when not in use.
Bring it to servicing regularly.
A mobility scooter is just the same as any car for maintenance. Bring it to the servicing even if it does not have any significant issues. It will help expand the lifespan of the vehicle.
The small problems are going to have swift answers. It will not get bigger; hence, you will be safer too. You can use the scooter anytime without worry whether it will break down or not.
Notably, the servicing will make it work smoothly too. Get everything fixed, and it will perform like you only bought it yesterday.
Keep your batteries fresh.
Batteries are the core of every Mobility scooter. It is the main power behind it, and you need to take care of it well.
Sometimes, owners expect so much because they have a massive battery capacity. They do not know, decreasing when it is not well kept fresh. Your travel range will shorten if this happens.
Make sure to charge your vehicle right away. This one is an easy way to watch out for it. Do not get it wet too. Always keep it away from the water even when you charge. Check your place before plugging.
Overcharging is part of this number. When you plug the scooter, do not forget about it. 8 to 10 hours are the usual range when it charges.
The batteries last for 1-2 years as well. Make sure to change into something fresher when it reaches the time allotted. If you do not do it, problems will arise. Be ready for headaches.
Change the parts and accessories.
The battery is supposedly part of this number as it is a part of the mobility scooter. However, it is a core component, and it needs a focused discussion. There are still others besides it, which you must think about.
Tires have considerable contributions to how you will be safe on the road. Check it always before you go out. Mobility scooters mostly have three to five wheels, and you must see them. Change your tires after several months too. This one must be done to ensure security.
The next is the motor. Ask your technician to check it when you go for service. Then, change it when needed. Some parts are only required for replacement from time to time. Talk to your experts about this matter too.
Stopping a mobility scooter
It’s easy to stop a mobility scooter. By simply doing nothing, it will automatically stop. When you repeatedly wiggle the wig wag the brakes begin to work immediately, stopping the scooter gradually.
A reactive brake system is designed to still operate even when supply is removed off. The mechanism is the best possible brake mechanism on a scooter and can avoid, even at an angle, on a big slope.
Some scooters can come with an emergency brake and a standard mobility scooter uses the electro-mechanical regenerative braking system.
When the throttle is released the mobility scooter drops to a halt. This helps the unsupervised scooter to stay stationary.
Why is a mobility scooter useful?
When people meet accidents, many think it is the end for them. This one is more evident for those who get disabilities. They can’t move their hands, legs, or the whole. There is also half-body paralysis.
Wheelchairs are the answer to these matters. However, they are limited for the patients. It is significantly burdening for them. Here comes the essence of mobility scooters.
The assistive vehicle helps a lot, so those with disabilities can gain back a mobility of their lives. It is the same with several elderly around the world. Even the most uncomplicated conditions will benefit from this one too.
With the scooter, they can freely move from one place to another. It will give them more confidence. Their freedom is not anymore stapled in a room. It will cheer them up as they will see the world more now.
Enjoying a short journey is an excellent example of it. Most elderly stay at home because they can’t walk far. Their legs give up quickly due to lower stamina and endurance. Using the electric wheelchair, they can go to the park and other places.
Due to the mobility car’s enhanced look, its users can forget its actual use. It only looks like a regular scooter so that they can go anywhere without judgment. Some companies are even optimizing its visual more to fit society’s demand more.
How does a mobility scooter look?
With mobility scooter identified, how it looks is also an important matter to take note of. The vehicle has several variations, and the most usual is the three-wheeled one. It is the same as a motorcycle, yet it has more wheels.
Some companies offer more style. Hence, there are single parallel handlebars extended upwards too. On it, the driver may control the scooter better. These are different from others. They have divided handlebars which are sometimes curved.
For the body, it is bulky because the battery is placed here. It is sometimes dual-powered for larger capacity. However, there are some countries with gasoline-powered ones too. This one is the diverse power of mobility scooters.
The seat is on the body. You will see a chair where the driver uses when he pulls and pushes the scooter. The extended seats are at the back portion, and it is easily noticeable because it adds more size.
The driver will steer the electric vehicle, and most have differentiated ways of doing it. Their disability will define the control. Some people are less manageable. Hence, they need assistive versions. These are the customized versions.
With it in mind, they will have added features. It will change how the mobility scooter looks. The chair is often more made comfortable with several straps.
Mobility scooters in the U.S
Here are some FAQs in driving mobility scooters in the U.S.
Does my location matter when driving a mobility scooter?
The response to this concern is not simple because of the different regulations in the world. In various cities and/or states, a mobility scooter can be operated on the path, but it is doubtful that it can be operated on a major highway or interstate. It is different in different areas. Additionally, it is safe to ride a scooter on a side street such as in front of your home or anywhere in your neighborhood.
If you live in a gated community or a community with a homeowners’ association (HOA), the local organization will have guidelines in the area on where and when you are permitted to use a mobility scooter. You first need to study the state laws of where you reside to decide whether you will be permitted to use a mobility scooter on the street.
What should I consider when driving a mobility scooter on USA roads?
Is it possible to drive a mobility scooter on the road? This is a concern by many citizens since they use their mobility bike as their primary form of travel implying they do not fold it up and carry it to a supermarket or doctor’s office in the back of their car. And although mobility scooters are generally not allowed on highways, we do not suggest running one on a lane.
Mobility scooters, and other pedal bikes, are easy, but do not provide protection from the weather and are not capable of keeping up with traffic. You would generate a road congestion if collided with and receive an injury. This involves driving a wheelchair on the street in a bike path. Bike lanes are for pedestrians, they are not for cars.
Is a license necessary?
No, you don’t necessarily need to register your mobility scooter with the DMV. Mobility scooters are various types of vehicles, unlike leisure automobiles which are recorded with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which are not considered motor vehicles. The majority of mobility scooters are only capable of driving five miles per hour. If your scooter runs quicker than 11 miles per hour, get a permit from the DMV.
Other things you should know
Most mobility scooters have forward and reverse features only. Other versions have more options, especially for curve driving. However, the first two are the standard for disabled models. There are some which have one hand control as well.
To move the scooter, the levers are pressed in the handlebars. The speed will depend on how long and how strong it is clicked. A speed dial is available in different models. It helps the driver check whether he is putting more pressure or not and avoid any untoward situations such as accidents.
Mobility scooters are only allowed at 4mph to 8mph maximum speed. Hence, it is not advisable for highways and other places. Some individuals have been demanding added speed.
The speed constitutes a bigger battery. You must get an upgraded version if you prefer the latter miles per hour. It is either you have a backup battery or double electric power.
To slow down the motor scooter, release the speed lever. Do not do it suddenly, as it will halt abruptly. Slowly put away your fingers, and it will do the same thing. Emergency brakes are accessible for disabled versions. It is best set for more safety.
What are the legalities of mobility scooters?
There are several rules and regulations for mobility scooters around the world. They differ from one country to another. What are they? These are commonly about its speed, passengers, purposes, and more. Let us talk about each of them.
The scooters are not allowed on highways for safety reasons. This law is the most agreed upon worldwide; it is also not allowed for crowded areas. As of now, it weighs up to 100 kilos, and it can easily hurt people.
When drivers go around with so many people, accidents might happen fast. The crowd is not the only problem here. More so, the driver is being protected too. Elderly and disabled persons often drive it. They do not have enough flexibility, so it is better.
Speed is another matter in scooter legalities, and other countries have specific numbers. There is 8mph to 16mph. It is still dependent on where the vehicle is used. At some point, there is a speeder set. It automatically places the scooter into the needed mode.
Age is part of the restrictions too, below 14 years old is the baseline for almost all countries. No one must drive a scooter below the noted age. Those who will break the law will face charges.
Users must learn to undergo training for driving mobility scooters as well. They should have a broad knowledge of the traffic law despite using only the vehicle. However, this one is not yet fully implemented.
The above regulation is highlighted more when fatalities rose in number. The buyers are almost forced to present disability notifications when buying mobility scooters in most countries.
The mobility scooter is put under medical aids in some places. Hence, ordinary persons can’t buy one without any medical purposes. It is an effective way as it helped a lot in controlling its demand.
Mobility scooters are in demand worldwide today. Its purpose has served well with it in mind, and it brings so much improvement for elderly and disabled individuals. Some might have still had divided thoughts, yet we can’t break away from its convenience.
Buying a scooter is one thing, yet maintaining one is another. You must have all the possible details about the vehicle. Why? It will help you maximize its life span and gain more from your purchase.
One electric vehicle is expensive despite the number of companies providing it nowadays. We can’t let our money go to waste because we can’t take care of it well. Further, your safety will depend on it too. Do everything on this list, and you are all good!