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Electric "Off-Road" Wheeler
When General Electric employee Jack Palmer motorized a pedal trike for his mother in 1972, he had no idea it would lead to a business. Jack, 80, and his wife, Mildred, 78, still work full-time at Palmer Industries, which manufactures the U.S.-made power wheelchairs, electric scooters and vehicles for outdoor mobility. Their son, Jack Palmer Jr., manages the production end of the business.
  The two-seater electric 3-wheeler is the most popular, Mildred Palmer says. The wide seat is comfortable and allows a couple – or two friends – to travel together.
  “Most of our customers are elderly and disabled. But we also have kids with a disability who try to soup it up to make it go faster,” Palmer notes with a laugh.
  The electric motor is charged by two deep cycle batteries that are good for up to 45 miles on level terrain, with speeds up to 13 mph. With Moped tires, it’s powerful enough to climb the steepest hills or drive across rough pastures and fields and even a few inches of snow.
  “One customer has 14,000 miles on his unit. It takes him everywhere,” Palmer says. Another said he was able to go biking with a 12-year-old grandchild because of the electric 3-wheeler. One wife complained that she never sees her husband because he’s always gone on his three-wheeler.
  The vehicles are DOT-approved with head, tail and brake lights, and customers have the option to get a VIN number for a license plate.
  Invoiced as powered wheelchairs, they sell for $5,500 including the batteries and a large basket. A wide variety of accessories are available including a 6-ft. flag, slow moving sign, seat belts, a locking storage box and ramps to haul it in a van or truck.
  “It helps people get outside who otherwise wouldn’t get out,” Palmer says. “The nicest thing is that even when you get older, you can still take your wife or a family member with you.”
  Check out the business’s website videos to see the vehicle in action.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Palmer Industries, P.O. Box 5707, Endicott, N.Y. 13763 (ph 800 847-1304; www.palmerind.com).


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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6