2016 - Volume #40, Issue #3, Page #13[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Wheelchair “Driver” Great For Getting Around YardWith a top speed of 15 mph, the Powerhouse wheelchair driver allows Marvin Kauffman quick access to the yard and office where he works as a sawmill sales manager. Designed for manual wheelchairs, the Powerhorse has a tailgate/ramp to roll the chair into a 30 by 50-in. compartment with adjustable stop plates on the front and closed tailgate to hold the chair securely in place.
With a Honda engine, hydrostatic transmission and tricycle-style steering, it’s easy to drive. Kauffman added the option of knobby tires (15-in. on the back and a16-in. tire on the front) so he can easily get through gravel, mud and sawmill yard debris.
“They go through more than you think,” Kauffman says, recalling how amazed he was when he purchased his first driver (called a Ventrac at the time) in the late 1990’s. “It was unbelievable: I had a lot more freedom. I could go wherever.”
He has since purchased newer models – one for home and one for the sawmill – from Ned Stoller, who took over distribution in 2012 through his company, Disability Work Tools, in Lowell, Mich.
The Powerhorse is a good option for people who like to spend time outdoors.
“All terrain power wheelchairs are very large and bulky. The Powerhorse allows the driver to use a smaller, manual wheelchair, cover distances quickly, and get into smaller spaces,” Stoller says.
It weighs 320 lbs. and has a 400-lb. weight capacity. The 6 or 8 hp gas engine is quiet and reliable and capable of driving through a couple inches of mud and about 6 in. of snow.
“The main purpose is getting from building to building, and it keeps wheelchair wheels clean when they get back to the house,” Stoller says. “Customers use them to feed calves, to go hunting and do other outside activities.”
Operators need hand function to grip the steering. The cart works well for people with spinal cord injuries at the C5 level or higher.
Stoller says he often visits potential customers in the Midwest to make sure the cart is a good match, and he also makes deliveries.
The cart sells for $5,200 and has options available such as knobby tires, a gun holder and extra-wide rear tires.
After 20 years of using a driver, Kauffman says they are worth the price.
“I wouldn’t want to be without it,” he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ned Stoller, Disability Work Tools, 12152 Cascade Rd., Lowell, Mich. 49331 (ph 888 354-3289; www.disabilityworktools.com; email@example.com).
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