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Old 03-22-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
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Tankchair transport troubles

Disabled Explorers has been having a blast putting the Actions Trackchair through it's paces. Giving wheelchair using folks a chance to go out and explore beyond our vehicle has been a real hoot to watch.


On our recent Devils Highway Desert Solitude trip we were lucky enough to borrow a friend's Adventure Trailer moto edition...but that thing is way too nice for what we need and way more money that I can afford.
For the most part I have been asking someone to volunteer to haul the 350lb beast in a truck bed, however we don't always have a volunteer aval as was the case last week when I took a guy out to the Verde River. Amazing outing, but due to sand he was trapped hanging out near the rig.
http://accessingarizona.com/2010/03/...adaptive-style

All we really need is something simple that can haul the Trackchair and some extra supplies. The goal is to have a setup that a wheelchair user could handle alone so they can see something like this in their future.
It is a shame to have a resource like this available but not be able to take it along without a means of transport.


The thought is to have something low with a ramp on it so a wheelchair user can handle the load/offload and securing of everything themselves. With 15" tires and a spring over axle flip we should be ok for going on mild trails.

I spent today driving around looking at small trailers and talking with companies. I ask about donations but that puts another burden on DE and take time away from the primary mission of helping the disabled. With working a full time job as a Nurse and running DE I want my time to go towards getting more guys in the dirt.

Adventure Trailers has offered a Multi-axis coupler if we get a trailer, but we need support from all of you to make the trailer happen.
http://adventuretrailers.com/coupler.html


You can go to our website and there is a button to donate, just mention it is for the trailer so we can thank you with some pictures of the tankchair in action.
http://www.disabledexplorers.org
Or you can use paypal to [email:48sc2c33]donate@disabledexplorers.com[/email:48sc2c33]

Thanks in advance for any help, the goal is to raise a $1000 and we will be able to give even more freedom in the backcountry to those with physical disabilities.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: Tankchair transport troubles

I love the concept of the tankchair and I actually have a much tamer version that fits on a somewhat modified scooter lift. When it is on the lift we affectionately refer to it as "wallowing one". I actually had an extra leaf spring put in my non 4x4 SMB suspension for it.
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My question/comment is this: I have looked at using a small trailer for this type of thing. As long as someone is with me, it would work fine, but trying to load it onto a trailer, transfer into a wheelchair (also on the trailer), tie the beast down, and then roll off the trailer is a lot of stuff in a fairly small area and with a steep or very long ramp.

Just my two cents worth,

Linda
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: Tankchair transport troubles

Have you though about a rubber torsion axle (aka Tor-flex) axle? It would beat up the tank-chair much less. And... ride height can be adjusted upon install by clocking the trailing arms upward.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:20 PM   #4
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Re: Tankchair transport troubles

I would make a hitch type hauler with a long pump ram (think engine hoist) with a chain and pully like a forklift (over the top of the ram) to almost doubpe its lift range. With the ram mounted a little higher that the reciever you would be able to lower all the way to the ground and above the bumper so it would not affect your clearance offroad. If you use a powered ram (would cost more) would be easy to operate by one person and as it would lower to ground level transfer from regular chair to Tankchair could be done by a single person (after they used to it, I know the tankchair seat is higher)
I have thought about this one as a Chair is in my future but as I do not know when I try to think ahead. I do 90% of my designing in my head I could draw it out if you don't see what I'm getting at..
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:34 PM   #5
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Re: Tankchair transport troubles

great ideas guys...

I am talking with the maker of the Trackchair to see about having the joystick controller removable and with a longer cord.
The transfer to regular wheelchair would happen on the ground and then the trackchair driven up the ramp remotely and strapped down from around the trailer.

It is a huge balance between cost, simplicity, ease of use and more...but keep the ideas coming.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: Tankchair transport troubles

My thought was just add a remote control unit the tank chair, ultimately the driver could bring the chair up to the doors of the van if necessary. However it sounds like you just need a trailer, even an old military job, for those events where you also need to bring the chair.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:15 AM   #7
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Re: Tankchair transport troubles

I ask the company that builds the Trackchair about a complete wireless remote control and they are looking into it.

I don't need anything as an amputee Well other than a good cigar.

The reason for the trailer is to bring the Trackchair on outings, from day trips to overnighters where we have a wheelchair user driving the van. Since most of the people that go out with Disabled Explorers are either newly disabled or new to the outdoors they don't have a dedicated offroad wheelchair. And at $3000 plus for even a manual chair I can understand why.

Events are great for meeting new people, and if events were all that there was then I could just have a volunteer with a pickup truck bring/pick up the Trackchair. Right now that is how we get it on the daytrips. But many of those daytrips are during the week (I work as an ICU RN). Often times I have to leave the Trackchair at home and our newly excited, happy wheeling disabled participant is stuck no going beyond the vehicle once we get out to a cool area.

It would be nice to have something that let's me bring the Trackchair along on any outing and a setup that the disabled participant can handle alone...that is our ultimate goal, teach to fish and all that. I want someone to see that they can get a trackchair, trailer & tent and hit the trails without anyones help. That is success.

Thanks for the encouraging words, keep the creative ideas flowing. I often point disabled people who email/call for help to threads like this so they can see all the possibilities.
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