The Powered Wheelchairs for sale, the wheels connected to the motor, used to be at the rear of the electric wheelchair. The center of turning was behind the user, with most of the wheelchair and user seated to the front. This limited the environments in which a powered chair could function, primarily because of the overall chair length and turning radius.
Now Electric wheelchairs wheels come in three positions:
- Rear wheel drive electric wheelchair
- Mid wheel drive electric wheelchair
- Front wheel drive electric wheelchair
Electric wheelchairs for Rear Wheel Drive
Rear Wheel is old standby is really one of the most stable chairs in most instances. However, going up steep hills will cause the chair to lean back on its anti tip tubes to assist in preventing the chair from tipping backward. This type of chair has the highest top speeds available (about 6 mph). It also has the largest turning radius, beginning at about 33". If you have been driving a rear wheel drive chair and plan to buy Karma KP 10.3 , keep in mind that the tie down you use in your van will have to be re-made or replaced for the new style chair.
Electric wheelchairs for Mid Wheel Drive
Mid Wheel is center of gravity is about even with the center of the drive wheel in a mid wheel drive chair, so the drive wheels essentially are under the user. You end up with equal parts of the chair in front of and behind your body. This type of chair is maneuverable in small spaces, with a turning radius of 24 to 26", depending on the manufacturer. Overall speeds are limited to about 5 ½ mph. Another consideration is terrain. When riding on uneven terrain or up and down curb cuts with a steep transition, there is a possibility of getting "stuck" on the front or rear casters, suspending the drive wheels so they have no contact with the ground.
Electric wheelchairs for Front Wheel Drive
In this type of chair, the drive wheels are actually forward of where you sit. It is a very stable set-up for uneven terrain, up and down hills. Out of the three types, it climbs forward over small obstacles well also. Most of the chair is in back you, so when turning, you have to be aware of what is behind you. The driving characteristics can be compared to a forklift. The overall speeds are slower (about 5 to 5 ½ mph) because the front-wheel drive tends to "fish tail" at higher, more reactive speeds. The overall turning radius is about 25 to 28", depending on the manufacturer.