A Guide To Transport Wheelchairs
( Transport Wheelchair Left / Standard Wheelchair Right )
What is the difference between transport wheelchairs and standard wheelchairs?
The main difference between the standard wheelchair and transport wheelchair is that the transport wheelchair has much smaller rear wheels compared to a standard wheelchair. Although it may not seem so important, at first, this one difference gives the transport wheelchair several important advantages and a few disadvantages.
Advantages of Transport Wheelchairs:
1. Transport Wheelchairs Are Lighter: Since transport wheelchairs have smaller rear wheels, transport wheelchairs usually weigh less. Transport wheelchairs usually weigh between 15-30 lbs, while standard wheelchairs usually weigh between 20-40 lbs. For example this transport wheelchair weighs only 14.8 lbs yet has a 300 lb Capacity. It features a cup holder on front of chair, key ring and multiple pockets on the back yet costs only $140! No standard chair comes close.
2. Transport Wheelchairs Are Less Bulky: The big rear wheels with handrims take up alot of space. Since transport wheelchairs have small rear wheels and no handrims, they take up less space when stored in the closet or the trunk of your car.
3. Transport Wheelchairs Go Easier Down Aisles and Through Narrow Doors: In general, transport wheelchairs are narrower than standard wheelchairs. Again this is because they do not have the big rear wheels and handrims found on standard wheelchairs. Standard wheelchairs can have a problem getting in and out of toilets or through a narrow door. This tends to be less of a problem with transport chairs. A few transport wheelchairs are made narrow enough to roll,down airplane aisles. NOTE: Every transport chair has different widths. Please check the width carefully and find out if it will fit through the doorways and aisles you will be passing through before buying.
4. Transport Wheelchairs Require Less Maintence: Standard Wheelchairs usually have pneumatic tires in the rear, while transport wheelchairs usually have solid rubber tires. As a result, transport wheelchairs will require less maintence. No chance of a flat tire and no air refilling necessary. On the otherhand, pneumatic tires usually give a softer more comfortable ride.
5. Transport Wheelchairs Are Generally Less Expensive: For example, $99 for a transport wheelchair with dual handbrakes, padded armrests, detachable footrests, and built in backpocket. And it only weighs 28lbs. You will not find a comparable standard wheelchair which offers so much for so little.
Disadvantages of Transport Wheelchairs:
1. The Wheelchair User Can Never Push Themselves: Since there are no handrims to push with, the transport wheelchair must be pushed from behind. A wheelchair user will always require assistance in a transport wheelchair.
2. Transport Wheelchairs Are Usually Less Comfortable: Rear wheels of transport wheelchairs are usually solid rubber and not filled with air. Also as one of the goals of transport chairs is to be lightweight, materials are often used which compromise on comfort. As a result, transport wheelchairs are usually not recommended for long-term use like a standard wheelchair. Transport wheelchairs are usually recommended for short-term temporary use.
3. Transport Wheelchairs Can Be More Difficult To Tip: Standard Wheelchairs tip easily in order to navigate curbs and bumps. But the lower position of the small rear wheels on the transport wheelchair make the center of gravity different on a travel wheelchair and may require more strength and balance when tipping the chair to climb a curb. Many transport wheelchairs will have a "step tube" which the person pushing can step on in order to help lift the front of the wheelchair. If you are a 200lb person pushing a 100 lb person, you probably won't have much difficulty. But if you are a 100 lb person pushing a 200 lb person in a transport chair you may need practice to master the technique, until then it can be difficult or even dangerous.