Heading off road for the first time can be a challenge, so we’ve come up with some tips to get you started and keep you safe. This includes steps to prepare your chair, and tips for navigating steep, uneven, slippery or rocky terrain.
Magic Mobility V6 All Terrain (AT) user Gary says it’s important to learn how to use your powerchair’s features. Also, knowing what its limitations are means that you can go off road with confidence.
To begin with, always ensure your battery is fully charged before heading out. This ensures you have the range to go where you want, and come back again. Always make sure that you have a mobile phone, which you can charge on your optional powerchair charger.
“My Frontier V6 AT has always taken me home, and that’s important,” says Gary.
Checking your tyre pressure, and changing it depending on your terrain is another key step to getting where you want to go. Our puncture resistant tyre liners can also help avoid flat tyres.
Always drive at speeds that are suited to the terrain. For example, on sand we would suggest not going above 8kph (5mph). Similarly, snow can be a very volatile surface, so we recommend limiting your powerchair to 6kph (3.5mph) as a maximum.
Add-on features can be very helpful on inclines, like the tilt function, which can provide more stability by matching the angle of a downhill slope. Similarly an elevating leg-rest can help you tackle obstacles like jutting rocks or undulating paths.
Driving diagonally up a slope can be hazardous, so we recommend driving straight up a slope where possible.
It’s important to know the ground clearance of your wheelchair so you can safely assess which obstacles you can drive over. Magic Mobility’s 4WD Extreme X8 has a clearance range of 10cm/4inches which is important to know before traversing rocks and jutting objects. Higher obstacles, such as curbs, can be climbed as the front wheels will climb the object first and lift the base up to increase ground clearance.
“I love going where there are no sidewalks. Having the right equipment certainly helps,” says Gary. “I am hard on my equipment, but I always take care of it.”
Don’t forget to maintain your powerchair when you get back home. We recommend wiping down the undercarriage with a slightly damp cloth, particularly after you’ve been in wet, salty or coastal environments.
Do you want to go further and do more with the assistance of a Magic Mobility powerchair? Contact us to arrange a trial in your area.
Please note that all Magic Mobility powerchairs have electric motors and must never be driven through water, into rivers, creeks or the sea.