MobilityWorks is excited to announce that our new Alexandria, Virginia location is now open! Located in the Washington DC metro region, just south of our Nation’s Capital, the Alexandria store will be able to provide mobility products and services to individuals with disabilities, their family members and caregivers in Virginia, Maryland and surrounding areas. We anticipate this location to be one of our busier showrooms for sales, service and rentals!
Visit Us At:
5751 General Washington Drive, Suite D
Alexandria, Virginia 22312
Mon: 8:00 AM- 5 PM
Tue: 8:00 AM – 5 PM
Wed: 8:00 AM – 5 PM
Thu: 8:00 AM – 5 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM- 5 PM
Sat: By appointment only
When purchasing a pre-owned accessible vehicle, otherwise known as used handicap vans, we are often asked about the warranty. Just like a non-adaptive automobile or minivan purchased from an auto dealer, converted vehicles also come with the same OEM warranty from the manufacturer on the engine and transmission (i.e. the “power train”). This is typically provided by the chassis manufacturing company such as Toyota, Dodge, Chrysler or Honda. They are typically 5-years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The conversion itself though, such as the side-entry foldout ramp or in-floor automated ramp and kneeling system, typically also comes with its own 3-year, 36,000 mile warranty – at least for most leading conversion manufacturers like BraunAbility or VMI.
Larger mobility dealers, such as MobilityWorks, can also offer what is called “new/used“, a term that means a vehicle has a brand new conversion on a slightly used minivan, generally with under 40,000 miles. In this scenario, the warranty on the conversion would begin at the time of purchase (for the full 3 years or 36k miles) and whatever remaining power train warranty on the chassis would still be in effect.
MobilityWorks can also offer extended warranty on vehicles, so long as they meet certain criteria. Check with our finance department or your local Certified Mobility Consultant on the warranty information and whatever options are available to you on your purchase.
Revolutionary flooring product offered by MobilityWorks now available for Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit commercial van platforms.
Whenever someone sees the Transit Works SmartFloor™ product for the first time and begins to grasp the benefits of being able to quickly rearrange the seating, or remove them altogether, there’s always an ‘aha’ moment.
Inside most of the newer MobilityWorks commercial fleet vehicles, the SmartFloor that’s being installed will provide its new owner/operator with more flexibility than they’ve ever had before. That flexibility will result in operational savings and better service to the customer.
Instead of having all of the seating permanently bolted to the floor, a transportation company or fleet owner now has the option to quickly rearrange the interior layout and re-purpose the vehicle for a different function in literally a matter of minutes.
In the case of a wheelchair transportation provider (such as an assisted living center), there may only be a few occasions every week where they need to have two wheelchair positions available, while the remaining passengers typically being transported need bench seating. If given notice that a second wheelchair passenger is being picked up, they can easily remove the necessary bench seats and re-install them when the trip is completed. This reduces the number of total trips being made. For the wheelchair community, that means better service because providers will be able to quickly adapt to changing needs.
With this type of flexibility, the SmartFloor installed on the Ram ProMaster or the Ford Transit really is a smart decision. The SmartFloor is a patented product available exclusively in North America from Transit-Works and its certified bus, OEM and mobility dealers across America.
For more information on the SmarFloor for Commercial Vans, call Transit Works at 1-855-337-9543.
The Need and Desire for Independence is the Mother of All Mobility Inventions
Most of us have seen the latest Mercedes-Benz ‘Smart Car’ on the road these past few years, but did you know that a wheelchair microcar was invented back in the 1950s? Along with entrepreneurs like Ralph Braun, the founder of today’s BraunAbility minivan conversions, people were simply looking for ways to be independent with whatever means they could. Vans for wheelchair drivers simply weren’t available.
Back in October of 1956, Harold Young of Downey California was featured in a Modern Mechanix magazine article with his three wheel, 10HP wheelchair accessible microcar that he drove on city streets for many years. The hand controls he installed were a push-stop, pull-to-go lever design, similar to the mechanical driving aids being used today. Hooks attached the dashboard were used to secure the wheelchair in place.
Fast Forward to 2015…
The Kenguru shown above is a Hungarian designed, electric powered micro-vehicle with a top speed of 25 mph. It can travel around 60 miles per day, but is not legal on roads above 35, depending on local restrictions. For practicality purposes, it appears to have more of a golf-cart application, perhaps for getting around in senior living communities, than for actual road use. It has a motorcycle-like handlebar steering design with a throttle for acceleration.
The Kenguru has been reported to be coming to the United States by the efforts of former attorney, now entrepreneur, Stacy Zoern of Austin, TX. Stacey was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and has been in a wheelchair her entire life. She formed a company call Community Cars based in Texas to manufacture and distribute the vehicles. When it becomes available, the single-passenger wheelchair microcar will cost somewhere around $20-$25k. Community Cars is also designing a model that will be controlled by a joystick or small-diameter steering wheel for those with limited upper body strength. for more information, go to Kenguru.com
The “Ride-in Canta” (Inrij Canta) shown above is a wheelchair microcar from the Netherlands developed in 1995 by Waaijenberg, a company that specializes in a variety of smaller vehicles (for disabled and able-bodied customers). Equipped with a rear-entry ramp, the Canta pneumatically raises up off the ground when the engine is started and the driver is ready to move . It comes with a Honda 5-stroke, 160cc engine (200cc optional) and has a top speed of 28 mph. Canta hand controls can be placed on the left or right side, depending on the need.
In the Netherlands, the Canta is legal to be used be used on cycle paths and sidewalks as a mobility aid. A driver’s license is not required. There are no known plans to bring the Canta to the United States.
Editors note: Modern Mechanix magazine’s last published issue was their March/April edition in 2001.
Years ago, a trip to the doctor’s office for a senior housing resident in a wheelchair was often the only connection they had to the outside world. That was yesterday. Today’s message is that people living in assisted living centers and retirement communities can and do remain very active. Brochures and websites for elder care facilities now advertise their ability to provide transportation to hairdressers, shopping centers, religious services, outings and many other daily activities, even on short notice. Adequate transportation enables elderly residents to live more independently and prevent feelings of isolation. For this reason, centers are changing the way they manage and organize outside activities, giving residents more choices on what they would like to do on a daily basis.
“Shuttle buses are moving billboards that provide continuous, visual advertisements of the senior living center to the community.”
What differentiates one facility from another in meeting the needs of active senior lifestyles can often be found outside the center, ready to take a group of seniors on the road. It’s the numerous minibuses and wheelchair-accessible vans, in many shapes and sizes, that provide this valuable service. Assisted living centers with an ample fleet of shuttle buses and wheelchair vans are discovering that their vehicles are a noticeable differentiator. Families that help with evaluating assisted living centers often look to transportation services as an indicator of whether their parent or grandparent is going to be able to continue enjoying the activities they’re accustomed to.
From a marketing perspective, shuttle buses are moving billboards that provide continuous, visual advertisements of the senior living center to the community. For operational and medical purposes, they are vital to the services being provided. While many facilities contract for medical ambulatory type trips, the dynamics and importance to customer satisfaction in getting residents to outside activities has changed how organizations view their transport capacity. By increasing their transportation capabilities and marketing appeal with more activity options, a facility has a greater chance of keeping their units filled.
Centers today can have several multipassenger vehicles on the road at any given time, transporting one or a dozen residents to and from various destinations. Almost all of these transport vehicles have a wheelchair lift and space for wheelchair passengers, a necessary feature in providing mobility and freedom for many residents. Some vehicles can accommodate several wheelchairs, while others can only fit one or two at a time. All wheelchair vans have special tie-down systems in place for keeping wheelchairs in place and for passenger safety.
Whether it’s a 12-person minibus with wheelchair accessibility or a traditional van with a fold-out lift, the right combination of vehicles in a fleet can provide a great service for residents and an opportunity for growth. Successful centers are an active participant with its neighboring communities and the senior group events that bring friends together. Wheelchair-accessible buses and vans provide more opportunities for continued community involvement and increased awareness to potential new residents. The ability to be flexible and creative with providing transport services will become increasingly more important for centers in the future.
To learn more about our Commercial Vans for assisted living centers and senior care transportation, go to MobilityWorks Commercial.
This article was originally written by Guy Hanford for ‘Promoting Excellence’ magazine published by the Health Care Association of Michigan (HCAM). The publication is distributed to long-term care professionals throughout the state of Michigan. Mr. Hanford is the Director of Marketing for MobilityWorks.