Sales: 1-877-275-4907 Service: 1-877-275-4912Rentals: 1-877-275-4915

Scooter and Power Chair Lifts Now Available for Travelling With Just About Any Type of Vehicle

Experts emphasize that proper equipment selection and installation are critical to stress-free use with transporting mobility devices.

Top left to right: hoist-style lift, platform drive-on, drive-off lift, and external transport lift. Bottom: Bruno Chariot towing lift for smaller midsize cars. Many different makes and models are available for each style of lift.

From compact cars to minivans, trucks and SUVs, transport solutions for light and heavy-duty assistive devices are now providing many more options for those with a physical disability or health condition. But having the wrong lift added to a vehicle, not designed for the type of scooter or wheelchair, can have costly consequences.

“Our biggest fear is that someone will buy a used or improper lift off the internet and it ends up causing major damage to the mobility device or the vehicle or both,” said Guy Hanford, Director of Marketing for MobilityWorks.

“Everyone in this industry has either heard of, or seen first-hand, horror stories of bad decisions and backyard mechanic installations. I’ve heard of hitches breaking, cars bottoming out, wheelchairs falling off the back and so on. Your heart goes out to people because they’re just trying to save a little money, but in the end it costs them much more than doing it right the first time.”

Doug Curtis is the Director of National Sales for MobilityWorks and has over 25 years of experience with the sales and service of stowage lifts. According to Mr. Curtis, having a Certified Mobility Consultant to help with the selection of the lift — and having a manufacturer approved technician do the installation is critical:

“There’s an old saying: you get what you pay for — and unfortunately that’s especially true for scooter lifts. First, they are not all built with the same quality design and materials. A quality lift will last longer and be safer on the road. Second, they absolutely need to be matched to the vehicle and the chair or scooter being transported… for weight, size, and functionality. And then finally, each device has to be installed by an experienced, trained technician that’s been certified by the manufacturer.”

Peace of Mind and Safety Considerations

To get the right stowage lift for your vehicle and mobility device, contact a Certified Mobility Consultant (CMC) at a quality mobility dealer. Having a lift installed to the manufacturer’s specifications provides peace-of-mind and a longer lasting solution. You will enjoy your freedom and independence more knowing that your mobility device and vehicle are safe to travel… no matter when or where you want to go.

In addition to the 30 MobilityWorks locations in 12 states found here, you can also find a reputable mobility dealer by contacting the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Look for a NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP) dealer that adheres to the highest level of product quality, service and technician training practices in our industry.

To learn more about the transport devices available for your vehicle, check out our Scooter Lifts page here.

Grateful Pittsburgh Family Organizes “Pay it Forward” Fundraising Event

DINE & DONATE

This past fall, The MobilityWorks Foundation and our Pittsburgh Team participated in helping an anonymous donor with providing a little girl and her family a wheelchair accessible van. The little girl’s name is Maya Torres. It is our pleasure to tell you that Maya will be turning eight years old this January 8th! …and… as part of her birthday celebration she wants to help others by “Paying it Forward”. Her and her family have organized a fundraiser at a local restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Waterworks Mall that will donate 20% of all the food orders on that day back to The MobilityWorks Foundation.

“The physical burden of lifting Maya’s 100-pound power chair into the car is a thing of the past. With the new van, we simply push a button and the ramp automatically extends from the van. We push Maya in, strap in her chair, buckle her up, and off we go. Not only does having this van eliminate the physical stress we used to endure, but it allows our family to focus on Maya’s other needs. She’s an amazing girl with places to go – thank you for knocking down one more barrier for her.” — Abby Torres

We want to thank the Torres family for their kind gesture – and especially to Maya – a very happy birthday celebration!

Maya with her mom and dad… and new wheelchair accessible van!

DINE & DONATE Pay It Forward Fundraising Event

When: Wednesday, January 8th (Dine at Anytime: 11AM to 10PM)
Where: LaCappella’s Italian Kitchen
1041 Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
In The Waterworks Mall
Phone: (412) 449-0200
www.lacappellapgh.com/

Thank you to the Torres family for your efforts to help others!


The Pay It Forward Movement

Pay it forward is an expression used for repaying a good deed to help others. Its concept dates back to 1784 and the writings of Benjamin Franklin. In 2000, Catherine Ryan Hyde published her novel titled Pay It Forward which was later made into a Warner Brothers film. On April 24th, 2013, people from 65 countries participated in “Pay it Forward Day” with individuals working on proclamations in 36 states & 41 cities. The goal of Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) was to inspire over 5 million acts of kindness around the world.

New Rubberized Floors in Wheelchair Minivans a Noticeable Long-Lasting Feature

New rubberized flooring materials provide for easier wheelchair maneuverability and cleaning.

Advanced Materials Provide a Smoother Transition, Improved Maneuverability and Cleanup

Without proper maintenance, prolonged use of heavier power wheelchairs and scooters can begin taking their toll on a minivan’s carpeted flooring materials. Road salt is also a major concern in cold-weather areas, with salt residue increasing the potential for carpet deterioration. These issues can lead to problems with lifting, carpet tears and general cleanup. For newer van owners, however, those concerns are becoming a thing of the past. In many of our 2013 models, and now almost all new 2014 side entry make and model conversions, rubberized flooring has become one of the more popular options being asked about.

Over the last few years, wheelchair minivan conversion companies, such as Braun and VMI, have been experimenting with alternatives to carpeted flooring. New advanced, longer-lasting rubberized materials have been introduced in most of the newer vans – with great success and appreciation. The response from our clients to this improved feature has been extremely positive. Our repeat van buyers immediately notice the new rubber flooring and recognize its many benefits. With rubberized flooring, L-track for wheelchair tie-downs are also pre-installed for improved durability and a smoother floor. Removable front seat-bases are also more easily rolled in and out of the vehicles. And cleaning the floor is now a breeze.

Rubberized floors are now available (as an option) in 90% of the brand new side-entry and rear-entry accessible minivans being sold at MobilityWorks. Anticipating its popularity, many of our pre-ordered stock units available for sale at our showrooms already have them installed. With newer features and improvements being added every year, including step-up flares (below the front doors), reduced noise, and fold-down foot rests for the rear bench, people with a disability and their families are able to enjoy a more enhanced, perfected vehicle.

Stop In

If you haven’t seen the newer vans lately, stop in at one of our 30 locations for a demonstration. Even if you’re just looking and want to ask questions, we’d love to have you come in and meet with a member of our team. Call us toll-free at 1-877-275-4907 to schedule a demonstration and test ride.

A smoother transition from floor to wheelchair ramp and easier cleanup is a noticeable benefit in many of the newer vans with rubberized flooring at MobilityWorks.

Got Any Improvement Ideas? Get a Free Gift!

Let us know your ideas on improving vehicle conversions so that we can make them better for everyone. Write your ideas to marketing@mobilityworks.com. Please include your name and address so that we can send you progress notes on your suggestion. The first 10 people with realistic suggestions will get a FREE copy of Ralph Braun’s 200-page biographical hard-cover story called “Rise Above”. Ralph Braun (1940-2013) started The Braun Corporation creating wheelchair lifts and van solutions for his own mobility needs after being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at a very young age. He was a pioneer in the mobility industry and his story is an inspiration to all Americans, with or without disabilities.

VCI Mobility to Combine with MobilityWorks to Provide the Highest Level of Mobility Sales and Service Throughout PA and NJ

VCI Mobility is pleased to announce that they have Mobility Worksbeen acquired by MobilityWorks of Akron, OH. Over the years, MobilityWorks has built the most recognizable brand name in the mobility industry. They are the largest dealer in the country of BraunAbility and VMI conversions.

With the addition of VCI’s four locations, MobilityWorks will now have a total of 30 mobility product showrooms servicing the needs of the disabled community throughout the United States. “By combining with MobilityWorks, VCI will be able to accomplish much more for its clients,” says Bill Blaser.

VCI and MobilityWorks have very similar company cultures and operations. “It was very important to me that MobilityWorks had the same kind of caring culture that we have at VCI. The people always come first,” says Jack Donovan. Jack will continue to manage the four VCI consumer locations with MobilityWorks.

Bill Koeblitz, President/CEO of Mobility Works says, “We’ve been very fortunate to be able to help a lot of people and businesses needing our solutions—and then they’re willing to tell others about their experience. That’s why we’ve been successful and able to grow.”

Please look for more information regarding these exciting changes in the coming weeks.

BraunAbility Announces New Ford Explorer Concept SUV for Wheelchair Drivers

Vehicle Developments Will Mean More Choices for Disabled Drivers in the Future

The new Ford Explorer concept SUV by BraunAbility.

With only a handful of viable minivan options to choose from for wheelchair accessibility, and a growing trend in the automotive sector for people wanting to drive SUVs and Cross-Overs, one of the large converters was bound to come along with an SUV option. The Ford Explorer concept vehicle recently announced by BraunAbility and West Coast Customs, with financial aid from Schmidt Motorsports, may be just the start of a growing trend in vehicles being available for people who want something other than a van. Despite significant design upgrades to the minivan in the last decade, for some people the “soccer mom” stigma still exists.

“We wanted to radically change how people think about mobility vehicles. This fantastic mobility concept SUV is mission accomplished,” said Sam Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Mobility vehicles require a lot of engineering and testing before they can become available to the public. Economically, the chassis make and model needs to have a solid history of being a reliable, attractive and affordable option for a converter to make the kind of investment necessary to make that happen. For BraunAbility, the Ford Explorer answers the call on all three points. But that’s just the start. The concept vehicle was more than a year in the making, with much more work to do to make it “assembly-line” ready. For now, there has been no announcement on when the Explorer will actually go into production. But it will happen and someday soon.

We are in for an exciting time as more chassis become available. Perhaps it will be the Range Rover or Chevy Tahoe – or something totally unexpected like the Nissan Pathfinder. In either case, it’s a positive sign that the industry is evolving, adding more choices for wheelchair drivers and passengers. As the largest dealer in the United States of BraunAbility wheelchair vans, MobilityWorks is very excited about what the future may hold for our clients. Congratulations to our business partner BraunAbility and to Sam Schmidt for their dedication to our industry and the people we serve.

*BraunAbility Ford Explorer photo courtesy of BraunAbility and Schmidt Peterson Motor Sports