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MobilityWorks Announces New Bruno Chariot™ Lift on Wheels to Haul Electric Scooters with Smaller Vehicles

Finally! A solution from the mobility equipment industry for people who own smaller and mid-size cars that need to haul an electric scooter or power wheelchair.

The Bruno Chariot scooter and wheelchair lift is for smaller cars

Most scooter and power chair lifts (for external vehicle transport) require a minivan, SUV, or larger sedan capable of carrying a heavier load. That’s all changed with the introduction of the Bruno Chariot, being marketed as a ‘lift on wheels’, now available at MobilityWorks locations throughout the country.

“This new product fills a niche in this industry that’s been a long time coming” said Doug Curtis, National Sales Representative for MobilityWorks.

“Some folks really need the gas mileage a smaller vehicle provides. Until now, they had to sell their car and get something bigger.”

Bruno Independent Living Aids is a primary supplier to MobilityWorks
Now you can haul a scooter with a smaller size car such as this one shown above.

The patent pending Chariot has a swivel-wheel design that allows for a smaller compact or mid-size auto to pull it with a simple Class I or Class II hitch. What this means is that you don’t have to have one of those bulky, protruding ball-mount hitches seen on pickup trucks. It also has an independent suspension and can fold up when not in use. When folded, a smaller car and hitch combined will fit inside many standard home garages.

Scooters and power chairs can be driven on and off the platform from both sides and comes with a retractable tie-down securement system. The 350 lb capacity lift is powered by the car battery and is easily operated with the push of a button. A manual backup system is also part of the design should the battery fail in an emergency. Brake lights and turn signals that connect to the vehicle wiring system are also included in the package.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bruno Chariot, send an e-mail to ask@mobilityworks.com. A new web page and flyer will be available on the MobilityWorks website soon.

Deductions Available for Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

You may not realize it, but the United States Tax Code allows you to deduct certain medical expenses from your federal income taxes. Among the medical expenses that may be deducted are expenses associated with acquiring durable medical equipment (DME).

According to the IRS website, a deduction can be taken for medical expenses incurred by you, your spouse, or a dependent.

The IRS defines DME as “certain medical equipment that is ordered by a doctor for use in the home.” Walkers, wheelchairs, and hospital beds are listed as examples. Please note that the DME expenses must be used to “…alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness.”

A few important notes:

  1. You may only deduct the cost of medical equipment that you have paid for during this year.
  2. You may not take a deduction if another person, such as relative, or an insurance company paid for the medical equipment.
  3. Crutches, service animals such as a guide dog, diagnostic services, hearing aids, telephones for the hearing impaired and wigs are examples of items that classify as DME.
  4. Items used for general health benefits (i.e., vitamins, maternity clothes, and personal-use items not associated with treating a medical condition) typically are not deductible.

For a complete list of items that are and are not deductible, visit the IRS website.

Remember, you may take a deduction only for medical equipment that you have paid for this year. You may only deduct the cost of medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). However, DME is not the only medical expense that is deductible. For this reason, it is very important to add up all deductible medical expenses that you have paid for your spouse, a dependent, a qualified relative, and yourself. After figuring out your total medical expenses for the year, subtract any portion of the cost that was paid for by insurance. Next, multiply your AGI by 7.5%. The portion of your medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your AGI can be deducted.

Certain restrictions may apply. We advise you to be sure to contact your tax or financial consultant and/or visit the IRS website with any questions or for more information.

GM Mobility Reimbursement Program

General Motors offers a program designed to help with the cost of installing adaptive equipment in the new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles. The  GM Mobility Reimbursement Program allows new vehicle purchasers/lessees to receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for the cost of the equipment. In the videos below, Rick Kristufek, a Mobility Consultant from our Detroit MobilityWorks location, discusses MobilityWorks and  the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program.

 

Transfer Seats are One of Many Options for Wheelchair Drivers

Wheelchair Transfer SeatPeople who use a wheelchair will often times have to lift themselves into another chair or over to a car seat. For those who drive with hand controls, totally removing the front seat to make room for the wheelchair is sometimes not a practical solution. The confines of an accessible minivan however make it difficult to pull the wheelchair close enough to transfer over to the front driver’s seat, not to mention that it’s in a fixed position facing forward.

So what’s the answer? Transfer seats allow for the person in the wheelchair to transfer from the wheelchair in the center area of a van to the front seat of an automobile. With a few easy-to-use controls, the electronically controlled seat can be moved back from the standard forward position by as much as 20 inches. The transfer seat can then be turned 90 degrees sideways, allowing for complete accessibility. After transferring over, rotating and moving forward, it can then be raised or lowered to a comfortable driving position. This type of functionality is referred to as a six-way seat: forward; backward; rotate left; rotate right; up and down.

Wheelchair Transfer Seat BaseFor new vans, transfer seat bases can be ordered and installed by MobilityWorks for either the driver or passenger side front seats. The original OEM seat may be used with the new base. If you happen to come across pre-owned (used) wheelchair vans for sale with a transfer seat already installed, it’s worth an extra look for the additional convenience this device can offer.

Additional Seating Options

Many wheelchair van models are now manufactured with rollaway seat bases, which mean that they can easily be taken out of the van with some able-bodied assistance to make room for a wheelchair in the forward area. All that is needed is tie-downs and the proper mounting track secured to the floor. A more permanent docking type device that locks the wheelchair in place can also be installed. Other custom seating solutions are available for helping drivers or passengers to get in and out of a vehicle using the front doors, such as lift-up seats and turning automotive seats (TAS by Bruno). These can be ordered and installed in almost any type of vehicle, including pickup trucks and SUVs. So what’s right for you? Ask your local Certified Mobility Consultant about transfer seats, lift-up seating, rollaway front seats and TAS seats that can be a valuable time-saver and convenient addition to your minivan.

Scooter and Power Wheelchair Lifts for Vans or SUVs Come in Many Different Styles.

Scooter and Power Wheelchair Lifts for Vans or SUVs Come in Many Different Styles. Careful Consideration Needs to Be Taken When Selecting a Model for Your Particular Type of Scooter and Vehicle.

Bruno Curb-Sider scooter lift. Bruno Out-Sider meridan platform lift
Left: Bruno Curb-Sider scooter lift. Right: Bruno Out-Sider Meridian platform lift.

When it comes to scooter lifts, there’s no one size fits all solution. Your particular scooter or power wheelchair design has as much to do with the selection of which lift you use than the make and model of the minivan or SUV where it’s going to be installed. Scooter lifts can help to store the scooter (or chair) inside the vehicle or outside, depending on its design and your preference. To avoid a very costly mistake, the style you decide to use should be made with particular care and with the advice of a certified mobility consultant. In most cases, a qualified NMEDA QAP dealer can be found near you that should be able to find the right solution.

Weight Capacity is a Major Consideration for Selecting a Scooter Lift Model

Bruno Joey (VSL-4000HW) lifts store scooters or power wheelchairs inside the back of a minivan or SUV.
Bruno Joey (VSL-4000HW) lifts store scooters or power wheelchairs inside the back of a minivan or SUV.

Scooter lifts have several main functions. It’s first is to help with lifting the scooter from the ground and with raising it to desired level for easy storage. The same mechanisms and design is also used to help with lowering it to the ground. It’s other main purpose is to help with securing the scooter in place so that you can safely travel it in the rear of the vehicle. With lifting the scooter, the most important consideration is with the weight capacity for which the lift was designed.

Most major manufacturers cary several different models to handle different ranges. The higher the capacity, the more robust the design and materials used in the manufacturing. One of the most commonly used scooter lifts is a hoist-type lift where you attach a cable to the scooter. The second most common is a ride-on, ride-off type of lift where the scooter sits on a platform. These types of lifts can also have the scooter be stored inside the vehicle, such as a ‘Joey’ Lift by Bruno Independent Living Aids or outside the vehicle such as an ‘Out-Sider’ Meridian Lift’ — also made by by Bruno.

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