Advances in wheelchair technology can make getting around the farm easier

With as dry as the summer was, most farmers who use wheelchairs haven’t worried about mud or getting stuck. However, in years with more normal precipitation, getting around the farm can be difficult.

With as dry as the summer was, most farmers haven’t worried about mud or getting stuck. However, in years with more normal precipitation, getting around the farm can be difficult at times, especially where there isn’t pavement or gravel. Imagine having to check fences or cross a muddy driveway in a wheelchair. Traditional chairs are not meant for the rough, uneven terrain that can be present on most farmsteads and while there are ways to modify the ground with gravels or paving, this is not always practical on large areas.

Whether in a power or manual chair, there are many options available for more rugged, outdoor use. Modifications in tire size, shape and the use of tracks instead of tires equates to a more stable ride and safer use around the farm. Internet searches result in numerous companies that have modified chairs for everything from playing sports, to getting over sandy beaches, to going hunting and fishing. All of these types of chairs can be used on the farm, and work better than traditional chairs. Some things to remember when looking at options:

  • Will the chair be used mainly indoors or outdoors? A chair meant to have good grip in loose soils may not be the best choice if you are inside mostly and only occasionally going to be outside.
  • Power vs. manual. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The power models may be able to traverse rougher terrain, but are much larger and can be less maneuverable than the smaller manual chairs.
  • Where will you be using the chair? Things like accessing animals and buildings, as well as shop tools and work benches. Many chairs can be switched from a sitting to a standing position which is a good option for many farm situations.
  • Maneuverability is extremely important if working with animals. Being able to move around pastures and lots is a safety consideration.

This is not an exhaustive list of things to consider, but a start. Each situation is unique and each all terrain chair has its pros and cons. An internet search will provide multiple manufacturers for all types of chairs.

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