oldgreybeard

Update on scooter hoist fitted (with photos!)

Recommended Posts

As promised once hoist project had been completed wanted to give some info and maybe pointers for anyone looking to have similar done.

This is my first write up so forgive me if I waffle on a bit.

 

OBJECTIVE

To end up with a working, safe and reliable way of loading and loading a mobility scooter to the boot of my rx400 2006 without using up rear seat space and all at the lowest cost as money tight.

WHY?

My wife is unwell with collapsed spine to the extent that she is almost housebound and cannot walk more than a few feet before being crippled with pain. Really wanted to do something to help her get out of house more even if for only short periods of time. Needed something simply and easy to drive with as much comfort as could be allowed subject to all criteria.

As I am living with and incurable degenerative disease that robs me of mobility and strength/muscles the whole system had to be within my limited capabilities ie, weakness and only partial use of one hand etc etc.

CHICKEN AND EGG QUESTION? 

So first dilemma do we find scooter that is usable and will fit in boot and then hope we can get right hoist or fit hoist and then fit scooter that will go into space that is left?

RESEARCH

It would seem that there are two main hoist names on the market (there may be others?) Autochair and Bryg-ayd. After much reading and talking to various mobility companies decided that Autochair was for us with one of the Olympian range models that not only looked neat but would be able to do job with ease. Only problem was to go direct to seller to buy and have them fit price was in the region of £2000 ! Immediate no no for our situation.

Whilst getting my head round that started to look at scooters that might do the job, what a minefield and quite frankly too much choice although we decided to buy from local mobility shop so that any problems could be dealt with quickly and easily.

SCOOTERS

For those not familiar with scooters they fall into two main groups Class 2 scooter for use on pavements and around shops etc with maximum speed of 4 mph, this group includes the more transportable models . Class 3 scooters are bigger, more robust and heavier with a top speed of 8mph for use on roads if required (need to register unit with DVLA).

Needed to think about charging Battery system as living mid terrace meant unable to put scooter in back garden or shed to plug in so that narrowed down choice to models with lift out Battery units that could be taken indoors or porch in our case and safely recharged without having to run extension leads etc.

Eventually narrowed choice down to :

https://www.pride-mobility.co.uk/travel-scooters/go-go-elite-traveller-sport.html

Then I asked price !just over £1100 inc. Looked online and found same cheaper but did not want back to base warranty issues. The shop we dealt with were very patient and helpful and we decided to buy from them if possible. Within a few days they had a nearly new one traded in against bigger scooter so we ended up with second hand unit in A1condition all tested and ok with same warranty as a new one for £580.

We had already tried fitting into boot as it came apart in 5 sections and it just fitted assembled so we were looking good . Ideal ability to break apart into smaller sections if fitting in small space but two of the parts were way too heavy for me to lift so really needed hoist completed unit in and out.

HOIST

Found several hoists for sale on ebay and on company in particular that dealt with ex-mobility car hoists that have to be changed at certain intervals so bought Autochair Olympian 100kg capacity hoist with all fittings (hold that thought!)  and delivery for just over £300.

When courier delivered it I got worried about the sheer size and weight of this thing, thought I had got carried away this was a serious bit of kit in front of me that looked hardly used and came with long warranty. Now I just needed to have it fitted to the car - laugh I nearly peed myself after several short phone calls of negative response and then by chance found a local guy (10 miles) that fits hoists and travels all round the country. Booked to come and have a look for me but said needed scooter to see what room left for fitting. Oh yes what car does sir have?- a what? never fitted hoist to one before.

Now there may be a good reason why it costs so much to have these hoists fitted by supplier. The simple answer is that every make and model (mostly) of car has a different internal layout to the boot with different obstacles, angles of panels and places to attach etc. 

When you buy a second hand unit you obviously end up with the Base fitting a-frame from the car it lived in- this will not fit another model, so you need to buy a second hand unit with a-frame from same car as you own. That is ok if you have a Galaxy or maybe Citroen Picasso but a lexus rx400- yeah right.

FITTING

Fitting man turned up with young apprentice in tow and stood staring into boot and said yes it could be done he just did not know how yet ! He told me that he could take my supplied a-frame off me and use a different one that he had that was different in shape and size and then problem solve on site and fabricate a one off fitting unit to the car boot to hold hoist safely in place. No being a bit ocd here I took a leap of faith and said as long as it was safe and worked that was ok so we booked a date.

On the day chosen van turned up with welding and cutting gear on board (and apprentice-had my eye on him as he was doing electrics)

Short story some 7 hours later, many coffees and sticky buns we had a working hoist in car that did the job.

PROBLEMS

As we know the RX has a false floor with fitted storage beneath that prevented access to boot floor pan for secure fitting so all boot interior and right side panels removed to find a minefield of fixtures , fittings and no go areas for attachment. Ended up with three fabricated bolt fixings fitted and at my request a further fixing welded to floor pan for safety. Overkill? before welding done the hoist under load of scooter showed small sign of movement and I was not prepared to risk it getting worse. Fitter was really worried about welding unit in case I wanted to remove to fit to another vehicle but I said not to worry it could always be cut off with grinder and I was not planning to change vehicle if possible.

Returning storage meant removing end scuttle/bucket and part of the hinged floor lid but a managed to cut plastic boot tray in such a way as to hide any gaps.

Everything refitted and scooter on hoist ready to go- it went in only just and I do mean only just having moved the complete right hand rear seat and inch or so forward.

Fitter was exhausted and said he would be happy to do another RX now he knew what was involved but for a little more than the price he charged me £250 inc all fabrication/metal fittings etc (no travel costs as local to me)

Ah yes nearly forgot the apprentice! He had removed trim and run wires to fuse box under glove box, all working ok and trim replaced undamaged - I was impressed.

After they had gone wife came out to have a look but I could not open boot from fob or button on dash-  I knew it wouldn't be simple but. It turns out that the boot power override switch that lives side of glove ,that I did not know existed had been accidently unplugged by head electrician and wire was hanging down at rear of dashboard fitting. After some time fiddling I finally used a pair of long curved medical forceps (don't ask) to fish for wire and pull it with plug back through dash to reconnect and then everything worked perfectly. Hurray success.

Quick phone call ensured the apprentice knew not to make same mistake next time, but joking apart they had worked hard and done a great job.

 

SUMMARY

I had achieved the main aim of having fitted safely a good quality, capable hoist that loads and unloads useable scooter for use when required without taking up more than just boot space and for a total cost of less than £700.

Would I do it again? Yes and down the same route as finances only allow that budget.

If I had plenty of money would I go down the all new fitted perfectly route- quite tempting but still see pound signs.

The scooter is working out fine with one major exception - the wife now comes to the shops with me to spend the money we saved ! Only joking as it has given her some of the freedom she had lost.

A couple of things worth noting are that if you qualify for MOTABILITY and wish to use a new lease vehicle you can order hoist fitting at time of signing deal with a cost of about £200/250 so worth thinking about.

Secondly whilst it might not be pleasant try to think ahead as to what might be needed in the future, for example a large electric wheelchair would not like going in the back of RX and would be better suited I think to a WAV wheelchair accessible vehicle which can also be used to transport a larger scooter if wanted. Just a thought.

I hope that is of some help and sorry if it too long. I have no connection with suppliers and fitters used but would be very happy to recommend their services. Can I add their details on here without breaking rules-let me know.

If anyone in east midlands area needs to see RX with hoist fitted or ask any questions about what we have learnt so far please feel free to let me know.

Stu

 

 

GEDC0318.JPG

GEDC0319 (2).JPG

GEDC0320.JPG

GEDC0321.JPG

GEDC0323 (2).JPG

GEDC0322.JPG

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Great write up Stuart. This is what the LOC is all about. All my best wishes for the future. 

Graham.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Many thanks for that writeup , the scooter is almost the same as my wife's so should I become unable to lift hers into my RX450H I could consider a hoist. 
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write-up Stuart, glad it all worked out in the end.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the kind replies. It feels better being able to contribute something after using the forum for so much valuable info in the past.

Question : Should I add contact details of people used or wait for someone to ask should they need help ?

 

stu

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'd say that if you've had good service from someone then there's no harm whatsoever in recommending them to others so yes, please put the details on here for all to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CONTACT DETAILS for fitters/suppliers used:

http://usedmobilityhoists.co.uk/       phone and ask for Brian 01509 507877 or 07979 911020     very helpful and happy to answer all your questions. Also sells some used hoists on ebay at lower prices but without backup and warranty - you choose.

Fitting done by midlands hoists call and speak to Bill on 07908 148882. very helpful and capable fabricator for all fitting needs, has fitted many hoists that needed tickling into place!.

Based in Nuneaton, east midlands but will travel where needed as long as fuel costs covered - very fair.

I have no connection with either only happy to recommend their services. Doubt it if you will get discount by mentioning club but they both know I am passing details onto the club site and it would jog their memory about RX layout etc.

Our scooter came from http://www.mobilityandlifestyle.co.uk/  family owned business with several shops, ours in Nuneaton. Sell new and used units of various makes we dealt with Christian (mgr) on 02476 371032.

Don't forget insurance-liability and damage/theft. plenty of choice on net

regards

stu

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now