FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the difference between a transport wheelchair and a standard wheelchair?
The main difference between a transport wheelchair and a standard wheelchair is wheel size. Since the standard wheelchair user provides the locomotion power, the wheels are large enough for the user to propel the chair with arm power. For example, a typical standard wheelchair has 18” to 24” rear wheels attached to an easy-grip rotating handrail for self-propulsion.
In contrast, a transport chair requires a second person to push the wheelchair occupant to a destination. As a result, a transport chair’s rear wheels are 8” to 12”. Also, transport wheelchairs and traditional wheelchairs have different braking systems. For the pusher’s convenience, transport wheelchairs feature push/pull handbrakes on the back handles, whereas the regular wheelchairs have lever controlled brakes just below the seat.
Additionally, transport wheelchairs are more travel-friendly than standard wheelchairs because they are compact, lightweight, and less bulky than other wheelchairs. You can easily store them in a car trunk or closet.
What is the typical maximum weight capacity of a lightweight transport wheelchair?
A lightweight transport wheelchair typically has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. But some lightweight models can handle as much as 300 pounds. For comparison, heavy-duty wheelchairs have a maximum weight capacity of 450 to 700 pounds. When shopping for a lightweight transport wheelchair, you should test drive it to assess the chair’s ability to accommodate weight in both stationary and mobile conditions.
A transport wheelchair carrying a light person moves with less resistance than one transporting a person with a heavy build. This factor can affect the control and maneuverability of the chair because adding weight increases the chair’s center of gravity and lessens its ability to roll over rigid surfaces and rough ground.
How much does a transport chair weigh?
The weight of the transport chair varies according to type. If you’re looking for the lightest transport chair, the Ultralight Transport Chair- a 19” wide seat weighs around 15 pounds without footrests. Most lightweight wheelchairs weigh 25 pounds or less. However, some transport wheelchairs weigh 35 pounds or more.
Transport chairs are typically lighter than standard wheelchairs because they lack bulky wheelchair accessories like padded armrests, seat cushions, and backrests. As a result, you should factor in accessories and add-ons to your transport wheelchair’s overall weight.
Does Medicare pay for transport wheelchairs?
Like most mobility aids, Medicare Part B covers transport wheelchairs as durable medical equipment (DME). To qualify, your attending physician must turn in a written order that verifies you have a medical need for your transport wheelchair for mobility assistance in your home. The medical document must confirm that your doctor has concluded that you can’t perform routine daily activities without the transport wheelchair, making it an essential part of your treatment. In addition, your doctor and DME supplier must accept Medicare assignments.
Once you satisfy the deductible, Medicare Part B will pay 80% of the approved amount for your transport wheelchair. Medicare will also determine whether you should rent or buy your wheelchair.
How wide are transport wheelchairs?
You can choose between three transport chair sizes: narrow, medium, and wide. The narrow chair with a 17” seat size should comfortably fit users weighing under 120 pounds. For users weighing between 120 and 300 pounds, a medium chair with a 19” seat should provide a good fit. Also, people weighing 300 pounds. have the option of a wide chair with a seat measuring 22” and over. A prime example of a wide transport chair is the Drive Bariatric Transport Chair Blue 22”. It has a reinforced steel frame and a seat width of 22” for extra support.
Do transport wheelchairs fold?
Except for some specialty models, all transport wheelchairs fold to a size that can fit easily in a car or closet. Even the Drive Medical Duet Transport Chair and Rollator Combo folds to the standard 2.5’ high by 9” wide dimensions. This feature makes transport wheelchairs exceptionally convenient for travel or frequent trips around town.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.