Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Mission X8 Freedom: Transporting an offroad powerchair

Unbelievably, this off road powerchair fits in my Ford Fusion!
(I believe it's the same wheel-base as a Fiesta, but with a hatchback style boot.)

I put the seats down in the back of the car, and have a 'hatchbag' boot liner fitted (a big plastic cover made to the exact dimensions of my boot which velcro's into place) which stops the muddy wheels from damaging anything.

I then pull out a portable ramp (stored in the car). and drive the chair up to the start of the ramp so it's all lined up. Then I set the 'steering lock' (so I don't accidentally make it turn and drive off the side of the ramp!)

Then unclip the back rest and put it to ones side, detatche the joystick and drive the chair up the ramp and into my car from my remote position.

(Here I am loading the X8 from mostly standing. I prefer loading from my manual wheelchair. Although there is always the option of training someone else up to do it!)

Then slide the ramp, back rest and bag into the car. (you can see the backrest, which is remarkably light, in the bottom right of the picture.)

I use the small bars in the car that the rear seat backs clip onto when in use as anchor points for a ratchet strap to secure the back of the chair, and secure the front by running a ratchet strap from the front 'anchor points' on the chair, under the hinges of the folded-up seats. How best to secure the chair will depend on the vehicle, but I reckon you'll find handy things in most cars.

It only takes a few minutes.

And it means I have my off-road freedom without needing an expensive wheelchair accessible vehicle.

For longer journeys, and ones where I want to go with a car full of friends and luggage I plan to get a trailer.

An ifor 'williams' P5 trailer with fibreglass roof and 4 lashing points internally seems the best option - secure, weatherproof, easy to load, light enough for small cars to tow and it can be towed on most standard UK driving licences as total weight of chair + trailer is under 500kg.

As my X8 has a powered reclining back-rest I had a few moments of panic as the arm rests don't fold low enough to fit under the lid - even with the back rest reclined...so I messaged the guys at Magic - and sure enough, removal of 2 quick-release pins and the seat cusion (velcro) and it folds up even smaller than in the pictures. (I had been told about these when I got the chair, I was just rather distracted by finally getting the chair.)

I can't guarantee that the chair fits inside the trailer yet, the trailer chap at TH white will let me know when they have one in stock for me to 'test'. At which point I will blog it - so you can see for yourselves whether it works.


  1. Your posts about the X8 always fill me with glee - I do an internal happy dance for you! It's awesome that it truly has given you much more freedom, and the fact it's transportable means that freedom isn't limited by location or vehicle. Woohoo!

  2. Loving your blog xx Carriehabb/facebook

  3. Hi Hannah. Love your post and great pictures thank you. I'd love to know more about your "steering lock". Have you come up with a way to keep the joystick in a straight line when loading? This is something I'm struggling with at the moment and trying to come up with any ideas to make it easier. Thanks Rachel


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