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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Scooter Comes Apart for Transport - Sometimes NO Lift Works Better

This should really have been the first post, before any lifts, but here it is, better late than never. The scooters, and the powerchairs to some degree, are designed to be broken down for transport in a car, truck, or van. I'm only going to talk about cars because the process is the same for trucks, vans and SUV's but they have so much more room it's easier. 
As I said in an earlier post, when I first started, I had an 83 Olds 98, and I could fit two full scooters in the trunk, broken down. Big old cars are great, but every year they seem to make the cars, and the trunks, and especially the opening into the trunks, smaller. By now there are fewer cars, that will hold the whole scooter without using the back seat too. 
But the other side of the coin is, when I was still selling inhome, probably 1999, (I was doing both inhome and VA then), I had an appointment with a guy in, I think, Rome, NY not Italy, who was in need of a scooter.  He bought a 245, which was a heavy duty three wheel about 48 inches long comparable to a current 600F.  He had a Ford Festiva, a really really small car. we broke his scooter down to put it in the Festiva's trunk.
Broken down, in the order you take them apart, you have the front basket, the flag, the handlbar, the seat (which can range from std. 18" wide to 24" wide or wider on special order), two batteries, then you stand it on the rear bumper, pull a pin, and the front section pulls away from the rear section, making a total of 8 pieces.  As I said I could get two scooters broken down, like this, in my Olds 98, big cars with big trunks and big trunk openings, are fantastic.
But, as I remember, this time, in this tiny car, we got the rear section, the two batteries, the handlebar, front basket, and flag  in his trunk, it was a small trunk. The front section and the seat had to go in the back seat of the Festiva.  At that point he and his wife had to decide whether to take the Rascal, or their kids.  He ended up buying a small trailer to carry his scooter.
The moral being that if you're serious, you can fit your Rascal in virtually any car, from large, a Lincoln Town Car, to probably even as tiny as something like a Prius. You might not fit anything else though, so you'd have to be serious.  If your car is tiny, don't take my word, or anybody elses that it'll all fit, break it down, put it in the car, and make sure... BEFORE you buy,
Another aspect is that while the heaviest part, when taken apart as I've described, is about 60-70 pounds, (the rear section), it's more awkward than heavy. But still it's not light, and needs someone in decent shape to put it in and out of a trunk. I've always had the person who wants to transport this way actually break down, load, unload and put the scooter back together, to make sure they can.  It's more than some people can, or should, handle.  Believe it or not, I've sold scooters where the husband and wife worked together to lift the heavy parts, this works too. Another reason to break it down and try it before you buy.
The fact that not everybody can or should do it, and not everybody has help, is the reason we sell lifts, and the correct lift does make transporting easier, but if necessary you can do it without a lift.
FYI One other thing is that while they're apart you can change fronts, from a four wheel to a three wheel, this is a patented feature only available from Rascal, just thought I'd mention it.

Lee Murray

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