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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Introducing the Directors of the VA Division - Kathy Bower and Gabe Andre

Kathy Bower
  Kathy Bower was the first Director of the VA Div.  She developed it, and grew it from the beginning. She brought all of us aboard, helped us open the accounts, developed the BPA contracts in each VISN that got my sales to 6-700k/yr before the lowbid VA contract in '04, along with everybody else, some of who were selling over a million dollars a year. She managed the Div., traveled around the country, working with all of us, and still hosted an annual meeting for the div each year, as well as training for the VA employees once to several times each year. Kathy was the VA Division to many of us.
She brought Gabe aboard from Executive Sales, and I don't know if it was official but he seemed to be her second in command. She was promoted to VP of the VA Div. To a large degree it was Kathy that made us successful. I for one was very sorry to see her leave in '07.

Gabe Andre
Gabe Andre was the Director of the VA Div. after Kathy left the company in '07. He had been my Area Mngr. previously as well as filling other positions at the same time, all of which I don't remember. What I do remember is he made my job easier, he was always on the go. I'd be surprised if he was home more than a couple days a month. As I said above he seemed to be Cathy's second in command. He was handling many projects like the VA training. If you needed help, just call Gabe. In many ways between Cathy and Gabe you'd get what you needed to make sales. When Kathy left, he was the natural one to take over for her. In most ways not that much changed except he got busier. He was still my Area Mngr. so I saw him but not as frequently, the good news was that I had my territory in control, and so it didn't hurt. I thought he did a great job taking over the Div. and leading it. Gabe was to a large degree the one that kept us successful after Kathy left and he took over.

These pictures were taken at the '03 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Both of them did a fantastic job, bringing many talented salespeople together as a team, and making it possible for us to sell effectively and profitably. It wasn't our fault or theirs that the VA Div., and Rascal are no longer there.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

You Need New Batteries - Is It Expensive?

Yes, it can be, after all batteries are expensive, but it doesn't have to be that bad. When I first started with Rascal in 1998, they were charging something like $288. for a set. Now that is expensive. In the last Rascal price list it says for 32 amp battery, the std scooter battery, I don't know if this is single or set price since I never sold any, $249.99, and a 40 amp upgrade is priced at $739.97. Now THAT"S expensive. A battery pack for the Autogo is 299.99. For the Autogo you're pretty well locked in.
From the beginning, I always advised not to buy new scooter batteries from Rascal. You can get the same thing 32 amp or 40 amp for a longer charge/more power deep cycle sealed battery, lead acid is what Rascal used for better life, at Battery Warehouse, Sears, Walmart, etc. just about anyplace that sells batteries. Just write down the information or take one with you to match. They're about the same size a a riding mower battery. They MUST be deep cycle. From what I've seen buying them this way: From Battery Mart  Link to Battery  runs $64.95 ea.

 Product Description: 

12 Volt 35 Ah AGM Sealed

Lead Acid Battery

This battery is a replacement for:

Optiway Technology 1700FS, Optiway Technology 1700SP, Optiway Technology 1704FS, BP33-12S, BP35-12S, CFM12V33, Craftmatic Coach 3 Mobility Scooter, DCS-33, DG12-32, EP33-12, GT160S5, LC-L12V33AP, LC-LA1233P, NP-33, PC12330, PS-12350, Pride TSS300, U1-34, UB12350, UB-U1, UPS12-140

Brand New First Quality Factory Direct

Deep Cycle Sealed Maintenance Free

The valve regulated, spill-proof construction of this battery allows trouble-free, safe operation in any position. There is no need to add electrolyte, as gases generated during charging are recombined in a unique "oxygen cycle".

Long Service Life

A dependable service life can be expected under normal operating conditions.

Long Shelf Life

Low self-discharge rate allows for storage of fully charged batteries for longer periods of time before charging is required. Lower storage temperatures will further extend shelf life.

Wide Operating Temperature Range

May be discharged over a temperature range of -40°C to +60°C (-40°F to +140°F), and charged at temperatures ranging from -20°C to +50°C (4°F to +122°F).

Rugged Construction

The high-impact resistant battery case is made either of non-conductive ABS plastic or styrene. Large capacity batteries frequently have polypropylene cases, all of these materials impart great resistance to shock, vibration, chemicals and heat.


Length 7 5/8 in.

Width 5 1/8 in.

Height 7 3/16 in. including terminals

Terminal BO Group U1

BCI Group U1

Replacement for Rascal Scooters

1 Year Warranty

The moral being look around, this is true whatever scooter or powerchair you have, whether Rascal, Pride, Golden, Jazzy, whatever. None of them are difficult to change, if you can't do it, you probably have someone who's moderately handy that can. Just transfer the cables to the new batteries replace them and go.
Lee Murray

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Electric Seat Lift

In my post about the seatpost binding making the seat difficult to turn or pull off I didn't mention it, but the same thing can happen with the electric seat lift. In the case of the ESL it's easier because you can raise the seat 5" which gives more room to work underneath it. It's comprised of two pieces the seat lift, and a "flower" that limits the turning of the seat. The flower is bolted on with a 7/16" bolt. To remove the seat take out the bolt which releases the flower and the seat should pull right off at which point you can remove the flower from the seat, put it back on the ESL replace the bolt, and lubricate the h*** out of it using white grease inside the lift, and on the top of the flower, just like with the seat post.
If you ever need to remove the lift. Remove the seat and batteries, then the 4 screws that hold the plastic to the frame. Put slack in the velcro straps that hold the batteries to make it easier to work under the plastic, it's not necessary to remove it. lift the black plastic that covers the electronics on the left side, looking from the rear toward the front, locate the two wires connected to the lift. They'll be plugged into two wires in the harness. The orange wire plugged into the orange and the black into the black, pull the connectors apart gently, so you don't break the small wires in the harness.  Tip the scooter straight up on it's bumper so it's vertical making it easier to get to the bottom. There are 4 7/16" bolts holding the lift to the frame, I use a 7/16" wrench under the plastic and a rachet/socket outside to release the nuts and screw them off, being careful not to lose the washers. Remove the bolts holding the lift, it's heavy. Now lift and draw the lift out the bottom of the frame making sure the two wires don't get caught.
When you put it back make sure the motor, the short round part, faces the rear of the scooter. Just do the reverse of above, making sure the bolts are tight. I'd double nut, or use blue loctite, or both as with the seat post. Connect the wires orange to orange and black to black. FYI Orange is the hot wire, Black is the ground.
The same process more or less works with power chairs, but there may be more involved depending on the chair due to being smaller and everything being tightly packed.