The Three Wheel Mobility Scooter
The basic layout for the three wheel mobility scooter has been about since the mid 17th century when Stephan Farffler, a watchmaker from Nuremberg, designed and built himself a wheelchair he called a “manumotive carriage” that used his arms as the power source.
We then move to 18th century in England and the first forerunner to the true invalid carriage is invented by James Heath from Bath and became known as the Bath Chair, these gained great popularity and were common at Spas such as Bath or Cheltenham.
Though most featured three wheels, and had a method for the passenger to steer them, they were still powered by an attendant or a draft animal so, they could not yet make the claim to be an invalid carriage and far less a three-wheel mobility scooter.
So, it is easy to conclude that three-wheel layout is at best archaic by its very nature.
We begin to see the modern ancestors of the three wheel mobility scooter with the very first powered invalid carriages appeared in England during the 1920’s.
These early invalid carriages mostly used a variety of small petrol engines for propulsion and, with the dawn of WWII the invalid carriage effectively disappears, due to the need to recover as much material as possible, with most already in existence being salvaged for use in the war effort.
Following the war, the three wheel design once again surfaces with the invalid carriage. Though popular these were inevitably phased out due to safety concerns arising from their propensity to topple with little or no warning or provocation
Though there are earlier examples the truly practical personal mobility scooter doesn’t take form until the 1980’s.
The family behind the Quingo range developed and brought to the UK market a transportable three wheel mobility scooter, the Voyager, in 1983.
The full story of three generations of the family’s close involvement in the world of personal mobility will be told in an upcoming article.
So why does Quingo not produce a three wheel mobility scooter and why did we develop the Quintell™ 5-Wheel Stabilising System?
The reason the Quingo was envisioned and developed was to address the issues common to all three wheel mobility scooter configurations and yet retain the desirable properties they undoubtedly do possess.
The biggest issue a three wheel mobility scooter shares with any other three wheeled vehicles is a propensity to topple.
This can be caused in a variety of ways be it making a turn at too high a speed, making very sudden manoeuvres at any speed, mounting or dismounting a kerb and they additionally frequently suffer stability issues on anything other than smooth surfaces.
They can catch even the more experienced scooter user by surprise and this can lead to serious injury.
That said the three-wheel mobility scooter does have a great potential turning circle, as long as you use it with care, and they are ideal in confined places like shops. The problem is that you still have to get to the shop and probably negotiate terrain which will often be less than ideal.
The three wheel design has one more trick, its centrally positioned single front wheel, as there is no need for any form of axle the area available for your feet can be extended on either side of the tiller which offers far greater comfort than a four wheel scooter.
It is worth bearing in mind that almost all three wheel mobility scooters will have much lower weight carrying capacities.
With its primitive roots the three wheel design is overdue to be replaced by a thoroughly modern, technology driven design like our revolutionary 5 wheel Quingo range.
So how does the five wheel Quingo overcome the issues while offering all the same benefits as a three-wheel scooter?
The Tri-Wheel Steering featured on all of our range of scooters can handle a far greater, and more challenging, range of conditions, with no risk of the scooter losing balance. It allows our scooters to climb kerbs at up to a 45° angle which is an ability no other scooter can claim.
The turning circle our five-wheel scooters offer are favourably comparable to any 3-wheeler and will run circles around a 4-wheel scooter.
This steering system also gives up to 80% more legroom than a similar 4-wheel scooter and is almost identical to the space available on a 3-wheel scooter. Our Adaptive Footplates ensure that your ankles knees and hips are all aligned to optimal angles, which is in stark contrast to the way your feet are forced to rest flat on most three-wheel configurations.
When you add our range of extra comfortable, fully adjustable seats you will never look to a three wheel mobility scooter again.