Scooter Transportation: A Chicken or Egg” Problem?

John Loo / flickr

John Loo / flickr

When my wife and I decided we had to do something to make transporting my mobility scooter easier, we quickly encountered a chicken-or-egg type of problem.

At the time, she was driving a Ford Focus. Though the scooter easily breaks down into four pieces that fit neatly into the trunk (but with no room for anything else), lifting each piece over the wall of the trunk to get it in became an issue.

If we went shopping and made four or five stops that meant my wife was having put the strain own her back muscles 8-10 times a trip.

Besides this impact on her, the trips became less enjoyable as I didn’t want her to have to unload and load the scooter so many times. I often opted to sit in the car rather than put her through the hassle.

We have a close friend who has a van with an electric ramp which makes transporting her power wheelchair a breeze.

We knew it couldn’t be done with the Focus but decided to check into what was available for lifting assistance. Frankly, there are almost too many options. There are the ramp systems like our friend’s; there are drive-on lifts that are convenient on the back of a large van that allow you to roll an intact mobility scooter inside; and there are lifts that pick up a  mobility device and carry it on the outside of the vehicle.

From what we could tell many of these options were vehicle-dependent (we were already of the mind a change in vehicles was coming).

It so happens we live fairly close to a regional mobility lift supplier who had helped set up our friend’s van.

We visited to find out what they recommended for four or five different vehicles we were considering. The sales consultant told us we needed to settle on a vehicle and let him contact the lift manufacturer about fit.

We were looking for a good, clean, slightly used SUV, or better still a cross-over style. Vans didn’t really appeal to either of us and the big Explorer types were equally unappetizing. As I soon found out, there were few I could get into on my own due to seat height.

Then there were third-row seats to deal with. They needed room to hard mount the lifting mechanism.

The only ones that offered any potential were the Lincoln cross-over and the Cadillac SRX. Both had powered passenger seats.

Of all places, on eBay I found a lift that mounted in a trailer hitch with a crane-like apparatus which would lift the scooter to deck height where it could be swung into the rear compartment. It broke down into four pieces which stow beside the mobility scooter.

At the nearby Acura dealership, we found an SRX with a near 52,000 on the odometer. It was perfect; I can’t help but feel like God had something to do with it. Under the back bumper was trailer hitch big enough for a 20-foot trailer. The lift people (this is about the tenth try) said this one would work.

It is champagne-colored inside and out and is a great ride. Funny, most people at 74 go for a single ride in a Cadillac; it’s black and they have no idea of its capabilities. My wife and I now can get out for little day trips and the number of stops never matter.

Consider that one chicken (or egg…) cooked.

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