There are a few differences between a manual wheelchair and a transport chair. It’s important to understand these differences in order to make the best choice for your needs. Kohll’s Rx has the resources to provide you with information about these mobility devices.
What is a transport chair?
A transport chair is mobility equipment that helps transport a person from point A to point B and is also known as a travel chair. The person in the transport chair is not able to propel the transport chair as the wheels are small and range from 8” to 12”. It is designed for caregivers to push so they are made to be lightweight and easy to fold. This way the caregiver can easily lift it in and out of the car without too much trouble. It’s common for patients to use the transport chair both indoor and outdoor. For indoor use, it’s usually used for small or tights spaces such as tight doorways. For outdoor use, it’s usually used to get a patient from a car to a location such as from a car to the doctor’s office.
What is a standard manual wheelchair?
A standard manual wheelchair is one that is propelled by the user. The user with adequate upper body strength utilizes the large rear wheels on the sides to maneuver the wheelchair effectively indoor and outdoor. The goal is for the user to independently use the manual wheelchair in all environments such as the community and home. It’s the most common type of wheelchair for users who are full time wheelchair users. The wheelchair is utilized to complete all the activities of the daily living such as toileting, grooming, dressing and eating in the home. For outdoor use, due to the larger rear wheels, they are able to maneuver the wheelchair extensively around in the community across most surfaces.
What are the differences?
- The transport chair has 4 small wheels ranging from 8” to 12”. The smaller 8” wheels are typically found on transport chairs that can hold up to 300 lbs. The bigger wheels of 12” are typically found on heavier duty transport chairs that can hop up 400 lbs. The bigger wheels provide a smoother ride when outdoors.
- The standard manual wheelchair has 4 wheels with the 2 front ones being called caster wheels. The caster wheels are typically 3” to 12”. The other 2 wheels are large rear wheels that are typically 24”.
- The transport chair sizes come in a variety of sizes ranging from 17”-22” wide.
- The standard manual wheelchair sizes vary from 16”-20” for regular sizes
- The transport chairs are lightweight in comparison to the standard manual wheelchairs. They range anywhere from 18.75 lbs to over 27 lbs.
- The standard manual wheelchair range anywhere from 35” to over 50 lbs.
- Most basic transport chairs have fixed armrests but higher end ones offer the option to remove the armrests or flip them back
- Most standard manual wheelchairs offer removable armrests. Some higher end ones offer the option to remove the armrests and also flip them back.
- On most transport chairs, the brakes are located on the rear wheels. The caregivers have to apply the brakes are they are reachable by the user. If brakes are a concern, some higher end transport chairs offer both hand brakes and rear wheels brakes.
- On the standard manual wheelchairs, the brakes are positioned on the large rear wheels. The user in the wheelchair can safely and effectively apply the brakes while in the wheelchair.
There are few places throughout the world that provide a large assortment of wheelchairs and transport chairs. Typically, a pharmacy may just have one style and size of each transport chair or wheelchair. Kohll’s Rx, located in Millard, Nebraska likely has the largest assortment of wheelchairs, transport chairs and accessories in the world. For many people in wheelchairs, their wheelchair is their legs. Therefore, each person in a wheelchair should have it customized to their needs and their diagnosis. Wheelchair specialist at Kohll’s Rx provide this expertise. These specialist because of their knowledge are very few. We recommend, that each of you in need of a wheelchair or transport chair see one of these specialists.