Category Archives: Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Looking for a Wheelchair Van Alternative?

Introducing – VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E Access360 Handicap Accessible SUV

VMI Honda Pilot blog photo

Vantage Mobility International (VMI) has announced the release date for their ALL-NEW, Wheelchair Accessible SUV built on the Honda Pilot chassis. VMI and Honda, what a great combination! VMI will start shipping initial quantities of their new handicap SUV February 9th. Dealers should expect the first of these units to arrive at their locations late February through March 2018, initial quantities will be limited. In fact, rumors pinned initial model year quantities to 500 units nationwide for 2018 (Not confirmed).

Superior Van & Mobility will have several units arriving, however initially not all of our ten locations will have a unit on hand due to allocation limitations. We will be staging initial quantities regionally to provide a wider range of opportunities in allowing all of our customers a chance to test drive. If you are very interested in seeing and taking a test drive of this incredible vehicle, be sure to contact your local Superior location ASAP to inquire about availability. We will be taking deposits from those customers wishing to secure one of the first units.

(see chart below for available Honda Pilot chassis’ for conversion)

So What Sets Apart The VMI Honda Pilot From Its Competition?

VMI Honda Pilot open w_ramp

The all-new VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E with Access360 is the industries newest and largest handicap accessible SUV that features an amazing, unobstructed door opening width of 33.5 inches and a 32” wide manual, in-floor ramp system! This new offering from VMI is going to be a game changer in the wheelchair accessible SUV market as it’s designed to outperform its competitors in every way; More Floor Length; More Cargo Space; More Floor Width; More Overall Interior Space/Maneuverability (Access360); More Headroom; Wider Ramp; and Wider Door Opening. (See brief spec sheet below)

VMI Access360 – Designed for Comfort and Enough Maneuverability for Large Wheelchairs

Honda Pilot Access 360 interior

Who is the Target Customer?

The first edition of the 2018 VMI Honda Pilot wheelchair accessible SUV is initially designed with the caregiver in mind; a wheelchair user who travels with a dedicated caregiveHonda Main Photor full-time. Initially, the Honda Pilot from VMI will only be available with the same ramp system found in its other Northstar E vehicles; a (MANUAL) In-floor ramp and door operating system. This time tested ramp deploys and stows with unmatched ease by utilizing VMI’s exclusive ramp-on-the-stick technology; by far the easiest operating system of any manual ramp on the market today. In fact, if you are a caregiver, you owe it to yourself to try the ramp-on-a-stick ramp system from VMI. The difference and ease of operation is unmatched!

NOTE: Initial talks, while not yet confirmed, have discussed VMI adding a fully power in-floor ramp and door option in the near future for those who don’t travel with a caregiver.

Manual Door and Ramp Operation

The Honda Pilot Northstar-E conversion features a patented, ultra-low, manual in-floor ramp system with an astonishing 32 inch width that allows for safe entry and exit of much larger wheelchairs. The ramp easily and conveniently stows and deploys from underneath the floor, creating additional interior space and maneuverability for the wheelchair user and his/her passengers. The ramp is made from a high strength aluminum alloy, and can support loads up to 800 lbs.

Removable Front Seats

The obstacle free front seats allow for easy removal, creating multiple seating arrangements for the wheelchair user and passengers. The space is large enough to accommodate two wheelchairs side-by-side if needed.

Headroom and Lowered Floor

The floor from just behind the firewall to the third row seat in the VMI Honda Pilot SUV is dropped a maximum of 16 inches to create the industry’s largest available headroom of any handicap accessible SUV. This drop in the floor also creates a usable door opening height of 55.5 inches, which makes the VMI Honda Pilot Northstar-E Access360 a great alternative for even the tallest seated wheelchair user.

Towing Capacity

As an added option, the 2018 VMI Honda Pilot is available with an integrated towing capacity of 3500 lbs. This large towing capacity further enhances the usage and capabilities of owning an SUV over a traditional minivan.

Honda Pilot Spec Sheet

 

2018 Available Chassis’ For Conversion:

Capture2

Shopping For A Scooter Lift

Shopping for a Scooter Lift
Online VS. Brick and Mortar

online vs store

With online shopping becoming more of the rule rather than the exception these days, you may find yourself searching for a scooter lift for your vehicle online. There are numerous sources out there where you can do just that, but is that the best option for you? Most likely it is not. Here are just a few of the main reasons why you should buy your scooter lift from a, “brick and mortar” mobility dealership such as Superior Van & Mobility.

1. Experience! Our mobility consultants are trained by the manufacturers to examine each application, ensuring you are choosing the right lift for your current and future needs. Finding the right lift is not always as easy as finding one that fits your vehicle. There are many additional factors we look at when determining what lift to recommend for your situation and need.

a. Is the lift rated at the proper amount of weight it will need to carry?
b. Is the lift the appropriate type for you current mobility device?
c. Does your vehicle have the correct specifications to handle a lift and its cargo?

i. Every vehicle has what’s called a “tongue weight rating” or TWR. The TWR is typically 10% of what the vehicle’s overall towing capacity is. Say for example your vehicle has a 1,500 pound towing capacity. That means the TWR is 150 pounds. If you add a 100 pound lift and a 200 pound scooter to that vehicle, you will exceed the TWR and serious damage can occur to both your vehicle and scooter. Plus, consider your safety. Exceeding the TWR is not only bad for your vehicle/equipment, but it also affects the handling of the vehicle which can jeopardize your safety and that of your passengers.

So, considering the investment you already made into your vehicle and scooter, does saving some money by purchasing a lift online seem like such a good deal after all? Yes? No? WeService Technicianll let me continue…

2. Trained Technicians! All of our technicians have been trained and certified to install and service every lift we install. This installation takes place in one of our ten service facilities. Not only will you have the peace-of-mind knowing that you are receiving the correct lift, but that it’s also being professionally installed and backed by a full warranty.

a. When you buy a lift online, who will do the installation?
b. Does your installer warranty their work?
c. How are you sure your installation was done correctly and it is safe?
d. Who will adjust it to make sure the platform angle is correct to handle the weight?
e. How do you know the correct hitch adapter is being used to ensure the lift is installed at the correct height?

These are all questions you must seriously consider as your safety and that of your equipment depends on it. However, by using a brick & mortar facility like Superior Van & Mobility, these are items you can rest assured are addressed and handled correctly as your safety and that of your equipment is our top priority.

3. Personal Service! When you call Superior Van & Mobility you will speak to a mobility consultant, not a sales person. Our mobility consultants are trained to ask the right questions as they intently listen to your needs, both current and future, before recommending any product. Our staff is not paid on commission, so you’ll find our approach is low pressure and understanding. You can rest assured that we will ask the right questions to ensure the wheelchair/scooter lift you need is the perfect fit, and that it addresses your current and future needs. When you shop online, all the research on the different types of lifts is up to you. You must know what questions to ask, your measurements, weights, etc. and hope the information you provide to and are provided by an online salesperson is correct and answered honestly, as most online retailers are simply looking to make a sale. Here is just a few of the questions you should ensure you are being asked, if you are not, you should avoid purchasing online. Your needs and safety are not being taken into consideration.

a. Would you prefer an interior or exterior lift?
b. Who will be operating the lift?
c. Can the person using the lift/scooter stand for several minutes while the lift is operating?
d. Do you have the dexterity to attach securement straps or would you prefer automatic securement?
e. Do you have more than one mobility device you use?

Again, these are just a few of the important questions that need to be asked and answered. The last thing you want to have to go through is to purchase a lift online only to find out it doesn’t work well for your needs!

Curb-Sider3_woman4. Quality Products! When buying a lift from a brick and mortar dealer you know you are getting a quality product. Before we sell any product, we do the research as our business depends on it. We will only sell products that we feel are of the utmost quality and that are backed by a full manufacturer warranty. There are many lift companies out there, but not all of them build their products with the same quality construction, or use quality components as others. If you purchase a lift online, how well will it hold up and do the job you rely on it providing? Who will you have service it if it malfunctions? What if you needs parts for it? At a brick and mortar dealer like Superior Van & Mobility, our goal is to ensure that your equipment is not only correct for your needs, but also is quality made and of good components. There’s nothing worse than being out and about, only to have your lift malfunction leaving you stranded! By the way, most brick & mortar dealers like Superior Van & Mobility are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). These dealers must uphold the highest in standards, and when they are also part of the NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP) they must also provide 24/7 emergency service. We will never leave you stranded!

5. Trust! Superior Van & Mobility has been around for 35+ years serving clients. We have an A+ BBB rating in every state we have a facility, and as mentioned earlier, we are standing members of NMEDA. At Superior, we will always stand behind our work. We have a dedicated staff, each ready and willing to help you anyway possible in regaining your independence. In fact, we pride ourselves on having a staff that is passionate about helping others, it is our driving force. When you make a purchase from Superior Van & Mobility, you become part of our family, not just another order. Oh, one last thing… We have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the business! Sorry, had to toot our horn just a little bit.

May is National Mobility Awareness Month

MOBILITY_AWARENESS_LOGOGet your Video Submissions Ready!

Superior Van & Mobility is once again excited to announce that it is time for, National Mobility Awareness Month (NMAM), presented by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). This is your chance to win a brand new wheelchair van!

This year, NMEDA will be giving away three brand new wheelchair accessible minivans to three deserving individuals based on their stories and acquired votes (no purchase necessary). One van will be given away in each of the following three categories: Senior, Caregiver, and General.

The video entry submission period begins, April 12, 2016, so the sooner you enter the better the chance you have to rack up the votes. Voting period is May 3rd – 31st, and the winners will be announced June 17, 2016.

This is your chance to present your inspirational stories of perseverance, overcoming challenges, accomplishment, community involvement, or how you go above and beyond to take care of others with disabilities. If you are one of these exceptional, “Local Hero’s”, or know of someone who is, NMEDA wants to hear from you!

Who Can Submit Entries

The contest is open to everyone; the medical community; business professionals; caregivers; family members; friends; and those individuals themselves with physical challenges. Anyone can recommend a, “Local Hero” by submitting a video entry that not only tells their story, but demonstrates why they feel they deserve to win one of the three mobility vans.

How to get Votes

Voting is the most important aspect of this contest, and it is imperative to win. There are numerous ways to gain votes, and I’ve outlined a few of them below to help get you started.

Best Practices for Self-Promotion

1. Post your plea for support/votes with a direct link to your voting page on all of your social media accounts. Be sure you don’t forget to ask your friends and family to also share your post on their accounts as well. This will quickly get your story out to the masses for huge voter turnout. Try to also remember to use the hashtag #NMAM16 in your posts.

2. Contact your local new media outlets (TV stations, newspapers, radio stations, etc.) with the contest information and your personal story. The goal is to get your community behind you to further increase the probably of votes.

3. Think outside the box! Interact with the community. Maybe make a sign, and attend large community events to promote not only your need for votes, but the contest itself. Idea: Have small cards that you can hand out with brief bio/contest summary and the link to your story and voting page. Think like a politician! Go out and ask for votes! Shake hands, and interact. This is the perfect time of the year to ride off the coat tails of the election atmosphere. Just an idea…

4. Last tip… Contact your local mobility dealer in your area. If unsure who that might be, visit NMEDA.com, and use their dealer locator. You can also view a list of our nine locations, to see if we are your local dealer, by visiting our location page at superiorvan.com.

Once you get your local dealer contact, call them and ask for their exclusive dealer code for your entry into the NMEDA contest. Then ask them for a, “Quality Needs Assessment”. By having them perform one, you get an extra 1000 BONUS VOTES. This is a simple form that the dealer fills out, based off your information and mobility needs. Once complete, this form is then faxed to NMEDA, and the points will be added to your account within a few days. Pretty easy huh?!

Well that’s enough for now… I better stop giving up all this valuable information so others will have a chance to win too, or before I tell you that one last thing it takes to win. Ha! Kidding… You are already way ahead of most if you read this entire blog. I highly doubt there are many other sites out there that have provided their readers with as much information and promotional ideas that I provided. See… I’m just a nice guy!

Soooo… go forth and promote! Get creative, and get out there! It will be hard to win if you and others don’t promote your story to everyone you know, and even don’t know. As you can see, there are many creative ideas to be had to self-promote. Just make sure HOW, and WHAT you do to get your votes is safe and legal.  Wink!

For More Information

If you still would like more information, which I’m sure you do… be sure to click on the following links:

NMEDA.com

mobilityawarenessmonth.com

Good Luck!

 

New Superior logo with tag line

Purchasing a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle? What You Need to Know…


Today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to the types

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

of vehicles being converted into wheelchair accessible transportation. Because of this, buyers now more than ever are able to fulfill their personal desires through vast amenities, size options, and vehicle functionality. The days where minivans were all one could choose have past; buyers can now select from various pickup trucks and SUVs. However, it’s also because of this new opportunity things can get a little overwhelming and cause many buyers to lose sight of their basic, situational needs.

This is where it becomes important to make sure you work with a mobility consultant; someone well versed in various vehicle types, to ensure your personal needs are not overlooked, or sacrificed for a personal want. A mobility consultant will help you stay focused by assessing your exact needs, budget, and personal desires. Together they will use this information to ultimately recommend the type of vehicle to best suit your CURRENT and FUTURE situation.

So, where should you start ?

First, start with the most important step, and that is to get in touch with a mobility consultant for an assessment. Here is where you will not only be addressing your wants, but your needs. You will be measured, if necessary, to help in assessing your current situation. Future needs will also be assessed. I cannot stress enough the importance of this step!

After your assessment, you and your mobility consultant will have discussed your best options. These recommendations will be based, first and foremost, on your personal needs and necessary fit. You may receive a recommendation involving several vehicle types, or you may get only one. Keep in mind, your functionality, comfort and safety should always come first. Be sure you look past any wants that may struggle to accommodate your personal needs. With mobility vehicles, it’s a bad idea to shop for a vehicle based solely on looks and wants. It is important that you DO NOT struggle to fit, or operate a vehicle, no matter how your think you look driving!

Next, do your research –

Your mobility consultant will be able to provide to you information to evaluate any vehicles recommended. You may also find additional information on the company’s website, manufacturer’s website, or Internet (be careful that you utilize reliable sources). As you can imagine, there is a lot of bad, or incorrect information out there as well. Also, be wary of any company who tends to only sell their products over the internet. There have been many stories that didn’t end well. Most of which resulting from a buyer unable to try the vehicle before they buy, or a vehicle requiring service with no service facility nearby. Which takes me to my next point…

Review a dealer’s total offering and look, or request testimonials –

Be sure when you are ready to purchase, you do so from a reputable dealer, and one that is a member of NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) and is part of their QAP (Quality Assurance Program). Learn more about QAP and NMEDA here.

Look for a dealer that provides great service, both before and after the sale. Remember, a good dealer will be sure they address your immediate and future needs with your purchase, and provide a compassionate, understanding and caring environment.

Check out their service department and ask questions. How long have their technicians worked on mobility vans? Do they use factory parts? Do they offer 24/7 emergency service in their service area? (Nothing could be worse than getting stranded with a mechanical failure at 2 AM on the side of the road with no one to help, or the knowledge to assess and repair your problem).

These are all great questions to ask, and ask as many as you can think of until you feel comfortable, and by all means, review any company testimonials. If you cannot find any online, ask your dealer for some. Most, if not all, should have plenty of customer testimonials to provide and they will help you evaluate the past experience of other buyers.

Lastly, protect your vehicle against costly repairs –

While this is an option and 100% voluntary, be sure you assess your needs and options with your mobility consultant in protecting your vehicle mechanically from any costly, future complications and expenses that may arise.

With wheelchair accessible vehicles, buyers generally keep them longer than most, and it is inherently more important that the vehicle performs properly every time it is needed. However, mechanical failures can arise, and some can be costly due to the nature of the mechanics involved in design. Before you sign and take delivery of your vehicle, be sure you fully understand any service plans your dealer may offer to protect your vehicle against costly mechanical failures that may arise outside the manufactures warranty period (if any). To help in determining if a protection plan is for you, a dealer should be able to provide to you a list of various repair types and the costs incurred without protection.

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Wheelchair Accessible SUV Has Arrived


If you haven’t seen the news just yet, Mobility SVM has developed another alternative to the traditional wheelchair accessible minivan.

Recently unveiled was their all new SUV conversion that utilizes the same technology as their pickup truck conversion. You know… Their head-turning slide-out cab design!!

Mobility SVM is presently converting two models; the 2015 Chevy Suburban and 2015 GMC Yukon XL, and in both the 4×2 and 4×4 drive-train.

Features Include:

* Driver or Passenger side conversions available
* Fully automatic, slide-out cab design and wheelchair lifting mechanism
* Vehicle seats up to eight passengers
* Models available in both two and four wheel drive
* Factory ground clearance is retained
* 750 lb. lift capacity
* Seats up to 8 passengers
* Redesigned wheelchair lifting mechanism is lighter & faster
* New, enhanced safety features & emergency egress

 

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Wheelchair Accessible SUV