Tag Archives: Superior Van & Mobility

New Superior logo with tag line

BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica Power XT


 

Test Drive – BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica Power XT Wheelchair Van

By Paul Erway, Superior Van & Mobility

BraunAbility 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Wheelchair Van

Conversion: BraunAbility Power XT Fold-Out with carpet

Added Options:  B&D 6 way driver seat base, and SureGrip Feather Light push-rock hand-controls

I recently had the honor of driving one of the first BraunAbility Pacifica’s that came off the line. I drove it on vacation and was really blown away at all the new features this vehicle brings to the wheelchair van market. I now drive this vehicle daily for work and personal business, and wanted to share some of the awesome new features and benefits that people may not be aware of.

First, the exterior redesign of the Pacifica incorporates smoother lines much like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey vans. This is very different from the boxy look of the Dodge vans.

Second, the user-friendly remote control will open any door without hitting any of the buttons on the key fob as long as it is with me. Even the back hatch door is designed so that when you grab the handle, the rear power door engages and opens for you without lifting it as you had to do in the past.

BraunAbility Pacifica handicap van rampTo engage the sliding side ramp door, and deploy the ramp and engage the kneeling cycle, you simply press the key fob two times. Once the ramp is deployed, the kneeling system continues to pull down towards the ground to make the incline as low as possible. I tend to be a little impatient at times and ready to wheel up the ramp as soon as possible, but I was assured by BraunAbility that as long as the ramp is fully deployed, there should not be any issues that affect the full kneeling process, and it is recommended and best to wait so that the incline is as small as possible. Another huge feature of the ramp in the BraunAbility Pacifica is that the weight capacity of the ramp is now 1,000 pounds. Further, if you get the In-Floor Ramp conversion model, the ramp width is 32” wide! For some folks that thought a full size van was their only option, you may want to visit a Superior showroom to see if the new Pacifica will work for you! This is a big difference compared to previous models!

Once inside, you immediately notice the larger interior space. The rear bench seems to be forward a slight bit, but you have ample room for your back chair tires and a large turning radius. The interior changes also allow for a little more back storage space. For me, I often carry my racing wheelchair with me, and it definitely fits in a little easier. The other nice thing about the rear bench is the comfort of the seat. In the past, the seats were square shaped so that they could fold into the floor for Stow-N-Go seating. They are now more ergonomically correct, and have a flip down foot rest, which provides a much more comfortable ride for passengers.

The front seat has also been improved. They feel better, and you can now adjust the angle of the headrest. This was a help to me on the long spans of driving during vacation. I sometimes like to recline the seat back a little more than usual, and can now move the head rest forward to still give me a clear view of the road. Finally, if you need to remove either of the front Pacifica seats in order to remain in your wheelchair as a passenger or driver, the seat base has also been redesigned for easier pop-out/pop-in use.

Here are some other small features that make this vehicle very user friendly. You can start the vehicle with a simple touch of a button as long as you have the key fob inside the vehicle, and the brake is engaged. With key fob placed in my bag and under my chair, I just apply the brake and press the start button. The gear shift is now just a turn dial as well. Once you have the brake engaged, anyone with limited function of the hand or arthritis will find this to be a blessing.

Most of the dash controls are touch screen, allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road. When in park, the touch screen acts very much like a computer and can be a handy tool to have when in a new city. Touch features are also available through the steering wheel. For example, if the dash light comes on to indicate a low tire, I can use my left hand to touch a button on the steering wheel and it shows exactly how much pressure is in each tire.

The cruise control on the steering wheel has also been improved. When setting the speed, there is a read out on the dash that tells you what the set speed is, and it holds that speed even when going up and down hills.

The electronic improvements overall seem to help get better gas mileage as well. For example, on the previous models of vans that I have driven, MPG hovers around 20 to 21 for my style of driving. The window sticker of this model of Pacifica reads 18 MPG for city and 28 MPG for highway. While on vacation, I actually had an average of 28.2 MPG, and upon returning, I am averaging around 24 MPG (with air conditioning on)! Finally, the system will automatically shut down when you come to an extended stop, like a red light. When you let off the brake and apply the gas, it automatically restarts the vehicle and off you go, thus saving on gas even more. So, even though purchasing a newer vehicle is a larger investment at first, you are going to save in the long run on gas costs alone, while enjoying a more pleasurable ride.

Speaking of gas, at the gas pumps you will notice that the fill hose has a small ring on the nozzle. The gas lid of the Pacifica is press-to-open, and I immediately noticed that there is NOT a gas cap. The hose nozzle fits right in, and is designed so that the ring on the hose clips in place, eliminating the chance of it slipping out and pouring gas everywhere. This also prevents evaporating fumes coming out as the tank fills.

Overall, the Pacifica was impressive enough to make a regular driver of wheelchair vans write a blog and share this story with everyone! Other things that caught my attention were the nice looking tires, the built-in vacuum cleaner, the parking sensors that allow for hands-free parallel parking and the Forward Collision Warning that can be programmed to warn you of any potential collisions. Should you have small children you may want to have the Surround View Camera System upgrade as well. You are able to see right up next to the vehicle, and all around it, to be clear of any toys or children that may be in harm’s way before you start to drive.

The reason vehicle manufacturers keep making vehicle model changes is to improve the vehicles safety, and convenience offerings, in an effort to provide a higher quality of life for people. The conversion companies have the same goal, and it really shows with the new BraunAbility Conversion.

Industry’s First Chrysler Pacifica Wheelchair Accessible Minivan

All New Chrysler Pacifica Handicap Van

VMI Introduces Industry’s First Chrysler Pacifica Wheelchair Accessible Minivan

 

VMI 2016 Pacifica
Vantage Mobility International (VMI) recently unveiled the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica wheelchair accessible van conversion at the Dealer Council Executive Committee in Chicago, IL. In addition to exclusive guests from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), VMI’s dealer council and the VMI’s new spokesperson, TEAM USA wheelchair rugby player and Paralympian, Joe Delagrave, many dealers from around the country attended.

The all-new Chrysler Pacifica has been big news in the auto industry, and VMI wanted to be part of its success by being the first mobility conversion company to bring the wheelchair accessible version to market. The new conversion will begin full production the first week of September, with dealership around the country receiving their first shipments in October. Production will be limited at first, as inventories are built, so most dealers will only receive a small number in 2016.

VMI 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The new design from VMI will feature a power side-entry in-floor 30 inch wide, 800 lbs. capacity ramp, industry first interchangeable front seats, and a new third row footrest that increases the interior floor space by 2 additional inches. When coupled with the Pacifica’s 100 safety and security features, the VMI Pacifica wheelchair accessible conversion will surely be one of the top choices for consumers.

VMI Northstar Access360™ Features Include:

• A larger in-floor ramp that conveniently stows under the floor, creating more room for wheelchair maneuverability
• An obstruction-free doorway that allows able-bodied passengers to enter and exit the vehicle without deploying the ramp
• A full 30″ wide ramp with 800lb capacity accommodates large power chairs

Norton Hospital Neuroscience Institute

Neuroscience Expo – Louisville, KY

2016 Neuroscience Expo: Making Connections
Saturday, July 23, 2016 • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kentucky International Convention Center
221 S. Fourth St., Bridgeside lobby
Louisville, Kentucky
Complimentary valet parking will be available at the Fourth Street entrance.

Don’t miss the 2016 Neuroscience Expo, hosted by Norton Neuroscience Institute. This free event is your chance to hear the latest information about treatments and support for epilepsy, migraines, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Life skills workshops for coping with neurological conditions also will be offered.

6th Annual Summer Showdown Car Show – Louisville KY

The Michael Feger Paralysis Foundation is hosting the 6th Annual Summer Showdown Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show / Silent Auction on July 16, 2016.

Download Flyer with Pre-Registration
The 2016 Summer Showdown Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show / Silent Auction will be Saturday July 16, 2016 from 10am to 4pm. At Valor Traditional Academy “The Castle” 11501 Schlatter Road, Louisville, KY 40291 (off Bardstown Road, 2 Miles South of Gene Snyder) Get Directions

Vehicle Registration is $15 from 10am to 1pm. Open to all Cars, Trucks & Motorcycles. First 100 vehicles will receive a Dash Plaque and Goodie Bag.

Awards will start at 4pm. Trophies will be given to the Best of Show + $100, Best Motorcycle, People’s Choice Car/Truck, People’s Choice Motorcycle, President’s Choice, Kids’ Choice & Top 40.

We will also have a Silent Auction, 50/50, Raffles, lots of Door Prizes and free Face Painting. We have over 100 product sponsors supporting the car show and silent auction. There will be several local vendors there to checkout. Download Vendor Registration Form.

All proceeds benefit the Michael Feger Paralysis Foundation. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. Our mission is to help people effected by spinal cord injury and related diseases.

We greatly appreciate all your support and donations. Help change the life of someone living with a spinal cord injury!

Larosa Loop – Louisville, KY

The Larosa Loop is a non-competitive run/walk/wheel event at the Louisville Waterfront.

The 2016 Larosa Loop will raise funds to enhance and expand patient programs and services at Frazier Rehab Institute.

The Larosa Loop will take place at the Louisville Waterfront, 1301 River Road. Run/walk/roll participants can choose a 1-, 3-, or 5-mile route. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The Run/walk/wheel starts at 9 a.m.

*The Larsoa Loop will also have music, games, snacks, raffles and booths for sponsors and vendors to showcase their products or services.

Run For The Hill 5K – Lexington KY

Please join us for the 7th Annual Run For The Hill 5K benefiting Easter Seals Cardinal Hill Adaptive Recreation.  Our race will be held on June 05, 2016 at 1pm at Keeneland.  Special thanks to Superior Van & Mobility for being our Presenting Sponsor.

In addition we are offering a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk.

The 5K will feature chip timing, overall and age group awards and race T-shirts for all registrants.

Come join in the fun and help raise money and awareness for our adaptive recreation programs.

MDA Logo

MDA Muscle Walk of Louisville, KY

MDA’s Mission

Each day, everyday freedoms like walking, hugging, playing and even breathing are taken away from kids and adults in our community with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases.

The dollars we raise together fuel MDA’s efforts to find research breakthroughs across diseases; to care for kids and adults from day one; and to empower families in hometowns across America with services and support. We can’t do this without you!

WHEN: June 4, 2016

WHERE: Waterfront Park – Louisville, KY

TIME: See Schedule Below

For More information:

Contact: Ainsley Harris or Mary Fowler
(502) 456-1440 | louisville@mdausa.org

http://www2.mda.org/site/TR/MuscleWalk/MuscleWalk2016-National?pg=entry&fr_id=21998

Tentative Agenda:

9:30AM—Registration Begins

10:00AM-1:00PM—Event Launch

10:00—11:00—Event Activities

11:00-Noon—Let’s Walk!!!

Noon—Awards/Announcements

1:00PM—Event Concludes

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.