Heavy Duty Manual Wheelchairs

A BMI (Body Mass Index) of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. BMI of 30 or higher pertains to people who are obese. Bariatric wheelchairs are designed help users who are more than a 100 pounds overweight with a BMI of 30 or above, and those who are living with a condition that impairs their mobility to maintain their independence like cardiopulmonary or cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis of the lower extremities. Bariatric wheelchairs may also be used by patients with severe spasticity problems caused by neuromuscular or musculoskeletal issues whose involuntary movements puts them at risk for damaging or tipping from a standard wheelchair.

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Differences between Heavy Duty Wheelchairs and Standard Manual Wheelchairs

Heavy Duty Manual wheelchairs or bariatric wheelchairs differ in many ways, from standard wheelchairs, to accommodate the larger size and weight of the user. Some of the differences are listed below:

  • Heavy duty vinyl or upholstery material is used in the seats. The extra reinforcement as well as increased dimensions provide better comfort and support the back and gluteal areas.   

  • It is important to ensure proper posture for increased level of comfort. The tilt of the seat may be adjusted to accommodate the bariatric patients center of gravity in order to do so.  

  • The frame, on which the weight of the wheelchair plus the bariatric individual sits must be sturdy. Heavy duty PVC or lightweight reinforced metal tubing with extra welds can do the needful. 

  •  Rear solid tires provide additional support.  

  • The leg and foot rests are designed to accommodate larger individuals in order to prevent skin ulcers caused by chafing. 

  • The weight capacity of these chairs is from 250 pounds to 700 pounds. Some models can transport heavier users weighing up to 1000 pounds. 

  • Reinforced cross braces, and various other design features ensure that there is reliable durability to handle the extra weight.

What should be kept in mind while selecting Bariatric Wheelchairs?

Seat Widths and Depths – HD manual Wheelchairs come with a seat width ranging from 20” – 30” and a seat depth of 18” – 24”. You can select a model that suits your requirement. Wheelchairs like Drive Sentra Extra Heavy Duty Wheelchair come with 24” Seat Width and 18” Seat depth and Drive Bariatric Sentra EC Heavy-Duty Extra Wide Wheelchair comes with a full 30” Seat width.

  • Seat to floor Height – Seat heights range from 15" and 22". 

  • Back Height - Back height lies within a range of 16" to 26" with usually some adjustability. 

  • Frames, Weight & Capacities - Most Heavy Duty Manual Wheelchairs fold from side to side although the really high weight capacity chairs are more likely to have solid frames. The weight of the heavy duty wheelchair lies be between 40 lbs. and 70 lbs. plus any seating accessories and options chosen. Heavy duty wheelchairs will have weight capacities from 350 lbs. to about 850 lbs. for instance Medline Extra-Wide Manual Wheelchair comes with a 500 lb. weight capacity 

  • Casters, Wheels and Tires - The rear wheels on bariatric wheelchairs are normally 24" with solid tires. Heavy duty wheelchairs mostly possess 8" solid tires.  

  • Brakes - heavy duty manual wheelchair brakes are the conventional push to lock brakes or pull to lock brakes with some models offering optional brake extensions for added convenience. 

  • Armrests - Armrests can be full length or desk length, adjustable height or fixed height and can be removable for easy transfers. 

  • Footrests – These wheelchairs offer either the 60° conventional footrests or ELRs (elevating leg rests) but are some models even offer 70° or 80° versions.

Buy low maintenance and cost effective Heavy duty manual wheelchairs that combine long-term performance with reliability by renowned manufacturers like Invacare, Medline, Drive Medical etc. at attractive prices on HPFY.