What Is the Difference Between a Transport Chair & a Wheelchair?

For those who have a hard time ambulating, wheelchairs and transport wheelchairs can help these individuals live a more active and fulfilling lifestyle. Sometimes these two chairs are mistaken or each other but they are two different devices.

Wheelchair Purpose

A wheelchair is a piece of equipment used to help people who have problems walking or are unable to walk for whatever reason to move around. Even though the individual might not be able to use their legs, a wheelchair can help them to live an independent lifestyle. In most cases they use their arms to move the wheelchair around.

Wheelchair Specifications

Although there are numerous styles and brands of wheelchairs, their basic make up is similar irrespective of brand or classes. The smaller front wheels are usually 8″ in diameter and are mounted to a swivel for easy maneuverability. The much larger rear wheels have handrails that the user can grab and push to provide movement.

The regular wheelchair has a seat size of around 16″ X 18″ and weights around 35 lbs. They are constructed of steel frames and have nylon or vinyl upholstery as well as plastic accessories.

Transport Chair Overview

Transport chairs are used to move people around who cannot propel themselves using a standard wheelchair. A second person is required for mobility. For those who find a regular wheelchair too big or heavy to move around, transport wheelchairs are a great alternative. They are often more compact and lighter compared to standard wheelchairs.

Transport Chair Specifications

Transport chairs are made of either aluminum or steel and have a 250 lb weight capacity, similar to the regular wheelchair. All 4 wheels are 8″. The pair of wheels at the front swivel which allows for easier maneuverability. The rear wheels are fixed (do not swivel) and are equipped with brakes which can be engaged as the user enters or exits the chair.

The transport wheelchair seat dimensions are usually 16″ X 17″ or 16″ X 19″ The weight of the transport chair will vary according to its construction, but the steel ones weigh around 25 lbs.

The Differences

Transport wheelchairs and lightweight wheelchairs often get mixed up for each other but there are different pieces of equipment. The most basic difference is that someone in a transport chair cannot propel themselves.

This can be restrictive in some situations but the lightweight make up and compact size might make a transport wheelchair a better choice in some instances.

While a wheelchair does provide the user with the ability to propel themselves, it is heavier and not ideal when travelling. Wheelchairs tend to have more features that are customizable like arm length and different styles.

 

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