Patrick's Smartdrive Story
Author: Patrick Will | 11 August 2018
"The Smartdrive MX2+ Pushtracker is a truly revolutionary device that I would encourage almost all manual wheelchair users to at least look at.
Rewind the clock five years, and I probably would have said something completely different; I used to be one of those manual wheelchair users that was strictly anti power. I played several wheelchair sports, I was (and still am) highly independent, I wouldn’t allow anyone to assist me by pushing me up a hill, even if it was incredibly steep, and I was proud of the fact that I was fit and able enough to propel myself around. And then, as happens to most of us, my body caught up with me. I have suffered from arm, shoulder and back pain for many years, much of which I attribute to using a manual wheelchair.
And then the Smartdrive came along. I started using the Smartdrive MX2 model when I first commenced working at Lightning Mobility about 9 months ago (one of the perks of working for Lightning!), and found that it improved my life in almost every way. Not only did it reduce the overall amount of pushes that I did in a day significantly, I suddenly found that I could zip up my very steep driveway quickly with next to no effort, a task which used to take several painful minutes. I also found that I was able to carry things while using my chair, without having to do a strange one arm pushing technique I’m sure is familiar to every wheelchair user (I can’t tell you how many coffees I’ve spilt doing that). I was able to go shopping independently because I could carry the groceries and push the trolley, I was able to push other wheelchairs into appointments to show clients, and I could go for long walks around the neighbourhood without having to spend the rest of the day exhausted, lying down on the couch.
When the MX2+ Pushtracker came along, it just built on all of the great parts of the MX2. When you can get from point A to B simply by double tapping your wrist, that’s a pretty great thing.
One of the best things about the Smartdrive is how easy it is to switch between power assist and manual mode. If I want to get some proper exercise, I simply turn the Smartdrive off and push my chair normally, without even noticing it’s there, and if I find myself facing a steep hill, or I have to carry something, I can simply turn the Bluetooth wristband on, double tap my pushrim, and away I go. The other great thing about the Smartdrive is how portable it is. Weighing just over 5kg, I can easily lift it off my chair when I’m transferring into my car, and slip it back on at the other end. Where other power assist devices can actually reduce independence, due to needing a carer present to help transport heavy components, the Smartdrive allows me to confidently go it alone, knowing that it will handle almost any challenge I give it.
You might be reading this testimony with a degree of cynicism, given that I am a salesperson of the Smartdrive, but I can promise you that even if I weren’t working for Lightning Mobility, I would still highly recommend the Smartdrive MX2+ Pushtracker to anyone in a wheelchair."
Sales Assistant, Manual and Power Assisted Mobility, Lightning Mobility