Sunday 25 August 2019

TA IQ Power Wheelchair Review: 5 years on

Well, the last time I posted a review of my TA IQ was way back in 2015, we not only had the wheelchair about a year or a little bit less, having received it from memory in August 2014 and it has 700 km on it.

Fast forward, nearly 5 years of constant use in the odometer now reads at the time of writing 3078 km. I now believe after 5 years of constant heavy use I’m in a real position to judge wheelchair for its merit, and various challenges I’ve had with it.

New Motors and Wheels:
Just a few days ago I had replacement motorsport on my chair after nearly covering 3000 km with the original set! I’ve reliably been told that that’s quite a good innings for a set of motors!

As I’ve quoted in previous articles over many years and a number of wheelchairs I’ve had a lot of experience using them, driving them and (trying not to abuse them).

What constitutes a good Power Wheelchair

This is the age-old question, everybody’s viewpoint is going to be different, because everyone has a different use case and different desires when it comes to personal transport, I’m no different to that.

When I first looked a wheelchairs, which might replace the TDXSP, I really wanted to make it a mission because I truly wanted to focus on a wheelchair base which would be reliable, fast and meet my needs.
I think with a little bit of qualification the TA IQ has met many of the goals that I initially wanted and in a power wheelchair.
The TA has disappointed in one major way! Elements of its wiring design have been difficult for the wheelchair technicians to work on compared to other brands (the major problem is the cabling doesn’t have trouble retaining clips this means that the wiring has potential to come out quite easily. Also because of the TA’s compact design everything is grand and rather tightly.

Plus, I had the elevating actuator fail on me after a number of years which was surprising; I suppose I got to realise that every power chair is made for certain price and perhaps components should not last stained use?

Programming Stumbling Blocks:

Like many wheelchair users, how a wheelchair is programmed (i.e. how a power wheelchair, handles is the key to being satisfied with it). In the TA IQ was no different.

It uses a modern controller as standard and so is easily programmed to an individual’s needs.

The R–NET controller standard is what many rehab wheelchair’s use now if you have multiple seating systems as I do.

1. Tilt/recline.
2. Elevate.
3. Electric, Elevating Foot Rests.
These features provide me with comfort during the day and are in fact essential seating functions for anyone spend the majority of the time in a power chair.

In the 5 years that I’ve had the chair I’ve covered 3078 km or 1912.58 miles.

With the new motors fitted now the wheelchair has a completely new or different kind of driving profile, it has now become much more responsive in the lowdown power band, which from a users point of view is very useful.

The only thing I lost with the upgrade was my powder coated orange wheel hub when I needed to get new ones but that’s not an endgame. At least with the TA IQ (which is the hospital funded wheelchair) I don’t need to worry about maintenance cost, as opposed to any other wheelchair which you self-funded yourself which I did in 2015 and bought a frontier V6 from Magic Mobility.

In conclusion I’m happy that I had the TA IQ because of its features and more specifically small turning circle and stylish looks, even after 5 years I still get many many positive comments from people who believe the wheelchair is pretty new.

I must acknowledge briefly the help and support of Mobility Solutions Limited, of Dunedin Otago here, there help, professionalism and friendly natures make for a stressfree situation if ever there is a problem. I know not everybody has access to good or reliable wheelchair repair services, but if you do have access to a good service team for your wheelchair it is definitely helpful.

TA review conclusion:

In conclusion, I think the TA has over these five years my needs well; although I wouldn’t automatically get another one as technology has evolved especially suspension systems and I would be eager to try another brand.

One advantage the TA has over other brands (especially for the New Zealand market) is a slight higher top speed compared to the market norm at the moment 12.5 km an hour as opposed to an average of about 10 km an hour for many other brands.

I found this incredibly handy, using top speed:

Getting home before the rain starts
sometimes crossing roads quickly (for safety)

Getting to appointments on time

I think with the rising costs of public transportation whether they be taxis buses or trains wheelchair users are particularly utilising the equipment more and going further because in real practical terms this does save money especially if money is scarce. So using your power wheelchair is really cost-effective and it saves you significant amounts of money other time.

I would recommend TA services wheelchair still two people; but with this caution you have to do it possible research into what this suits your needs that is important!