Invacare TDX SP Review:


Wheelchair side View 2013



I think it was roundabout May 2010 that I took delivery of my current wheelchair (Invacare TDX SP). Previously I had owned the first generation of this wheelchair called a (TDX 5), which introduced many of the features that are grown accustomed to. When I received the TDX 5 in 2003 it was considered quite revolutionary for the time, having several safety features which becomes standard on every wheelchair that Invacare have produced ever since.

These were:

1. Sure Step (a method by which the front casters of the wheelchair move up or down an obstacle to enable the TDX to climb or descend successfully over it. There are two motors controlling the smaller front casters which enabled this to happen.

2. Stability Lock (a system which keeps the wheelchairs stable is weight is transferred forwards during motion of the wheelchair for example descending slope suddenly when movement occurs – this is meant to stop the wheelchair from tipping Forward).

3. True Track (this is a technology which keeps the TDX on a straight line trajectory regardless of the surface the wheelchair is going over). This is very useful especially on long trips the TDX 5 was the first wheelchair that I'm aware of that had this feature.

4. Brushless Motors (this motor was a step forward on what has existed for many years in wheelchair design, namely electric motors which used brushes. These brushless motors cause less resistance than the conventional ones, and enable you to go approximately 17% further on a battery charge.

Now we come to the wheelchair that replaces this one my current ride the' TDX SP (2010 Edition)

I needed this one because my seating situation changed somewhat (initially I was hoping that I would be able to put a new seating system on my existing wheelchair at the time TDX 5) but I was told after some investigation that this was impractical as the setting system I need it would not fit, so the only option left was to get a new Wheelchair)!

Much hope, was put on me receiving a' TDX SR' this didn't happen due to funding restraints, and that under their criteria I wouldn't unfortunately had been eligible for the top model.

This meant I went without the brushless motors which reduced my battery range by approximately 17 to 20%, which to you the reader might not sound like very much but in real terms it's quite a lot (it means going on a long trip and knowing that you will get home with some range to spare or not.

General Features

Ride

Honestly, I can say that this is the best ride of any wheelchair that I have owned, although I really think that they could have improved the general ride by including some additional suspension components around the seeding system. Being a mid-wheel drive chair the ride can be harsh over uneven ground at speed. This means in practice over rougher ground (gravel, small stones uneven muddy ground grass) a user has to be cautious otherwise they will be buffeted around a lot.

Seating Functions

The TDX SP has one major advantage over the previous model I mentioned that is:

– ELEVATING LEGREST'S
– TILT AND RECLINE SEATING SYSTEM

These two features alone, have given me more comfort and control then anything else! The major reason I had to change wheelchairs in the first place was to do with the lack of appropriate seating. With this system I can easily recline or tilt and with the elevating Legrest's it's very easy for me to change position.

Wheelchair Performance, (reliability and endurance).

The Wheelchair certainly does everything which it is supposed to do (within certain limits). If you venture too far off bitumen though and traction becomes an issue don't be too surprised. You have do exercise particular care was even slightly uneven terrain. While that chair does offer some safety aids which I alluded to before (Sure Step, G Track, and Stability Lock) don't expect these technologies to be your saving grace is the going gets a little rough.

You really have to use your own initiative after becoming familiar with the wheelchair's capabilities and technologies plus your own ability as to what you tackle. The TDX SP is powerful so in this reviewers opinion you need to be familiar with it as much as possible so that it and you can work together in tandem, without fear of the unknown taking over (translation, if you have doubts about tackling an area, and think once think twice and think again and give the answer you get is maybe, take somebody with you in case you get into trouble.

Conclusion

My experience with the TDX SP has mostly been positive, it does help having had experience with this brand of motorised wheelchair before having used Invacare wheelchair products since 1997 certainly does help. In my experience this is a solidly constructed motorised wheelchair which for the majority of people will work well. Do not expect that you'll be able to travel on sand or rough ground. The TDX SP and for that matter the bigger brother the SR are designed primarily for tar sealed foot paths/gravel.