I struggle to push up hills. I don’t always go out with someone who is able to push me and I like being able to go out independently without tiring.
I went to an expo and saw power assist options. I liked the idea of the SmartDrive by Max Mobility because I could use my manual wheelchair, didn’t have to make permanent changes and attach the power assistant device. I did already have a power chair but I find it big, bulky and it would make me lazy.
Weight: approx. 4kg
Size: Arm band is a medium watch size. It’s bulky.
Box Contents: Smart Drive Battery, Arm bands (varying sizes), battery for arm band, 2x chargers, operating manual
Putting Smart Drive to the test
I was keen to try Smart Drive. I first had a weeks trial and then decided to buy my own.
Attaching the Smart Drive
Make sure the battery is fully charged and securely attached before use.
A small attachment is securely put on the bar under my wheelchair. This is what the main SmartDrive handle will attach to.
The SmartDrive is lifted and placed on the attachment. It won’t move if it’s securely attached.
The arm band can be worn like a normal watch. I wear it on my less dominate right hand.
Pushing a wheelchair with Smart Drive attached
The batteries can be turned off. When the batteries are turned off then I just push my manual wheelchair as per usual.
To use the Smart Drive turn on both the battery and the arm band. Give it a good push and you will feel the battery activate. Your wheelchair will continue to roll. When you want to stop then just tap off.
I recently upgraded my SmartDrive to the push tracker. The double tap function appealed to me after countless times of accidentally tapping off when going up a hill.
I would highly recommend the SmartDrive if you spend a lot of time in hilly areas. The Smart Drive has helped me conquer hills independently. It’s also less work to push my wheelchair meaning I can push greater distances without tiring.
The SmartDrive is heavy. I find it heavy to pick up, attach and take off my wheelchair. I do also feel the extra weight attached to my wheelchair. I find it’s difficult to attach when I’m seated in my wheelchair. I can easily attach when I am seated on my bed.
Before you go ahead and buy it I would recommend a trial to work out if this is the best power assistance option for you. It does take time to work out how to use the Smart Drive.