Is a three or four wheel scooter best for your needs?
Four wheel scooters have the advantage of being more stable than three wheelers. This could be a consideration for those who regularly traverse rough terrain. However, when driven within the manufacturers recommendations, three wheel scooters should not tip. The vast majority of owners experience no stability issues.
Four wheel scooters are very well suited to long outdoor trips, where range and comfort are imperative.
Three wheel scooters are far more manoeuvrable than four wheelers. They generally have much smaller turning circles, making them ideal for indoor use; in the home, at the shops or on public transport.
Another advantage three wheel scooters have is the additional foot room either side of the centre front wheel, making them more comfortable for taller users.
Much like the power of a car’s motor determine its speed and acceleration, so too the power rating of an electric motor governs the performance of an electric vehicle. Power is measured in Watts and the higher this rating, the quicker the scooter will be. In the same way a car with a high power motor will use more petrol, a scooter with a high power electric motor will consume more electricity (Amps).
Battery capacity (Amp Hours) is a measurement of how much energy is stored in the unit. The higher the Amp Hours, the longer a battery will be able to deliver power to a motor. In general terms, high power scooters require higher capacity batteries to achieve equal distance and range.
Determine the maximum distance the scooter will be required to travel. The farther the distance, the larger the batteries needed. Battery capacity (measured in Amp Hours) govern how long the battery will operate. The larger the Amp Hour, the bigger the physical dimensions of the battery will be. Many smaller scooters have the ability to store larger batteries, but almost all scooters have a limit. In general terms, the larger the scooter, the farther it can travel.
Terrain plays an important part of your decision making process. If your scooter will be used exclusively on flat indoor surfaces a model with a low power motor will be adequate. Alternatively, if you require the scooter to traverse steep hills it would be necessary to select a unit with a high power motor. Remember the power rating of a motor (measured in Watts) dictates the speed and acceleration capabilities of the scooter. Battery capacity (measured in Amp Hours) govern how long the battery will operate. If the footpaths and roads in your neighbourhood are uneven and bumpy, a scooter with suspension and pneumatic (pump-up) tyres is recommended. An advantage of solid tyres is they are puncture proof. However, they can provide an uncomfortable ride on rough surfaces.
With a shorter wheelbase and a smaller turning circle, a three wheel scooter will be far more manoeuvrable than a four wheel model. Many four wheel scooters are inappropriate for indoor use, particularly on public transport or in shops with narrow aisles. If the primary use of a scooter is indoor, three wheel models are recommended.
Taller and heavier users may not feel comfortable on smaller model scooters. It’s recommended that heavier users purchase larger scooters with higher power motors that have the appropriate performance. Every scooter has a specified Maximum Weight Capacity which should be adhered to ensure the warranty is not voided. Taller users often favour three wheel scooters given the additional leg room when compared to their four wheel counterparts.
If you intend to transport your motorised mobility device in a car, careful consideration should be given to its size. Several products are available which can be dismantled into three or four components for easy storage in a vehicle. Larger scooters cannot easily be transported in a car without the use of a ramp or vehicle hoist.
Electrical componentry is not suited to excessive exposure to wet conditions. In order to maximise the life of your scooter it’s recommended that it be stored indoors. If this is not possible, ensure your scooter is stored under a carport or other shelter and that a rain cover is fitted. A BBQ cover often does the job. Remember that when your scooter is not in use, it should have the charger plugged in to the outlet. This will preserve the life of your batteries.