Permobil, a company known for its world-leading standing chair the Permobil F5 VS, also boasts its own range of very high quality mid-wheel and front-wheel drive powerchairs. Denoted by the M for mid-wheel, and F for front-wheel the complete range includes the M1, M3, M5, F3, F5 and F5 VS. Typically you'll see the name of the powerbase alongside the seating system in use too - for example the M3 Corpus is a mid-wheel drive mid-range powerchair with Corpus seating. As you progress through the range expect the number of powered functions to increase, the size of the motors and batteries to improve and the seat raiser and forward reach to be higher/ further, among other features!
The Permobil F3 is a good all-rounder powerchair suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. Front-wheel drive systems are not popular in the UK still but are a growing market. Front wheel drive powerchairs are incredible hill climbers and for anyone anticipating needing to ascend grassy or muddy banks on a regular occasion would be foolish to overlook what front wheel driven chairs can do. Another often overlooked benefit of this wheelbase is the ability to approach furniture closely as a result of not having castor wheels in front. This makes opening manual doors, accessing cupboards or working from a standard office desk much simpler.
A smooth driving experience can be expected with ultra quiet motors ideal for indoor office environments. The motors are one of the quietest we've tested although those fitted to the Quantum Stretto possibly take the pole position. Flexlink suspension ensures all six wheels remain planted on the ground regardless of terrain while the quality of suspension is maintained at any seating position even with lift and tilt activated.
The F3 is capable of being fitted with a stability control system (often referred to as a gyroscopic module) which is ideal for those using special control systems but is probably not a must for everyday use. The maximum speed is 6mph on the F3 and as standard comes with 65Ah hybrid batteries (a Gel/ AGM combination) which can be upgraded to 85 Ah for those needing the extra range. Built to cope with Swedish winters, for anyone who lives in very rural areas and using the M3 for outdoor excursions predominantly may want to consider the Snow Pack with wider knobbly tyres!
Quality, reliability and good looks amount to little without an attached seating system capable of managing disabilities and clinical needs across a broad spectrum. Permobil are leaders in accommodating the more complex postures and seating requirements, especially given their access to the Roho seating systems which complement their Corpus range. The M3 and M5, along with the F3 and F5 can be fitted with technology seen exclusively on Permobil chairs. This 'active reach' system enables clients to safely reach forward without compromising their seating position or stability in the chair. Also known as negative/ anterior tilt the active reach system is an additional cost but when coupled with regular tilt, 'to floor' footplates and lift the F3 excels in areas of function and postural management competitors simply cannot compete with.
The Corpus seating system can achieve a true 'lie flat' position if required, alongside 50 degrees of tilt and 20 degrees of anterior tilt. With 12 inches of vertical rise with the seat lifter too the F3 Corpus system is fully customisable and with memory settings it can remember and locate to your preferred setup at the touch of a button. Fitted as standard is the R-NET control system and for the best experience consider the colour LCD screen. Not only does this enable the best overview of your powerchair functions but also enables quick access to those memory functions.
Special controls are possible too, whether it is quick access buttons, buddy buttons, head or chin controls or different types of joystick interfaces. Similarly to the Q500 and Q700 from Sunrise the chair control system can be used to manage environmental systems at home or in the office such as the TV, heating, lights or even curtains!
We have a wide range of powerchairs available for demonstration so if you'd like to book an assessment please get in touch.