Top Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Wheelchair Van
You've made the investment in a BraunAbility Entervan or Rampvan. You're getting where you need to go in an accessible vehicle that offers the best in convenience, safety and style. So how can you make sure you're doing everything you can to get the most out of your investment?
We asked Dan Walsh, Service and Production Manager at Bussani Mobility, to share some of his best tips for making sure your wheelchair van goes the distance.
1. Use It - Letting a vehicle sit around can be just as harmful as excessive use. So many times, I've had to tell owners of a three-year-old wheelchair van with under 10,000 miles that it needs new tires or hoses or gaskets, all due to dry rot. Keeping your vehicle on the move helps slow down corrosion. The last thing we want is to see your investment waste away.
2. Regular Maintenance - Keeping up with your scheduled maintenance is as important to your conversion as oil is to your engine. A good mobility dealer will look into proper lubricants, alignment, and most important, upgrades.
3. Find a Service Facility You Trust - Don't go to just any service facility. Trust your instincts. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. I've always been an advocate of keeping your mobility product with a certified mobility dealer, but I recommend holding your service facility to task on quality repairs. If all else fails, I'll come get your vehicle!
4. Understand Your Manual Overrides - Let's face it, problems will occur. Whether it's a mechanical problem or a minor accident, you need to know how to handle the situation. Your wheelchair accessible vehicle is equipped with manual overrides to allow you to deploy the ramp when there's a mechanical problem. Knowing how to use that system will make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a complete frustration.
5. Trade It! - Spending money on any vehicle is inevitable, whether on repairs or a loan payment. In my opinion, money is best spent on maintaining the value of your possession. One way to do this is by trading in your mobility vehicle for a newer product while the value is still high, instead of just driving it into the ground. If staying mobile is the name of the game, try to do it in a reliable, warranted vehicle.
Thanks for the advice, Dan! If any other customers or dealers have tips to share, please do! We all know a quality accessible vehicle is a necessity, not a luxury. Are you doing all you can to make sure it's there for you when you need it most?
Dan Walsh has served as the Service/Production Manager for Bussani Mobility in Bethpage, New York for the past five years. In this position he supervises new vehicle production and oversees complete service needs of both OEM and conversion vehicles. Dan is responsible for reconditioning used vehicles and maintaining the dealership's sales and rental fleets. He oversees all auto-body estimates and repairs, as well as purchasing from part vendors. Dan hires all service-related positions, from mechanics to porters to drivers, and manages the dealership's 24-hour emergency service.