Abiliquip – A
Access Unlimited – F
Adapt Solutions – A
AMS Vans – C
AT Conversions – B
B&D Independence – B
Braun – F
Bruno – F
Colle Built – B
Craig Hospital Driving Program – D
Creative Controls/Creative Mobility Group/Armstrong Lifts/Performance Truck Caps – F
Crescent Industries – A
El Dorado – C
EMC – F
EZ Lock – B
FR Conversions – B
Freedman Mobility Seating – B
Freedom Mobility – D
Freedom Motors – F
Handicaps Inc – B
Harmar – C
Menox – B
MPD – C
MPS – B
NMEDA – D
Performance Mobility – C
Pride Mobility – B
Q’Straint – B
Ricon VMI – D
Rollx – B
Sure Grip – A
Tri Lift – B
TT Dynamics – B
VA Driving Program – F
Vocational Rehab – A

 


Abiliquip – A
Manufacturer of the unique Abiloader and based out of New Zealand. The Abiloader is an interesting piece of equipment that allows chair users a different option than a mini van.

Access Unlimited – F
Multiple equipment available. Very hard to deal with, overpriced – extremely, ridiculously, ludicrous lead times. They take your money in advance. Don’t compensate installers adequately. Seriously, do yourself a favor and go somewhere else.

Adapt Solutions – A
Multiple equipment available. Very easy to deal with, stand behind their products. Worked with them on a pre production version of the Link turning seat that had a problem after install. They paid to overnight a 300 pound pallet from Canada to get the customer going. Good products with customer service second to none.

AMS Vans – C
Wheelchair van conversions, sale of new and used vans. The vans are nicely done and less expensive than some of the alternatives. They allow you to have them repaired/serviced anywhere. Would recommend buying direct. Recently bought out by VMI, I would expect customer service to get worse. Grade would have been a borderline of B/C, but I used the lower because of the buyout.

AT Conversions – B
Converted trucks and SUV’s for wheelchair access. Very interesting, very neat. Would recommend buying direct if possible. They usually don’t have a large supply of 4wd in stock, which is a necessity here in CO. You can have these serviced/repaired pretty much anywhere, but they decide what they will pay. This means that if you take your brand new truck to a Chevy dealer or most any reputable mechanic for repairs, AT Conversions will not pay them a fair price and you will be stuck making up the difference.

B&D Independence – B
The most popular transfer seat in the industry. Good customer service and a product good enough that it’s rare to have a breakdown anyway. Recently bought out by Braun, I wouldn’t be surprised if these become harder to get and customer service goes way down. From personal experience they get a B.

Braun – F
First let me say that Braun products are as good as any out there. They receive an F purely because they make their products hard to get which helps keeps prices high, and they have the highest prices around. They are also one of only two manufacturers of full size lifts. Through careful collaboration with NMEDA, the sanctioning body, they were able to make it seem as if the full size lift in your personal vehicle is some kind of magical, high tech piece of equipment that can only be serviced by their own high priced dealers. Their same commercial lifts, virtually identical, found in many buses and transport vans can be serviced by anyone, just not your personal vehicle. They used to have a video out comparing their vans to the competition that was so outrageously misleading and untrue it was crazy. But, if you didn’t know any better you just might believe them. Dishonest.

Even if you have a ten year old van or more, they try to make it so you have to go to their dealer to get serviced. I tried twice to call their tech support for lifts I was repairing, both times commercial lifts. Both times they literally hung up on me when they found out I wasn’t their preferred dealer. Keep things hard to get, keep prices high. They deserve two F’s.

Also, when I very first opened, a customer came to me with a brand new Braun van he bought somewhere else. He didn’t like the dealer he got it from, so he wanted me to do the service. We called Braun together from my office and Braun told him that if I touched it the warranty is void. I didn’t do the research until a couple weeks later, but what they told him is illegal! The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act states that if a company insists you go to a certain place for service or repairs that those same service and repairs must be free. Not only that, if you do have your service done somewhere else or even not at all, they must prove that it is a direct result of the service done somewhere else, by you or not at all that caused the problem before denying your warranty. Also, they have to have detailed service standard available to anyone, which they do not. If you have a Braun van still under warranty, give them a call and ask if you can have it serviced somewhere else. If you can get them to tell you what they told me, and get it recorded, you just might get a free van.

Bruno – F
Manufacturer of scooter/wheelchair lifts, turning seats and other pieces of equipment. Very hard to deal with even before they were bought out by Braun. I had a charity donate several used lifts to help people out, Bruno wouldn’t even sell the brackets and adapters to install in other vehicles or use with different chairs. Everything they make is available from other manufacturers for better pricing, I would recommend you try one of them.

Colle Built – B
Modifiers of steering and braking components for low/zero effort as well as a couple other bits and pieces. Easy to deal with and very knowledgeable as they have their own mobility dealership as well. They didn’t get an A because they do use one NMEDA loophole to force you to buy equipment you don’t need in some cases.

Craig Hospital Driving Program – D
Craig Hospital is full of a lot of great and wonderful people that go out of their way to help, the people in the driving program aren’t among them. Seriously, I don’t know how any of them still have jobs.

They will tell you all these things that are against the law now that you are injured, when in fact they aren’t against the law at all, they just aren’t what they want. If there were laws that forced disabled people to do a certain thing, those laws, by definition, would be discriminatory. It’s against the law to discriminate against people with disabilities, therefore there are no such laws.

When I was in business they would tell people that I just didn’t have the experience to do many of the modifications, then they would tell you to go to one of the other two places in town. One of the other places, only in business a few months older than Dynamic, is owned by a veterinarian and a golfer. I am a lifelong mechanic, fabricator, engineer, gearhead. Ask yourself who is more qualified to modify your vehicle, a veterinarian and golfer or a mechanic, fabricator, engineer, gearhead? Now ask the driving instructors when is the last time the veterinarian or golfer took them to lunch or dinner? The answer will be quite clear as to why they send you to the least qualified. I would bet lunch and dinner isn’t the only reason they’re selling you out as well.

If they offer to set you up with a one on one with a vendor to go over different options, tell them no thanks. Ask them to show you what they want you to see on one of their own vehicles. They don’t bring these vendors in because it’s in your best interest, they bring them in because it’s in their best interest. If they really wanted you to have the best education, they would bring in all vendors at the same time and let you see all the options and look for the best deal. Again, they don’t want what’s best for you, they want what’s best for them.

The reason they get a D and not an F is because when they stick to driver training and not product sales they do a fine job. If you are a passenger only, you can find everything they will tell you by searching videos on youtube for a half hour. If you’re a para and only need hand controls, you should know that driving with hand controls is much easier than riding a motorcycle and riding a motorcycle isn’t hard. If you’re a quad and need special driving equipment this is where you need them the most. Just don’t let them try to tell you what to buy or where to buy it. Again, that’s what’s best for them, not for you.

Creative Controls/Creative Mobility Group/Armstrong Lifts/Performance Truck Caps – F
I’ll give it to them that the Armstrong lift is a decent product. I have never witnessed any company treating someone as badly as this group. Had one of their electric shifters in a highly modified van for a quad. It broke after only a couple of weeks leaving her stranded. I drove 1 ½ hours out of my way (one direction) to try and help only to find it was broke beyond an easy fix. Had to pay $300 to get her van towed to my shop. They would not pay the tow bill, not even help. I told them what was wrong with the shifter, they wanted me to run a bunch of tests anyway. After all the tests they determined the same thing I had already told them was wrong. They told me they’d send a replacement and it should be there in a week. I told them I needed it next day air, they said no. Told me they’d send it second day. They did send it second day, but shipped it several days later, so she was without her van over a week. They didn’t even send a new shifter, just a few parts to replace. Frustrating, but was the problem and I was able to get her going again.

A week later (one week!) I get a call from her, she is stuck in Wyoming and her shifter is broke. I spoke with her husband, handy guy, and tell him how to get the shift cable off the shifter to get them going. He isn’t able to figure it out, so I start heading to Wyoming on Saturday night. Luckily, her husband called me before I got too far and told me he was able to get it going. I went to their house (1 ½ hours away) Sunday and brought their van back to the shop. It was broke in a completely different manner than the first time. Told the multiple companies I wanted to return the unit and I wanted a complete refund. They told me they would look into this and I never heard from them again. Even when I called I was just put on hold and then disconnected. The only time they did call after that was to tell me they were going to charge me $500 for the warranty parts from the first repair since I didn’t return the bad ones. I let them know the parts are sitting here in my office and all they had to do was send a shipping company to come and get them. I wasn’t going to pay shipping for a company willing to leave a quad stranded….TWICE! I still have the broken parts and the entire shifter. I had to install a shifter from a different manufacturer at my own expense. Can’t give this group of companies a bigger F.

Crescent Industries – A
Manufacturer of high tech secondary controls. Secondary controls include turn signals, wipers, headlight and the like. Since every customer has different needs, these are all custom built per order, so there is a small delay in shipping. Even with that said, the wait is never that long. They are also open to any custom requests since these are all built to specific orders.


El Dorado – C
Manufacturer of wheelchair vans. Not bad vans, but they do make parts and service a little difficult and use limited dealers to keep prices high. You can buy direct from them and I recommend you go that route if this is what you want.

EMC – F
Manufacturer of high tech driving equipment. They make it very hard to get, forcing you to go to Performance Mobility, in order to keep pricing high. They have planned shut off times in their software insuring you will have expensive upkeep and that you won’t be able to use it after a while.

EZ Lock – B
Manufacturer of wheelchair lockdowns. Good product. Overpriced, but what isn’t in this industry.

FR Conversions – B
Manufacturer of wheelchair van conversions. They do a lot of commercial stuff and supply many taxi companies. Mini vans suitable for personal use if a rear entry is what you are after.

Freedman Mobility Seating – B
Manufacturer of folding seats for able bodied passengers that allow more room for wheelchairs to get by.

Freedom Mobility – D
Mobility dealer in the Denver area. I would recommend you go anywhere else. They are a perfect example of how greasing the right palms will get you far. Since Performance Mobility is the only other dealer in town I would recommend you go there.

If you want a perfect example of just how bad they can be all you need to do is look up their google reviews. Someone gave them a one star review. Instead of responding to that particular review, they create their own five star review bashing the one star review without providing any evidence of what they are claiming. What kind of low life gives themself a five star review to counter a one star review?

Freedom Motors – F
Manufacturer of rear entry vans. The vans are nice, they were among the best. Recently management changed and things are a little crazy. You can buy direct, but they recently hired sales reps, all over the country as far as I know. I know of at least one person that was charged new car prices for a four year old van. Also, they allow anyone to work on their vans, but they don’t always pay the vendor. When they do pay they don’t make it easy, meaning you’ll have to find somebody new to do your repairs every time as nobody works for free.

Handicaps Inc – B
Manufacturer of the Super Arm Lift and other various equipment. Lead times can be long, so plan ahead. Buy direct if you can.

Harmar – C
Manufacturer of wheelchair and scooter lifts. They also make home equipment, this review is of vehicle equipment only. The equipment if fine, a little expensive through a dealer. I recommend you buy online and have a friend, relative or small mechanic shop install for you. You can find it for much less if you search. Lot’s of used equipment available too. Very easy installation.

Menox – B
Manufacturer of floor mount hand controls and other driving aids. Quality stuff, but very expensive.

MPD – C
Manufacturer of hand controls and other driving aids. Equipment works fine. I have nothing great and nothing bad to report so they get a C.

MPS – B
Manufacturer of hand controls and other driving aids. In this area the most popular manufacturer. Fine product, hasn’t been updated in a long, long time. On the expensive side. They recently partnered with another company to come out with some updated products.

NMEDA – D
In my opinion, the worst thing to ever happen to people with disabilities and transportation. I didn’t give them an F because they are right, you should have some rules to guarantee safety. I could write an entire book on this subject, but I’ll keep it to a few paragraphs.

If you want to make things expensive you make them hard to get. You make them hard to get by making endless rules and regulations. NMEDA was started by a group of mobility dealers looking to make it hard for anyone to compete. Just look at the NMEDA board of directors. It’s made of the biggest dealers and manufacturers in the industry. Do you think the rules they come up with are to make you safe or to make you buy more of their overpriced equipment.

When getting out of the business I spoke with the new president of NMEDA, he came from the used car world. I told him I thought NMEDA wasn’t on the side of people with disabilities, but more worried about forcing people to buy expensive equipment at the places they tell them to buy it. I wish I was recording so I could give an exact quote, but this is basically his reply – People with disabilities have tons of organizations looking out for them. We’re not here for them, they don’t need us. We’re here for the dealers because without NMEDA there wouldn’t be anybody looking out for them. – Wow! That pretty much says it all.

The next time you’re complaining about high drug prices, just imaging how bad it would be if the drug companies not only had lobbyists, but the FDA were also the people selling you the drugs. NMEDA has lobbyists and they are made up of the people selling you driving equipment. The government would do a much better job regulating disabled driving equipment than NMEDA ever will.

Performance Mobility – C
Mobility dealer in the Denver area. I don’t have much personal experience with this group. I’ve met a few people that work there and they have all been nice. What I do know is that in my four years of business I never heard one good thing about them, not one. I don’t care who you are or how long your in business, sooner or later you’re going to make someone mad. But, to make as many people as I saw mad you really have to try. They were recently bought out by United Access so maybe things will change? I think if United Access was smart the would change the signs with Performance Mobility on them tomorrow and try to gain some respect from all these customers that were rubbed the wrong way.

I gave them a C because they do have the best selection in the business. Yes, this goes back to the whole, make it hard to get by only making it available in one place so you can make it expensive, deal that I really hate. But, for now, that’s the way it is.

Pride Mobility – B
Manufacturer of wheelchair and scooter lifts. They also make scooters, wheelchairs and home equipment. Generally less expensive than their competitors with good quality. Most items can be bought online.

Q’Straint – B
Manufacturer of wheelchair lockdowns and tiedowns. Very good equipment, most of which can be purchased from online vendors. Didn’t get an A because, like everything else, it’s overpriced.

Ricon VMI – D
Ricon and VMI are the same company. Ricon is the manufacturer of full size lifts and VMI is the wheelchair van conversion company. Both the full size lifts and the wheelchair vans are nice products. They receive a low grade because they go out of their way to make things hard to get, which helps to keep prices high.

Like the other manufacturer of full size lifts, they have a commercial line and a personal use line that are nearly identical. With the help of NMEDA regulations they make it much harder for you to get your lift serviced. Sad, but true.

One of the big two in wheelchair van conversions, they play the same game as the other member of the big two in making their vans hard to get, hard to get parts for and hard to get serviced all in a successful attempt to make them more expensive then they need to be.

Rollx – B
Manufacturer of wheelchair van conversions. Rollx only sells customer direct, no dealers, so they are usually a better pricepoint than the competition. Their vans are as nice as any of the others.

Because Rollx only sells direct many of the mobility dealers will not work on, maintain and sometimes won’t even install driver aids, like hand controls, into Rollx vans. Those mobility dealers aren’t satisfied that they will be paid for what they do, they are just upset that you didn’t buy a van from them.

The good thing with Rollx is that since they only sell direct, they are incredibly easy to get parts and information for. You can take your van to any mechanic and they can get whatever they need from Rollx to get you going again.

Sure Grip – A
Multiple equipment available, hand controls are their main product. Very easy to deal with and stand behind their products. The first company to come out with hand controls that utilize the electric gas pedal found in all newer cars. Always trying to improve their product instead of sticking with original design.

Other hand control manufacturers bashed them when they came out with the electric controls, saying it was a stupid idea. Now the other manufacturer are coming out with electric controls because it was an idea long overdue. I don’t know about the other manufacturers, but Sure Grip’s electric controls are only about $100 more than their standard controls. PS – most other manufacturers standard controls are more expensive than Sure Grip standard controls.

Tri Lift – B
Manufacturer of trailer hitch wheelchair carriers. More compact than other hitch carriers. Expensive for what they are, but competitive with other hitch carriers. I never had the chance to work with one of these, but have seen a few on the road, they look like they work well. I don’t think I would use them with a scooter that easily breaks down to multiple pieces.

TT Dynamics – B
Manufacturer of a wheelchair storage solution for crew cab pickups. I never worked with one of these, but did meet with the manufacturer and it looks like a well made product. Limited to full size pickups and manual wheelchairs.

VA Driving Program – F
This review is of the driving program only. Since this is taxpayer money, it should upset everyone. Like driving instructors from other institutions, they like to tell you what to get and where to get it from when they should just be teaching you how to use it. They want you to get stuff from whoever buys them the best lunches and who knows what else. For every veteran that gets an overpriced piece of equipment, another veteran loses out. Think about that one!

Vocational Rehab – A
If you’ve been sick or injured and need some of this equipment Vocational Rehab can be your best friend! They will pay for many different types of equipment depending on your needs. You will have to jump through their hoops. Best bet is to find someone that has been through the process and get them to help.

Unfortunately, most driving instructors know when Voc Rehab is paying and steer you to what’s best for them, not for you. Taxpayers take note.