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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Wheelchair Terminology Explained

Bucket:
This describes the seat angle where the angle can be measured by checking the difference between front seat floor height and back seat floor height. If the front seat floor height is 20 inches and back seat floor height is 17 inches then the bucket would be 3 inches.

Wheelchair Camber:
Depending on the wheelchairs frame the angle present on rear wheels is called the camber. In cases where back wheels are parallel to frame of the wheelchair camber will be zero degrees. If there is an angle facing the frame then there is a camber element and the figure will be calculated in degrees. The camber ranges from 1 degree to as much as 20 degrees in the case of sports chairs. Typically most wheelchairs have cambers ranging between 1 and 5 degrees. Higher cambers get used in cases of sports wheelchairs.

Higher cambering facilitates faster turning of the wheelchair and offers more stability laterally which can be useful on undulating pavements. Higher cambers also mean better tilting backwards and a wider base under the back wheels. This means difficulty in moving through narrow areas. Each 2 degree increase in camber means 1 inch increase in base size. Negative cambering means back wheels are placed angularly moved away from wheelchair frame. This has negative effects.

Wheelchair Castors;
These refer to the front wheels of the wheelchair. These have smaller sizes compared to the back wheels and come in various widths called footprints and circumferences. The smaller the size and narrower the castors are the higher is the chair's maneuverability but can be difficult riding through rough areas.

Rigid Framed Wheelchair:
This refers to wheelchairs which cannot be folded conventionally. Instead the back wheels are detached and backrest gets folded. The rigid framed wheelchairs represent better maneuverability and have a lighter weight compared to foldable chairs.

Lightweight Wheelchair:
These describe most wheelchairs that have lighter weight that government manufactured wheelchairs. Initially the term was coined to describe newer lighter wheelchairs that facilitated easy pushing. However, today it symbolizes the weight needed to lift up the wheelchair to shift to a vehicle.

Transit Wheelchair:
These wheelchairs have small sized rear wheels and restrict the occupant from turning the wheelchair himself. These are lighter in weight and can be stored easily but traveling over bigger kerbs means difficulty for the attendant.

Self Propelling Wheelchair:
These have larger rear wheels measuring 20 to 27 inches in diameter. These allow the occupant to maneuver the wheelchair him/herself. Most of the varieties allow the person to be removed from the chair with a release pin on the middle of the wheels which uses a push button mechanism.

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