All Terrain Track Chair (ATTC)
Imagine for a minute that you have lost all function in your legs, and muscle loss in your upper body…think of all of the things that you take for granted that you can no longer do without help from others…getting out of bed, walking to the bathroom, walking around the house, eating a meal, getting into your vehicle and driving to work. Yes, being in a decent wheelchair helps, but simply walking around outside isn’t a good option, as the rough terrain challenges even the best wheeled chair. Getting around outside in rougher terrain simply isn’t an option. Not being able to do something makes the desire that much stronger, and frustrating when there isn’t a way to make it happen.
I’d like to introduce you to my client, who contacted me to build him a vehicle to allow him to increase his mobility around his rural property. He has no physical muscle control from his armpits down, which confines him to an electric wheelchair all day. Since getting in/out of the chair requires assistance morning and evening, transferring out of his current chair and into an all-terrain wheelchair is not very attractive. There are current options on the market that are all-terrain, but you must get out of your current chair, and transfer to the all-terrain chair. That’s okay for someone with an amputated limb, but not so much for individuals with more limiting physical handicaps.
This is when my client contacted me through the website to see if I would be interested in building a special vehicle specific for his needs with many custom features and functions. After a several emails, and some phone calls, I knew he was serious, and he was confident in my capabilities to build what he wanted. I worked up a list of proposed features based on his feedback, and from there a quote proposal for the work. From there, my client made a down payment, and I got down to work.
Here’s brief summary of the features for his custom vehicle:
- Diesel engine, 35hp from a Bad Boy Mower
- Hydrostatic controls slaved to wireless control
- Rubber tracks
- Air ride suspension for the smoothest ride possible
- Wireless control for all major functions (see bottom of page)
- PTO output to drive a generator, pull-behind mower, or similar
- Massive winch (12,500 lbs) (see bottom of page)
- Secondary alternator & battery for redundant electrical system and direct feed of winch
- LED flood lights
- Ramp system with EZ Lock to dock his wheelchair into ramp & front flipper of ramp (see bottom of page)
- Flip down safety bar with shoulder straps for upper body support and restraint (see bottom of page)
- Full rollcage with enclosed cab for protection from low hanging trees and roll over protection (see bottom of page)
- Integrated safety built into functions to plan for worse case scenarios. (see bottom of page)
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March 25, 2017 Updates:
March 15, 2020 latest pictures, painted parts and starting final assembly:
Detailed information on functions
- Wireless Control functions
- Ignition ON/OFF
- Pre-Heat for glow plugs on Diesel Engine
- Parking Brake
- PTO clutch activation
- Ramp for Wheelchair, UP & Down
- Directional Control Joystick (Forward/Back, Left/Right)
- Winch details
- 12,500 lb winch located on the right rear of the machine. The nylon rope is routed so that a person can do a single line pull from the front that can go around a block & tackle and back to the machine to do a double line pull. It also can do a double line pull from the rear without having to do any re-routing of the nylon rope. Majority of the use will be using the front line setup, so that is optimized for use. To use the rear pull, only a single pin needs to be removed, and that block & tackle is pulled out and attached to an anchor or another vehicle.
- Front of vehicle has a winch anchor leg mechanism on each side that is deployed when winching from the front, and pulling out another stuck vehicle, or to pull branches, etc. These anchor legs deploy via electric actuators, and dig into the ground. Click HERE to see a video of the anchor legs deploying and retracting, and then HERE to see them in action during a front pull.
- More information on Safety Features
- Ramp Up/Down controls are on the Radio Control panel, and also mechanical switches inside of the cab enclosure and tied directly to main power. This ensures that in the case of Radio Control failure or malfunction that the ramp can still be lowered
- Front Ramp Flipper is a portion of the ramp that folds up to shorten the length of the ramp, and unfolds to increase the length of the ramp for a more gradual slope. This is actuated by 2 air cylinders, and is controlled by a solenoid slaved to a position switch based on position of the ramp. When the ramp raises past a certain point, then the switch activates the solenoid which provides air to the cylinders and then the fold. In the case of an emergency where total loss of power and air, there is a mechanical override switch to allow the front flipper to deploy without power or air, allowing the user to get out of the vehicle. Click HERE to see a video on this.
- Front windshield. This portion of the cab must open and close to allow enough room to get into/out of the vehicle. It is supported with dual gas springs, and activated with dual air cylinders that are slaved to the same solenoid as the front ramp flipper. The front windshield will automatically raise open in the case of total loss of power, and when the mechanical switch is cycled, allowing the user to get out, or get enough fresh air.
- Safety bar for restraint. This safety bar includes shoulder belts to restrain the user and limit upper torso movement. It is activated with a manual air switch that uses 2 air cylinders to open and close it. These also activate the locks to maintain the safety bar in a locked position during use. In the case of an emergency and a loss of air, the safety locks automatically release and the bar raises, ensuring that the user is not locked into the vehicle. Mechanical springs ensure that the safety bar raises by itself without air pressure. Click HERE to see a video on this.