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Hot Weather Safety When Using Your Mobility Scooter

With temperatures reaching above 30 degrees Celsius in the summer months, hot weather safety is important when using your mobility scooter. Too much exposure to the sun on hot days can raise your body temperature enough to cause heat exhaustion or heatstroke. In hot weather it is easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat. This can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If not treated immediately, heatstroke can result in permanent damage to your vital organs or even death. Extreme heat can also worsen existing medical conditions. For wheelchair and mobility scooter users, increased temperatures can make it more challenging to stay cool and comfortable.

Those at increased risk of heat-related illnesses:

  • 65+ years
  • Heart or respiratory disease or circulatory diseases
  • Diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness
  • Medications that may affect how your body reacts to heat
    • Allergy medicines
    • Blood pressure and heart medicines
    • Seizure medicines
    • Diuretics
    • Anti-depressants or anti-psychotics
  • Disability
  • Mobility
  • Overweight or obese

Plan

It is important to plan your trips and prepare ahead as the weather warms up into the summer months. Check the weather forecast. Ask your doctor if you have any health conditions that could place you at greater risk of heat-related illness and how to best manage these conditions in hot weather. Plan your trips for the cooler times of the day. Take a mobile phone with you to call a friend or family member if you need assistance.

Maintenance

Ensure the batteries for your mobility scooter are fully charged and your mobility scooter is regularly serviced.

Shade

Our awning is very popular in the summer months. It’s extra-wide, giving you the extra protection required on those sunny days. Staying in the shade helps to keep your body cool and prevent heat-related illness. Check the UV alerts and use sunscreen to prevent sunburns. Eat smaller, cold meals, such as fruit and salads to help keep you cool and assist in hydration.

Other important things to consider include:

  • Keep out of the heat as much as possible
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Carry a bottle of water with you
  • Eat small meals more often
  • Eat cold food like salads and fruit
  • Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Take with you a handheld and/or misting fan
  • Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibres
  • Cover parts of your body that may come in contact with hot areas of your scooter
  • Wear a hat and put on sunscreen
  • Apply a damp cloth to your neck and other pressure points on your body
  • Never leave animals alone on a mobility scooter
  • Ensure animals have water and plenty of shade
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast
  • Know who to call if you need help
  • Talk to the doctor about how the heat might affect you.
  • If you feel unwell, seek medical advice from your doctor or nearest hospital.
References and more information: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hot-weather-risks-and-staying-cool https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/emergencies/looking-after-yourself/heatwaves-and-hot-weather https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/emergencies/looking-after-yourself/how-to-prepare-for-a-heatwave https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/goodliving/posts/2018/01/keeping-cool-efficiently https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/stay-healthy-in-heat.aspx https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hot-weather-risks-and-staying-cool  https://www.lifemobility.com.au/news/5-tips-keeping-cool-wheelchair-or-motor-scooter  https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/how-to-cope-and-stay-safe-in-extreme-heat
Hot Weather Safety When Using Your Mobility Scooter2020-01-30T11:11:37+10:00

Can mobility scooters go up hills?

Mobility scooters can go up hills depending on the climbing grade of the particular model. There are a range of maximum climbing grades available with our mobility scooters from 14 to 20 degrees. We want you to be able to access all your favourite locations in your local area. Assessing your needs enables us to match you will the best mobility scooter to meet your needs.

Maximum Climbing Grade

The Summit K2 has a maximum climbing grade of 14 degrees. Our TG100R pull apart mobility scooter has a maximum climbing grade of 8 degrees. Our TG400R deluxe, TG400RS luxury, TG600RS terrain response and TG900RS modern mobility scooter models have a climbing grade of 15 degrees.

The maximum climbing grades of our mobility scooters enable you to travel around most locations. If you are unsure if a mobility scooter will be able to access a location in the North Queensland region give us a call. We provide free in home demonstrations so you can try out some of our range of models to see if they meet your needs. Accessing your local area and needs enables us to provide you with a mobility scooter which will be the best match to meet your needs.

Motor Power

The motor power of your scooter also plays a role in navigating hills on your mobility scooter. The TG400RS deluxe has a 950w motor, the TG600RS terrain response has a 1400w motor and the TG900RS modern mobility scooter has a 1800w motor which are great in hilly suburbs.

Free In-home Demonstrations

Contact us today for our free, no obligation, in-home demonstrations in and around the Townsville region. Or if you are living anywhere in the North Queensland region give us a call and see what we can do for you. We can always drop by and show you some of our most popular models for sale. So, what happens at a demonstration? Firstly, we talk about your requirements to understand more about where you want to travel, how far you wish to go and what are the conditions of where you are going. This ensures we can match the right scooter for you.

Can mobility scooters go up hills?2020-01-30T11:30:13+10:00

How far will a mobility scooter go?

One of the important considerations when choosing a mobility scooter to meet your needs is how far the scooter can travel per charge. You may only need to travel a block down to the shops and back. Or you may want to be able to roam around the shopping centre for hours while you shop. You may want to travel across town to visit the beach, the river or a park. Or you might want to navigate across suburbs to visit a friend or family member. Wherever you want to travel and use your mobility scooter considering the range per charge enables you to travel to your destination and return home safely.

Calculating Distance

Using printed or online maps you can calculate the distance to and from your destination. Keeping your mobility scooter fully charged between uses and regularly maintained enables you to get the full usage capabilities from your mobility scooter.

Range Per Charge

The TG100R pull apart mobility scooter range per charge is up to 18km. Our TG400R deluxe mobility scooter has a range of up to 35km per charge. The TG400RS luxury mobility scooter can go up to 40kms per charge and the Summit K2 can travel 45km per charge. Our TG600RS terrain response mobility scooter can travel up to 45km per charge and the TG900RS modern mobility scooter has the longest range per charge of up to 75km.

Battery Maintenance

Several factors affect the range of your mobility scooter including battery maintenance. For the best care of your batteries we recommend that you charge your mobility scooter between every use. If you are away leave your scooter on charge to ensure the batteries are maintained while you are away.

How far will a mobility scooter go?2020-01-30T11:31:04+10:00

Finance & Insurance for Your Mobility Scooter

Finance & Insurance for your scooter

Finance options

Providing a range of finance options:

  • Most of our customers can access an interest-free loan with 50% deposit
  • HummFinance (Certegy Pay), NDIS, DVA & My Aged Care
  • EFTPOS and Direct Debit facilities available

At Big Mike’s we can help you find your independence and freedom today by offering zero interest mobility scooter finance with no hidden fees, ever! Since we provide the scooter finance ourselves, there’s no finance company and no credit checks.

To receive your new mobility scooter, you’ll just need to pay a 50% deposit and the remaining 50% will be paid over 12 monthly repayments, with a minimum of $100/month.

For example, if your scooter cost is $2,400 then the deposit is $1,200 and you’ll pay 12 payments of $100/month, that’s it! If you’d like mobility scooter finance on your new mobility scooter, please contact us today.

Insurance

We highly recommend that you insure your scooter, and there are several good options out there including Blue Badge, RACQ etc. Happy to assist, if required, once you have made your insurance choice. Insurance protects you against:

  • Theft
  • Accident
  • Third party personal injury, and can be arranged for international travel

Getting Started

Our great friendly staff at Big Mike’s are always available to answer any questions you have about mobility scooters. Committed to helping you find the right scooter at the right price and assist you to test drive and see what is right for you. We are also available to provide any after sales service you may need – whether it’s for some new accessories or your routine service or repairs.

How can Big Mike’s assist you?

At Big Mike’s, we have a large range of mobility scooters to suit all needs and preferences – you can check them out at one of our showrooms. The best way to figure out which scooter best fits your specific needs is to have a chat with one of our staff. Priding ourselves in what we do and the products and service we provide. We believe we are the best in North Queensland and we think you will believe the same after you have come to see us.

Finance & Insurance for Your Mobility Scooter2020-01-30T11:40:18+10:00

Why Buy a Mobility Scooter? What are the benefits?

Why Buy a Mobility Scooter?

Mobility scooters are about taking your freedom back and taking your life back, whether that be
something as simple as getting out of the house, or as exciting as international travel. And it’s one
thing above all else: empowerment. Everything we do at Big Mike’s is about just that, giving you,
our customer, the freedom and life that you deserve to have. We are not your ordinary everyday
scooter sales company, we are life charges, freedom givers and most of all a group of people
that care.

Here are some great reasons people buy mobility scooters:

• CONVENIENCE

Mobility scooters are a great way to get around – whether you’re running errands,
going to the local shops, visiting family and friends or just getting around your home
or neighbourhood. They can help you stay active and independent so you can keep doing
all the things you enjoy every day.
• Can be used indoors and outdoors
• Great for both short and long distances

• VALUE FOR MONEY

Many people switch to using mobility scooters because they provide a safe, affordable
and easy alternative to getting around:
• No license is required
• No registration costs
• Cheap to run
• Great for travel on a plane, cruising, or down to the shops

• INDEPENDENCE

Electric mobility scooters give you independence from others to help you get out and about
in your local area – or even further afield if you use a portable scooter.
• No more taxis
• No more buses
• No more dependence on family or friends

At Big Mike’s we are here to put the fun back into your life.

HOW CAN BIG MIKE’S ASSIST YOU?

At Big Mike’s, we have a large range of mobility scooters to suit all needs and preferences – you
can check them out at one of our showrooms. The best way to figure out which scooter best fits
your specific needs is to have a chat with one of our staff. We pride ourselves in what we do and
the products and service we provide. We believe we are the best in North Queensland and
we think you will believe the same after you have come to see us.

Why Buy a Mobility Scooter? What are the benefits?2020-01-30T11:47:34+10:00

Your Questions About Mobility Scooters Answered

Frequently asked questions answered about mobility scooters

Here are some questions we typically get asked:

How much do they cost?

Brand new scooters have a price range of around $1,500 to $9,000. Second hand ones are cheaper. Give us a call at Big Mike’s or come into one of our showrooms for a friendly chat and see our great scooter range. All our new scooters come with a full 12 months warranty and your first service is free. Or come look at our second hand, fully refurbished scooters which all come with 3 months warranty and also the first service is free as well.

Do I need a license?

No, you do not need a licence.

Do I need to register my scooter?

If you live in Queensland, yes – it’s free. Other states do not require registration. Here at Big Mike’s we will assist you in your registration process, once again making your new scooter purchase hassle free and enjoyable.

Can I drive on the road?

Yes, but if there’s a good footpath then you have to use it. The law deems a scooter driver to be a pedestrian, so the rules are the same for both. We don’t recommend you driving your scooter down the middle of the road either.

What about hills?

Some scooters can climb very steep hills, others can’t. It’s important to choose a scooter that fits the terrain. Our friendly staff at Big Mike’s will assist you in making the right choice for your scooter.

Are there weight limits?

Yes, every scooter has its own weight limit. These are typically between 100 – 160kg, but can be as high as 225kg. Terrain must also be taken into account. Is it hilly or flat where you want to use it?

3 wheels or 4 wheels?

The turning circle of 3 wheel scooters is a lot better, but some people feel that scooters with 4 wheels offer greater stability. In reality, each is about as stable as the other.

Can I take it on a plane or boat?

Fold up portable scooters are available at Big Mike’s and we can help you with making the right choice. Some scooters can be taken on a plane provided the battery is less than 300 w/h. The battery must be removed and taken on board as hand luggage. Our friendly staff at Big Mike’s can show you how easy this is. Most cruise ships welcome folding portable scooters.

Your Questions About Mobility Scooters Answered2019-10-15T13:00:47+10:00

Safety & Maintenance For Your Mobility Scooter

Safety & Maintenance

Our service technicians and staff at Big Mike’s will go over your new scooter in great detail with you upon delivery of your new scooter. And should you ever be unsure about something on your scooter or just want to brush up again, either give us a call or come and see us at one of our showrooms and we are always happy to assist you.

Road Rules

Mobility scooter users are classified as pedestrians. This means you can go anywhere a pedestrian can go including footpaths, shopping centres, and nature strips. But that also means that you should:
• Use pedestrian crossings or lights where possible
• Try to stay on footpaths
• Only use the road when absolutely necessary
• Be aware of other pedestrians around you

Safe Use

Scooters are mostly intuitive to use, but in case you’re having some trouble, we are there to help. At Big Mike’s we offer a comprehensive training session when the scooter is delivered, and we provide you with a certificate of competency once you have been trained. Some common issues that arise include:
• Stopping and starting on hills
• Navigating ramps and gutters
• Maintaining good visibility
• Knowing the limits of the scooter

Maintenance

We recommend you service your scooter, usually at least once a year, but depending on how often you use it and how gently you treat it. At Big Mike’s, these tune-ups usually take an hour or less and can be done in your home or you are welcome to have it done at one of our showrooms and enjoy a great coffee or cup of tea whilst you wait for it. Our scooters come with a comprehensive Owner’s Manual that gives a good overview on how and when to look after your scooter for maximum performance.

Batteries

Keeping the charge of your batteries topped up means they last longer. Both the charger and batteries come with your scooter. If you get a lot of use out of the scooter, you will need to replace the batteries after 2 years, provided you charge them each time after use. So make sure you factor in a charging point that’s convenient and easily accessible. It’s always important to make sure the batteries are matched to the scooter and to the charger. Using the wrong batteries or charger will reduce range and life, and may damage the electronics. At Big Mike’s we not only sell the scooters but also the correct batteries of your scooter as well.

Theft

While rare, theft of mobility scooters does happen, particularly from the home or shopping centre. A few things to keep in mind:
• Use a chain, u-lock, padlock or immobiliser when the scooter is not in use
• The steering on many scooters can be locked. Use this feature if possible
• Always remove the ignition key
• Make sure you know the serial number of the scooter (At Big Mike’s we keep a record of your scooter and can always assist you with this, should you require)

How can Big Mike’s Assist You?

At Big Mike’s, we have a large range of mobility scooters to suit all needs and preferences – you can check them out at one of our showrooms. The best way to figure out which scooter best fits your specific needs is to have a chat with one of our staff. We pride ourselves in what we do and the products and service we provide. We believe we are the best in North Queensland and we think you will believe the same after you have come to see us.

Safety & Maintenance For Your Mobility Scooter2020-01-30T12:14:04+10:00

Choosing a mobility scooter | 5 main things to consider

There are 5 main things to consider when it comes to choosing a mobility scooter.

Use

This one is the most important. What do you want to use your scooter for? Some scooters are large and powerful. They’ll get you up and down hills to the shops and back. Others are small, manoeuvrable, and highly portable. They work better inside, or on gentle slopes, and can easily fit in the boot of your car and even on aeroplanes or cruise ships.

Distance

Scooters have a travel range from 10km to approximately 60km, depending on the size of the scooter, the terrain, payload, and batteries. So make sure you are clear on your travel plans before deciding on your scooter.

Body Type

Different body sizes and shapes work better with different scooters. Whether it is leg room, the positioning of the controls, or the power of the motor and sturdiness of the frame, your body type influences your scooter choice.

Budget

Mobility scooters range from the very cheap (a few hundred dollars for an old, used scooter) to more expensive (over $8,500 for the absolute deluxe builds). And of course, it’s ‘horses for courses’ with scooters, just like most things you buy.

Personal Preference

Style, comfort, colour and design, are all considerations. People love different things, and that’s what makes it all so much fun. You can choose from the snazzy to the unobtrusive, from the vintage to the minimalist. Then have a laugh about it when you turn heads at the shopping centre in your scooter that looks like a Rolls Royce.

How can Big Mike’s assist you?

At Big Mike’s, we have a large range of mobility scooters to suit all needs and preferences – you can check them out at one of our showrooms. The best way to figure out which scooter best fits your specific needs is to have a chat with one of our staff. We pride ourselves in what we do and the products and service we provide. We believe we are the best in North Queensland and we think you will believe the same after you have come to see us.

Getting Started

Our great friendly staff at Big Mike’s are always available to answer any questions you have about mobility scooters. We are committed to helping you find the right scooter at the right price and assist you to test drive and see what is right for you. We are also available to provide any after sales service you may need – whether it’s for some new accessories or your routine service or repairs.

Choosing a mobility scooter | 5 main things to consider2019-10-02T08:32:47+10:00

Before you get onboard public transport

What you need to know before boarding public transport

Public transport operators have spent time and money to make
many of their vehicles and services accessible for people with a
mobility impairment.

Before you start travelling onboard public transport with a wheelchair
or mobility scooter, it is a good idea to be aware of your rights and
responsibilities.

Do your homework

If you have never taken your wheelchair or mobility scooter on public
transport before, do some research before you leave home.

Make sure your wheelchair or mobility scooter is public transport
friendly and meets the Transport Standards.
If you have specific concerns or questions about travelling on public
transport, discuss them with the transport company.

Practise before you need to travel

Consider taking your wheelchair or mobility scooter on public
transport just to learn how to get around, before you need to
get somewhere.

For example, you may wish to travel during off-peak on buses,
trains, trams and ferries for your first few journeys, especially if you
are uncertain about how you will go. There will be fewer people
onboard and you will have more time and space to learn how to use
your wheelchair or mobility scooter.

If you are new to travelling by train, or want to refresh your travelling
skills, Queensland Rail runs quarterly Rail Safety and Orientation
Days. At these events, Queensland Rail staff are on hand to take
you through a station and stationary train in a relaxed and controlled
environment.

You will have an opportunity to learn about the variety of accessibility
features found across the City network, practice boarding,
disembarking, moving through the carriage and ask questions of
station staff and train crew. For more information about Rail Safety
and Orientation Days, email communityengagement@qr.com.au

Plan each journey

It is a good idea to plan ahead when wanting to travel on public
transport. Many services are accessible for passengers travelling
with wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but some are not.

If you are booking an accessible taxi, you should plan ahead and
pre-book your taxi. Make sure you let the booking company know
that you require an accessible taxi as these bookings must be given
priority over general bookings.

If you are at a taxi rank, and a rank marshal is present, accessible
taxis can be requested via radio, if there isn’t one waiting. A vacant,
on duty taxi (usually indicated by the hail light turned on) may be
hailed at any time; however the driver must not disregard the road
rules to pull over to accept the fare.

The Transport Standards require response times for accessible
taxis bookings to be the same as for other taxis. The department
publishes information it receives from taxi companies about waiting
times on its website at www.tmr.qld.gov.au.

Queensland Rail does not require advance notice of your plans if
you intend on travelling on the City network.

If you are planning to travel on Queensland Rail’s long distance
Traveltrain services, contact their Customer Care Centre on
1800 TRAINS (872 467) to discuss travel requirements.

If you are using G:link trams on the Gold Coast, you do not need to
provide advance notice of your journey.

If you’re planning to travel by other modes of public transport
such as buses and ferries, and you have specific travel needs or
particular questions, play it safe and raise them with the transport
operator before travelling.

If you give the operator time to plan ahead, they will be better
prepared to assist you and ensure you have a safe and comfortable
journey.

Credit: Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters | Department of Transport and Main Roads © The State of Queensland (Department of Transport and Main Roads) 2017  http://creative commons.org/licences/by-nd-sa/2.5/au TMRWMS updated February 2017
Before you get onboard public transport2019-09-24T11:28:31+10:00

Queensland road rules for using a wheelchair or mobility scooter

The Queensland road rules

A person with a mobility impairment who uses a wheelchair or mobility scooter is considered to be a pedestrian under the Queensland road rules.

By law, wheelchairs or mobility scooters used by people with a mobility impairment can go anywhere a pedestrian can go, such as footpaths, shopping centres and nature strips.

Road rules that apply to pedestrians also apply to wheelchair and mobility scooter users. These are:

Footpaths: Wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be used on footpaths, bicycle paths, shared paths and nature strips (such as grass verges between the footpath and the road). Footpaths must be used wherever possible to avoid riding on the road.

On the road: You must not use your wheelchair or mobility scooter on the road in the same way as a car.

A wheelchair or mobility scooter can only be taken on the road if there is no footpath, pathway or nature strip available, and only where a pedestrian is allowed to walk.

If you do need to use the road, stay as close as possible to the side of the road, and travel in the opposite direction to traffic so you have good visibility.

If you need to cross a road, always cross at the safest possible point. Use pedestrian crossings, traffic lights or refuge islands if available. You must obey all traffic signals intended for pedestrians.

Safety tips on footpaths and roads

  • Travel at a speed suitable to the conditions.
  • Use streets with footpaths or other off-road pathways, where possible.
  • Try to avoid hilly routes if an alternative route is available because these use more power and may be more difficult to navigate safely.
  • Make turns slowly.
  • Approach ramps and kerbs head-on.
  • Be careful around parked cars.
  • Be aware that your smaller size often makes you less visible.
  • If you have a battery power gauge, be mindful that the second half of the battery is drained more quickly than the first half. As visibility on roads and paths is often poor at night, try and make sure pedestrians and motorists can see you.
  • Wear brightly coloured clothes.
  • Display a white light at the front, a red light at the back and reflectors for times when there is less daylight.

For more information, read the ‘Help Cut Mobility Scooter Accidents’ booklet by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, available at www.productsafety.gov.au (and searching for ‘help cut mobility scooter accidents’).

Maintenance

You should keep your wheelchair or mobility scooter in good repair and do maintenance regularly. Before each trip, check it over:

  • Is it in safe working order?
  • Are the tyres pumped up?
  • Are the brakes functioning properly?
  • Are all the lights and indicators working?
  • Is your battery fully charged?

If you have a motorised device, make sure the battery is fully charged. A flat battery can make it difficult to climb a ramp and board public transport unassisted. As well, a flat battery may leave you stranded.

Breakdown recovery

RACQ offers an Emergency Wheelchair Breakdown Service throughout Queensland if you do break down and some retailers offer a ‘recovery’ service when you buy a mobility device from them.

Credit: Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters | Department of Transport and Main Roads © The State of Queensland (Department of Transport and Main Roads) 2017  http://creative commons.org/licences/by-nd-sa/2.5/au TMRWMS updated February 2017  
More Information
Queensland road rules for using a wheelchair or mobility scooter2019-09-19T12:13:01+10:00