This inventor’s son inspired him to help the disabled resume active lives – outdoors!
It’s half-wheelchair, half-ATV! And it’s changing the lives of previously-active people, by helping them go back to the things they enjoy. It’s called the Action TrackChair, and it’s the brainchild of a man who’s spent most of his life selling action sports products.
The inventor is Tim Swenson, a mild mannered businessman from Marshall, Minnesota who saw a son, Jeff, and a son-in-law paralyzed by accidents.
“Being in the motorsports business, I started putting two and two together,” he said. The thought kept going through his mind, “How can we put tracks on a wheel chair? How can we make something go where Jeff would like to go?”
So Swenson looked to his industry and borrowed ideas from wheelchairs, all-terrain vehicles and snow mobiles. What he created was a brand new vehicle: The Action Trackchair. It’s a purpose-built, high-traction, off-road wheelchair that can climb through grass, mud, sand, dirt and yes — even snow. Swenson calls it, “the ultimate in off-road wheelchairs.”
With it, people previously stuck indoors in a wheel chair are leading active lives again. And we mean active! Go on the Action Trackchair website and you’ll see videos of the disabled hiking, camping, driving through snow, fishing in water, and bow & rifle hunting in the field. In short, going places and doing things they thought were lost forever.
Action Trackchairs come in six styles. A 24 volt power supply gives riders a range of 8 miles and an on-board battery charger extends its range. Operators use a joy stick to steer – and the chair has holders and rests to haul packs, cameras, binoculars, rifles and rods and reels. Users can even use the chair to stand erect, as well.
Understandably, testimonials on the Action Trackchair website are heartfelt! One of the most moving comes from the boy who inspired it all.,Swenson’s son Jeff, who was paralyzed in a car accident at age 16. Now living in Montana, he wrote to thank his Dad.
“The Action Trackchair is by far the biggest change in my life since my accident 11 years ago. It has enabled me to be able to go hiking, camping, gardening, and HUNTING! … I have not had so much mobility and freedom in a long time. Thanks Dad, you’re the best!”
The basic model Action Trackchair starts at $8,000, which might sound like a lot until you remember that it’s an all-terrain vehicle. Then, the price seems pretty reasonable.
Users don’t seem to be complaining. In a web article entitled Hunting with a Disability, hunter Greg Traynor wrote: “The Action Trackchair is not cheap, but I have found it to be worth its weight in gold.”
Inventor Tim Swenson exemplifies an axiom featured here on our website: Apply new technology to an existing product.
He’s helping the disabled take the road less traveled with The Action Trackchair. Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?