The Tank Chair

Thanks to “Hairball of Hope,” a regular commenter at Alison Bechdel’s “Dykes to Watch Out For” blog, for calling my attention to the “Tank Chair,” an all-terrain wheelchair. 


  1. cymast

     /  January 12, 2010

    At first I thought the chair was a weapon of war. Glad to read it’s not. I bet an umbrella would be a nice addition.

  2. acilius

     /  January 12, 2010

    It sure looks like a weapons system of some kind. That’s what’s so hilarious about it, and about the idea of a committed pacifist like Mrs Acilius using it. I’m sure it’s a great boon to the people who use it, though.

  3. cymast

     /  January 12, 2010

    The only drawback I see is how big it is- it wouldn’t be practical for narrow sidewalks and trails.

  4. hairball_of_hope

     /  January 13, 2010

    @cymast (#3)

    I think for safety reasons the Tank Chair needs tread guards to prevent body parts and dangling clothing from getting caught in the treads. They would also function as mud guards, another likely concern for a power chair intended for off-road use.

    As for the wide footprint of the chair, I think that’s necessary for stability reasons; if the chair were narrower the user would be quite high relative to the center of gravity (and more likely to be tipped over on uneven terrain).

    The environmentalist in me worries about the effect the treads have on the ground, but unless this were an ecologically fragile location, or a heavily-travelled route, I don’t see it as a major problem. A chair like this is most likely to be regularly used where there is no groomed path or trail.

    I do wonder about how one does a chair transfer with those treads in the way. I’m guessing many of the prospective users of this chair may have disabilities which require someone else to assist with the transfer.

  5. acilius

     /  January 13, 2010

    h_o_h! Great to have you here!

    It may just be the angle of the photo playing a trick on my understanding, but I’d be surprised if the Tank Chair were a particularly good option for people who need help transferring. It doesn’t look like it would give you a lot of support as you sat in it. I suppose a lot would depend on the seatbelt.

  6. cymast

     /  January 13, 2010

    Yes, tread guards are a great idea, Hairball of Hope. And it’s a trade-off between stability and the ability to squeeze into narrow spaces.

    Great moniker, BTW. I am quite familiar with hopeful hairballs, thanks to my Pampered Princess Ting. She is the one getting groomed in my avatar.

  7. believer1

     /  January 26, 2010

    hairball_of_hope- I too am so glad to get your coment. I am a wheelchair user as A has said. I also have a bike. I sometimes need help turning the bike around or backing up, but I do not mind because I always have a friend with me when I ride it since it is for fun. Maybe this chair is ment for fun also. It looks like a four wheeler for physically challenged people to me. If that is so I do not think people would mind having a friend help them transfer. I would not mind taking it for a joy ride.

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