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post #1 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Power Chair Snowblower

I have been asked by a Veteran who has leg injuries to help him solve how he can continue to snowblow with his limited ability to walk for a period of more than a few minutes at a time.
He says that he is not going to let someone else blow the snow as he said that will just be another give in to giving up. He has tried several 2 stage units but it just didnt work. A single stage left him no way for support if needed.
So in my spare time I have came up with a older powerchair that has brand new batteries and everything works.
Since I purchased a simplicity SS299ex earlier in the fall at a garage sale for $35.00, only used 2 xs this will be the donor machine for the project.
I am going to make mounts and controls plus the ability to lift the blower from the seat of the chair as well to be able to start it as well. I have found chains that have been cut down to fit the tires, so now am looking at extending the cables and chute controls,
The mounts will mostly be made from a craftsman rider mower deck lift mechanism .

Hopefully this setup will work .
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 12:53 PM
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That's awesome, good for you. And good for him.

Please post pics. Is that a SS blower? I didn't find much with that model #.

For an SS, if the chair did the steering, maybe you could put casters on the blower, instead of the standard wheels, and let it swing around as the chair pivoted? A lever to allow tilting the SS forward (for blowing) or back (to stop, and to make steering easier) might provide a fair bit of the required blower control? You'd still need to aim the chute, of course.

My apologies, I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to disagree with existing plans, or anything remotely like that. And in not 100% clear on what you are intending anyhow. You just got me thinking.

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Last edited by RedOctobyr; 02-15-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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Some people have built sulky units for their blowers...

Last edited by tabora; 02-15-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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My apologies, typing error simplicity 922EX Single stage.
The plan is that there will not be any wheels on the blower and will all be supported by the mounts to the chair, same fashion as a tractor mounted blowers.
He has by the way tried garden tractors with blowers to no success as for the controls and the position in which his legs would have to remain and too tight of space for the drive way, . I think this will do ok once all is done and then work through any problems as they arise.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 08:28 PM
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Much respect for you to take on this project, and have the skills and patience to do it!
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 09:15 PM
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Lottstodo, are you concerned with that much weight hanging off the front of the chair?

I don't know how heavy a motorized chair is. But ~80 lbs off the front of a chair seems like it might be more of an impact on balance, than a blower off the front of a tractor? The tractor is longer, making it less-tippy front/back, and the operator sits fairly far back from the blower, helping to hold the back down (and people still often have to add rear weights plus chains, for traction).

If the blower is suspended, I'd be somewhat concerned about the weight off the front, both for reducing the chair's traction, and also because it might not be able to "track" the pavement. If the chair gets to an incline of some sort, the blower would come off the ground, or be pushed down into it.

Could you maybe mount it to the chair using the blower's axle as a mount/pivot? The axle height could be set to keep the blower tilted forward a bit, like it would typically be used. But much of the blower's weight would still be on the ground. Giving the paddles more "bite" for clearing down to pavement, and reducing the chair's inclination to tip forward. It would also let the blower track better over less-even surfaces. If you got to an incline from the driveway to the street, the blower could tilt down, and still be touching the ground. The blower could also be manually tilted back with a lever, to reduce it wanting to drag, when pivoting the chair.

Just something I've seen mentioned relative to blowers on tractors: people have mentioned that when the blower is, say, 38" wide, but the rear tires are maybe 48" wide, you can have more traction issues, since the tires are partially driving on un-touched snow, vs cleared pavement. It's something that's really not an issue on a walk-behind (I can't recall seeing one with tires wider than the bucket). But the chair's wheel spacing might exceed the 22" width of the blower.

This is meant for discussion, not trying to argue or anything. Please don't take my thinking out loud as anything negative. It's an admirable project, and an interesting challenge. And it gets you thinking about possible complications.

tabora, those were very cool! The Yamaha is nice, but I suspect having tracks (and maybe trigger steering) would help simplify some things. I'm kind of more impressed by the 2nd video, which seems to be a more common blower style. I do wonder if it has trigger steering, or I'm guessing at least a differential of some sort. I'm surprised at how easily it backup up and turned around, the whole process seemed quite smooth.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-15-2019, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lottstodo View Post
I have been asked by a Veteran who has leg injuries to help him solve how he can continue to snowblow with his limited ability to walk for a period of more than a few minutes at a time.
He says that he is not going to let someone else blow the snow as he said that will just be another give in to giving up. He has tried several 2 stage units but it just didnt work. A single stage left him no way for support if needed.
So in my spare time I have came up with a older powerchair that has brand new batteries and everything works.
Since I purchased a simplicity SS299ex earlier in the fall at a garage sale for $35.00, only used 2 xs this will be the donor machine for the project.
I am going to make mounts and controls plus the ability to lift the blower from the seat of the chair as well to be able to start it as well. I have found chains that have been cut down to fit the tires, so now am looking at extending the cables and chute controls,
The mounts will mostly be made from a craftsman rider mower deck lift mechanism .

Hopefully this setup will work .

Where you located, I can help with fab work, weld & machining. If your far away you can post up a drawing and I can build from that. Just ask if you need anything, I'm always available for our veterans.

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-16-2019, 05:30 AM
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Depending on the persons conditions, here's a thought: what about something like a lawn tractor with a blower or blade on it? You already have a seat, a propulsion unit along with a method of moving the snow. If it's got a hydro tranny it would eliminate a clutch requirement. You might have the need to add hand controls if required but I think this might be the simpler solution.

I do some funds raising for individuals with Spina Bifida so I've had some exposure with people with physical limitations.
Good luck and thanks for thinking about this person.
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