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The Scooter Scoop

Anything and everything about our journey with the Triad Scooter.


KP
KP

Having fun...

Triad Mobility Scooter in a 2017 Toyota Sienna with a Bruno Joey Lift Modified by Mobility Works

We'll have other posts on our search for a lift for the Triad 750 CSX. We looked at Harmar and the Armstrong lifts. Both of these companies have great solutions that we will go into later.

The Conversion that We Saw in the Abilities Expo Parking Lot that Swayed My Husband

After a lot of searching, my husband chose the Bruno Joey lift because we live in New England, he needed an inside the car solution, and he wanted something that he could just drive on or wheel on. We went to the Boston Abilities Expo and saw complete conversion vans, which don't allow for AWD. But in the parking lot, we saw an older model Bruno lift. The owner of the lift had a van and we were able to put the Triad on the lift with a little manuevering. We took pictures lots of pictures because if we purchased one, we wanted to make sure it would fit.

Triad 750 CSX Front Tire on a Bruno Joey Lift

Side View of the Triad 750 CSX on an older Bruno Joey Lift

Back Tires of the Triad 750 CSX on an older Bruno Joey Lift

 

Our Conversion with a New 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD Van

We now knew what type of lift we wanted, but we needed a car that could accomodate it. We decided on purchasing a 2017 Toyota Sienna. With a new purchase, we would get $1,000 back on a lift and installation direct from Toyota, which we definitely were going to need. We'll have another post on the complete ins and outf of this decision.

It seems that Bruno has changed how the Bruno Joey works compared to the one we saw in the parking lot of the Boston Abilities Expo. The lift just comes straight out and straight down, and the platform is slightly smaller. We met the Mobility Works folks at the Expo and talked to their NH office. Aaron Morse was assigned to work with us and our unorthodox mobility scooter. He thought it could work, even with the new design.

Chris Prouty and Aaron Morse in front of a completed lift for the Triad 750 CSX

We made a complete video so you can see how it operates.

 

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Review of the Abilities Expo in Boston

I should have written this post first thing after we got back last week, but things have been busy around here.

This was our first time going to an Abilities Expo. We went for two days. It was held at the Boston Convention Center. Besides the fact that Google Maps had us going totally AROUND the convention center, and I should have printed out the paper registration papter in order to get in, things went smoothly. We learned a lot. 

Toyota was there and they showcased different ramps with their Sienna's. Since ramps that come out from the van take up any space that could be used by AWD, those ramps were not of interest to us.  (See this post for reference on New England winters.)

A VMI Northstar Ramp in a Sienna

Braunability Ramp for the Sienna

I didn't get a pic of the ramps for the Pacifica by Braunability, but if I remember correctly, that one was the widest of the three we tried.

We did find one other scooter that could be put in the category of "sexy scooter." It was from a company in Israel. Weight limit was 220, the grade that it could climb was nowhere near what the Triad 750 CSX could climb, but it certainly was portable. And for a scooter with no height, it had design appeal. It was called Atto by Moving Life. Hubby took it for a spin.

atto by Moving Life Front Vew

atto by Moving Life side view

The upshot for us around looking at vehicles, etc. is that we decided that we wouldn't get a ramp, we would get a lift. There were two vendors there, Mobility Works and a Bruno Lift dealer that was at the Braunability booth. We have done research on trucks and cars since then, and we "may" have a plan. We'll let you know later on this weekend.

 

 

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Gatlinburg, TN: Why We Chose the Triad Scooter

The winters in New England can be brutal.

Snowy driveway in New England

Yes, this is our driveway. There is a Ford E-350 van buried behind that pile.

Chris digging us out of the snow

Yes, that is a Subaru Outback buried in snow in the background of Chris's smiling face..

While we have a long time before we retire, we have started to take trips to places that might be a possibility. TN has been on our radar because of the beauty, low taxes, cosmopolitan areas, music and more. We checked out the Nashville area in the past, but we wanted to check out eastern TN. Combining  a vacation and location scouting seemed perfect. We own a Marriott timeshare, but Marriott doesn't have any timeshares in TN at all, so we traded for one in Gatlinburg that would meet our needs. However, how could we do this trip without a scooter even though he has a handicapped placard? And how could I get my husband to even look at a scooter after he hated the traditional scooter he tried at Disney?


SCOOTER DECISIONS:
I looked at renting a normal scooter up here in Boston (wouldn't fit in our Subaru Crosstrek) or renting one at Maypops on the strip in downtown Gatlinburg.

 

Renting one down there meant renting one like they have at Disney. My husband hated the scooters at Disney. Too low and too big (we wouldn't be able to get one into our car to visit the sites. Plus, there were big hills and teeny scooters just wouldn't work for the inclines) So, after extensive research and disregarding the advice to automatically discount three-wheel scooters that I found on many sites, I found the Triad brand of scooters. It was a revelation to me. THIS, THIS TRIAD scooter I could show him and it might appeal to him.

This scooter was ONE SEXY SCOOTER!

And hubby agreed, it was ONE SEXY SCOOTER. Eureka!

What's more, it could fit in our Subaru Crosstrek, go up the hills of Gatlinburg, and fit in an elevator!

My husband knew that in order to do this trip, he needed help, and this fit the bill. We had two months to get the scooter, figure out how to get it into our car, and go!

But which model of Triad scooter?
 

THE MODEL DECISION PROCESS

We reached out to Triad to see if there was a dealer in our area. There wasn't, but there WAS someone signed up for the Triad Friends program in Salem, MA. Triad reached out to her and she said "yes" to sharing her email and phone. We got in touch with Joanne (thanks so much, Joanne!), and it helped immensely with our decision. My husband and I went over one spring day and she let my husband graciously try her SF model. 

The SF model has a hump in the middle of it. My husband has drop foot so it was difficult for him to lift his leg up. This made our decision easy. At the time, Triad had an XL model (now discontinued?), and the SF and SF2 models.  The CSX model wasn't even on the website. When I emailed Triad saying we would like to buy one, they gave us the specs for the CSX. We were immediately hooked on the CSX. (Of course, my husband also purchased the Subaru Crosstrek so he likes good looking compact crossovers.)  We tried to patiently wait for it. (Please be advised that it can take weeks for delivery, so if you decide to get one and you don't have a dealer, there will be a time when you patiently try to count down the days.)

THE WAIT AND NEW FRIENDS:

If you don't know it, Triad has a facebook page. I scoured that page, and Triad reposted something from one of their dealers about a lift. Since we were trying to figure out how to get the scooter down to Gatlinburg, I sent them a message and a friendship with Jeff and Missy from Tri Electric Scooters was born. Jeff sent me recommendations on how to augment our scooter with after market parts, and you will see some of those recommendations on the parts page. Feel free to chime in with comments there as well.

 

SCOOTER FIT:
The Triad 750 CSX, which we received the week before we left, was 45 inches long and 29 inches wide.

It totally changed our trip for the better. We have further posts in our travel section.

 

The Triad driving past a sea of traditional scooters. Notice the seat height of the Triad.

The Triad driving past a sea of traditional scooters that are available to rent from Maypops on the strip in Gatlinburg, TN. Notice the seat height of the Triad.


 
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Our Current Scooter "To Do" List

The list may change, but this is what we are learning abou now.

  • We need a new vehicle and lift system for the Triad CSX. This is what we are doing on a temporary basis. Pet ramps. We chose this because we can donate to an animal shelter when we are done.
  • We need to break the bringing the Triad CSX on an airplane barrier.
  • We need to figure out how to take the Triad CSX on a cruise ship. 
  • We need to figure out the best way to use the Triad on a buffet line.
  • We need to find the ultimate seat.
  • We would like to explore other accessories to up the "cool factor" of the scooter.

Feel free to chime in with any suggestions!

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A Little Bit About Us

My husband has hereditary spastic paraplegia or HSP for short. Hereditary spastic paraplegia is a general term for a group of rare inherited disorders that cause weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles. Symptoms gradually get worse over time. My husband has never been officially diagnosed, although 2 of his 10 uncles had the disease. He started getting it in his early 30's. Even though he doesn't look it with his pictures plastered all over the website, he is now 54. I jokingly tell him that he is Dorian Gray without the evilness, but there has to be some picture aging somewhere when he isn't!

We just purchased a Triad 750 CSX in May, and it has made such a difference in our lives that I wanted the world to know about it. I have been a web Product Manager for many years so building a website seemed to make the most sense. I told my husband he could be the model spokesperson for the scooter, and he has taken that responsibility seriously. When asked about the name choices for the website, he said, "I don't know. You are the computer genius. I just have to keep putting on the men facial products so I can look 34 instead of 54." However, he still has room for improvement in the spokesmodel department. I tell him that he has to smile more because every picture can't just be the "strong, silent, sexy" type look.

The website is an experiment, and I'm sure it will change over time, but we would love to hear about others experiences with scooters and other devices. Right now, I've chosen Disqus for comments so you will have to make an account to join in. Although, you can always contact us via the form to give us input as well.

Thanks for visiting and spending time with us.