Topics: Wheelchair Accessible, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, Mobility Solutions, All Terrain Vehicles

Driving Safe After Sustaining SCI Through Vehicle Modifications

Innovative Mobility

 

Many lifestyle changes are inevitable following a spinal cord injury. Aspects of everyday life such as work, transportation and personal health require adjustments, often making the transition seem impossible. However, many companies and organizations exist to make life easier for those with different types of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and other mobility limitations. To aid with new transportation issues, companies such as ATC (all-terrain conversions) provide vehicle modifications to pickup trucks and SUVs.

Following a devastating car accident, ATC founder Steve Kitchin became a quadriplegic after suffering from a spinal cord injury. With no other option other than a wheelchair minivan, Kitchin decided to experiment with his own vehicle in the hopes of keeping the power and versatility of a pickup truck. More than ten years and several designs later, more than 1200 ATC-converted trucks and SUVs are on the road across the country.

Other than the obvious cosmetic upgrade, ATC customers leave their minivans for higher-performing trucks and SUVs. Many live in geographic areas with rough terrain and/or a cold climate, and require more power and longevity out of their vehicles. Pickup trucks with four-wheel drive are often essential in these environments, and as the sole truck modifiers, ATC is the only solution.

Man in a wheelchair on his modified vehicle by ATC

ATC has also released a new solution for families. The new crossover vehicle conversion involve a signature gull-wing door along with a "zero-ramp" in which the vehicle floor drops directly down into a ramp. This saves much needed space for loading and unloading,

Unlike a typical ramp-equipped minivan, ATC's hydraulic system lifts wheelchair users directly from the ground into the vehicle. Using a handheld remote, users transfer the lift from inside the vehicle to the ground, back into the pan, and activate the lift a second time to be secured into the vehicle.

woman in a wheelchair on his modified vehicle by ATC

Standard ATC conversions are performed on General Motors pickup trucks and SUVs 2014 or newer, and involve either a passenger or driver-side hydraulic lift. Options include purchasing a pre-converted vehicle or having a conversion performed on an existing or newly-purchased vehicle.

Organizations such as the Veterans Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation, and other state, local and private grants often assist with conversion costs. Many ATC customers also seek financial assistance through crowdfunding sources such as Help Hope Live.

For more information regarding ATC vehicle conversions, visit the following:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGaMeKaLJbB6KpIZen0PuFg

Current Inventory: https://www.atconversions.com/listings/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ATCMobility/

Website: https://www.atconversions.com

Rebecca Sefter

Written by Rebecca Sefter

Rebecca works in Raleigh, North Carolina as a Customer Relations Specialist for ATC. A former reporter and magazine editor, she breaks out her writing skills for the occasional article on ATC’s awesome wheelchair-accessible pickup trucks and SUVs. A graduate of East Carolina University, Rebecca holds a B.S. in Public Relations and Political Science.

See what Swope, Rodante Has Done for Others With Catastrophic Injuries

Louis Tontodonato's Story
A Story of Hope - Louis Tontodonato

“What made me most excited was to be able to help my family, being able to pull the burden out of them that they’ve been struggling with. That’s what made me feel the best. Everything else to come, is to come. And we’re going to live life how we have been, just not going to have to worry about buying the supplies that I need.”

Todd Cabral's Story
Motorcyclist Sustains Massive Injuries - Swope, Rodante Client Testimonial

"As I got better, which I did in the future, I think I remember researching them [Swope, Rodante P.A.] myself and found that they are very good at what they do. "