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Wheelchair or Transport Chair-Which should I choose

Both transport chairs and wheelchairs come in standard specifications, but the big question is always how to identify which one is the best option for you? The first consideration is the manner in which you intend to use your transport chair or wheelchair. Are you able to push yourself? Which option will fit within your budget? How frequently will you be using your new chair? Another thing to consider is whether there will be a family member or a caregiver nearby to push you around in your chair?

Both transport chairs and wheelchairs have been designed to help increase convenience and mobility for disabled people and the elderly.

Transport Chairs

Transport chairs are equipped with small rear and front wheels, this means that someone will assist you by to push you around. This is the best option when someone needs to be supervised because this will avoid situations where someone is moving around in their chair without any assistance. This option is not suitable for anyone who is looking to move around independently. The weight of transport chairs is generally lighter compared to the weight of a full-size wheelchair, and this makes it easier for them to be folded up and placed inside a vehicle. They are good for accessing many places such as schools, churches, or anywhere a person using a transport chair will from time to time move from one room to another. The important things to consider when picking a transport chair are the weight restrictions and the seat size. It is advised that you contact the company or the manufacturer and ask them any questions or information that is not clear to you. Transport chairs enable a person to move from one room to another in the house. Using a chair together which has a transfer board will assist the caretaker to avoid back strains as well as to prevent the user from falling down or experiencing any discomfort.

Transport chairs are fitted with brakes located on the handles at the back of the chair. They allow the person pushing the chair to use the breaks easily. The hand brakes assist to navigate a wide range of outdoor terrains and navigate sleep slopes

Transport Chair Specifications

Most transport chairs are made from either steel or aluminum, and they have a total weight capacity of around 250 pounds, which is similar to a regular wheelchair. All the wheels on a transport chair measure 8 inches and the wheels at the front are able to swivel to improve maneuverability while the wheels at the back (do not swivel) are fixed and are fitted with a brake that can be used as the user exits or enters the chair. The dimensions of the seat on a transport chair are usually 16” X 19” or 16” X 17”. The weight of a transport chair can vary depending on the material used to construct it, but the ones made from steel normally weigh around 25 pounds.


Wheelchairs have bigger rear wheels and the person sitting on them can be pushed around by a friend, family member, or a caregiver. A person can also push themselves and move around independently without any assistance. Wheelchairs weigh more than transport chairs, and the bigger wheels at the back can be used on the terrain outside more efficiently compared to transport chairs. Wheelchairs can easily be customized to be more comfortable and to suit other needs of the user. These wheelchairs have been designed for sitting for a longer duration compared to transport chairs, and they have been equipped with seat cushions, backrests and padded armrests for maximum comfort. Wheelchairs are designed for everyday use by one person. Multiple people who have wheelchairs use them throughout the whole day to assist them to move to work from home and back. They take their wheelchair from the street into their vehicle and back. The braking system used in a wheelchair uses a push and lock mechanism, this allows the user to lock the wheelchair in place and this allows them to exit and enter their vehicle safely.

Wheelchair Specifications

Although there are several brands and styles of wheelchairs, they all have the same basic design, irrespective of the class or brand. The front wheels of a wheelchair are usually smaller than the rear wheels, and they measure around 8 inches in diameter, and they are attached to a swivel which make maneuverability easier. The bigger rear wheels are attached to handrails that can be held and pushed to provide movement. The seat on a regular wheelchair is around 16” X18 ” and has a weight of around 36 pounds. Most wheelchairs are constructed from steel frames, and they are equipped with either vinyl or nylon upholstery and plastic accessories.

Alternatives – Power Chairs

Power Chairs or Mobility Scooters allow the user to push a joystick or twist a handle and the device moves. This can be a good alternative to the wheelchair or transport chair if the user is looking to use the device for long distances or lives alone but does not have the upper body strength of stamina to push themselves.

So, which should I Choose?

There are various factors which you should consider before choosing between a transport chair and a wheelchair or even an alternative like a power chair. It can feel like a lot of information to take in. to break it all down simply, the main difference between transport chairs and wheelchairs is the size and weight. Transport chairs weigh much less (only 14lbs) than most wheelchairs, meaning smaller people (women and elderly) can easily transport them. They can also be folded down into a smaller sizes.  Wheelchairs are a little more durable and meant for longer-term use. So really the decision goes down to your mobility needs as to which one to choose.

At Bayshore Medical Supply, you will find the different types of transport chairs and wheelchair to suit your movement needs. We also have experienced and compassionate staff who will guide you through the process of choosing the best chair for your specific needs. Visit our medical supply store in Pasadena TX and take a look at our wide range of mobility products and select the most suitable one for you. You will also get wheelchairs for rent. The store is very accessible as it has a ramp and automatic sliding doors for your convenience.

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