Can you Push an Electric Wheelchair? (Pushing a Power Chair)

Electric wheelchairs are fantastic at giving back mobility freedom to users in powered battery-operated mobility aids. These electric wheelchairs provide a way for someone to get out without the assistance of someone pushing them. But can an electric wheelchair be pushed manually if need be?

The answer to this question is yes. Almost all electric or power wheelchairs can be pushed manually by having the motor disengaged with a few clicks. This will allow anyone to manually push the wheelchair by a caregiver or a loved one. Also, if your power wheelchair runs out of battery or breaks down or for any other reason that the power chair would need to be pushed, it can be.

Can You Push An Electric Power Wheelchair?

Yes. You can push an electric wheelchair on most models; as we stated before, most models have a way to disengage the motor, allowing the user to move the chair manually.

Before purchasing an electric mobility scooter, you can ask the retailer or manufacturer of the electric wheelchair if that model can be pushed manually and how to do so. Typically this is very simple.

How Do You Disengage A Power Wheelchair So You Can Push It?

The method of disengaging a conventional wheelchair motor will probably be slightly different depending on your make and model. However, the below is the process that typically must take place to disengage the engine so the power wheelchair can be pushed.

  • Step 1: Switch the power off
  • Step 2: Find the locking pin. This will be different in location depending on what model you own.
  • Step 3: Pull the engaging lever, so the motor is disengaged.

What Issues Could You Face When Pushing A Power Wheelchair?

Most power wheelchairs are designed with the ability to be pushed manually when need be. They are not primarily designed to be pushed like a manual wheelchair. Travel chairs like ultralight wheelchairs are some of the easiest to push both by the user and caregiver. Here are some issues you could face when pushing an electric wheelchair:

  1. The power wheelchair can be heavy. The weight of the chair plus the person sitting in it can make the chair challenging to push for long periods manually.
  2. Pushing an electric wheelchair uphill might be no easy task. If the terrain is not flat and hills are involved, this will cause the chair to be much harder to manual push.
  3. The electric rear chair might not have rear handles. This can make pushing the electric wheelchair difficult because you might not be able to find the proper leverage needed to move the chair quickly

Average weights of different types of electric wheelchairs

Power Wheelchair TypeBrand of chairWheelchair Weight
Lightweight / PortableFeatherweight 33 lbs. Powerchair33 lbs.
Lightweight / PortableeVolt Traveler PowerChair48 lbs.
Lightweight / PortableModel H Hybrid Manual Powerchair39 lbs.
OutdoorWhill Model A250 lbs.
OutdoorPride Jazzy Elite HD178 lbs.
OutdoorPride Go Chair128 lbs.
High weight capacityPride Jazzy 600 ES240 lbs.
High weight capacityPride Jazzy 614HD Bariatric Power Chair178 lbs.

Things to considered so you do not run out of battery

Keep your battery charged: We know this might sound like an obvious thing to do, but you would be surprised how many wheelchairs users forget to do this and run out of battery while out. Always keep your batteries charged.

Keep notice of the terrain you travel on: If you are constantly riding uneven ground like hills or inclines, this can drain your battery much quicker than those continually depending on flatlands. So make sure you make a note of this.

Choose an electric wheelchair with a good range: Power wheelchairs have different drive ranges ranging from 5 miles up to 25 miles or more. Every manufacturer will have the driving range labeled on their devices.

Keep a spare battery: Keeping an extra battery can help if you run out of power while out. In addition, a spare battery can be charged and kept with you, giving you peace of mind on your next adventure.

Can you push a mobility scooter? Yes. There are unlocking mechanisms that most mobility scooters have. Once in the unlocked position, you can manually push the scooter.

Do all electric wheelchairs have push handles? Unfortunately, no. Not every model uses push handles. Therefore, most electric wheelchairs will not have push handles. However some models allow for bolt-on push handles.

In Closing

Most electric wheelchairs can disengage the motor and be pushed when need be. However, owning a heavy power wheelchair can be a struggle to make, especially uphill or inclines. To minimize this from happening, always charge your battery per the manufacturer’s specifications.

You can always carry a spare charged battery on longer journeys away from the house for extra redundancy. Regardless it’s entirely possible to push an electric wheelchair on most models.

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.