3 need to know chassis types for the best performance from your electric wheelchair

One fundamental choice, which in our opinion should always be the first, is which chassis type will best serve what you need for your electric wheelchair to perform to it’s best in the environment and surrounds that you will be using it in the most.

Mid, rear or front wheel drive chairs will all offer different benefits and compromises, and we cover some of these below.


The drive wheels are directly under the user in the centre of the chassis, with two castors wheels in front and (conventionally) a further two behind. Often found to be the most intuitive to drive and allows for the tightest turning circle. The front and rear castors also provide further stability. In some instances when using on uneven terrain or steep ramps the front or rear castors can cause the drive wheel to lift off the ground and lose traction.


The drive wheels are at the rear of the chassis with two castors at the front. This offers a very stable base and straight line driving, particularly at higher speeds. In some indoor environments this may not be the best option as it has the largest turning circle when fitted with swing away leg rests.


The drive wheels are at the front of the chassis with two castors at the rear. Having larger wheels at the front can offer much smoother obstacle climbing and also copes better if there is more weight distributed towards the front of the chair. With the majority of the chair ‘behind’ the user it can take a longer time for finding the drive as intuitive as the other options. Modern (gyro) technology has meant you can now have a FWD chair that feels very stable to drive.

I hope that this has given you a good starting point towards understanding the different chassis types available and what to consider before purchasing. Of course, there are many individual needs and factors that may also need to be thought about and discussed, so please feel free to get in touch here and one of our Product Specialists will contact you to answer any of your questions.

There are many choices and considerations to make when looking at which electric wheelchair may be best for you. We have covered the 10 essential questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a new electric wheelchair on a previous blog, click here to read more.

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