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Author Topic: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device  (Read 1495 times)

mattitude

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My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
« on: September 15, 2015, 11:09:52 PM »
I didn't really know where to put this but I figured that since I got it for hunting, fishing and just to get around when out-of-doors this was as good a place as any.  For those that don't know I draw a 100% disability from the VA and the majority of my rating is for mobility reasons.  Naturally I don't get around very well at all and even on a good day I can only do a few blocks walking on optimum ground.  I do love to hunt & fish but since those activities usually take place outside and in the woods I could only participate only in certain conditions. 

The place that I hunt in SC is a guided outfit and they drive me right up to the stands and even climb all of my gear for me...the only thing they don't do is haul me up there.  It's a great arrangement but not so good driving a vehicle right up to where I'm hunting and disturbing the area for at least an hour or more while the other hunters can get dropped off a few hundred yards and quietly walk in.  The only good thing for me was that it really didn't matter if I was a little loud getting settled but it did suck to have to wait to see game and I have even been known to fall asleep in the stand (I blame it on the medications...). 

Before I didn't have that luxury, but now I have the next best thing...the Zoom Chair!  I first saw this awesome mobility device this past May at the place I hunt at because they host disabled veterans 2x a year and it so happened that one of the vets was a representative for Zoom and he brought 3 chairs for people to demo.  After just a few short minutes I absolutely HAD to have one but when I heard the base price is 12,700 I was convinced that it would never happen for me as I live on a very fixed income that has to support a family of 4.  Then he said that all I had to do was apply through the Independence Fund and get one for free, which is exactly what I did when I got home.  I can say without a doubt that the Indy Fund was the easiest place I ever applied to.  A good majority of other organizations make it near impossible to get these grants, but this was a cake walk and they always got back to me within a few hours.

I was approved in less than a week from applying but because the Zoom chair is made in Sweden I had to wait a few months to actually get one.  I was also allotted 750.00 for accessories and also 1000.00 for a trailer.  The first thing that I put down was the light kit because I do a lot of night hunting in the spring and also I don't like to feel rushed to get out of the woods because of falling light.  That right there took most of the accessory money so with the rest I ordered a leg extender (I haven't received that yet for some reason, but it's coming), a detachable handlebar bag, a tool kit and of course a cup holder.

Now I could've picked pretty much ANY chair made to include a track chair but anyone that has actually used a track chair would choose a Zoom  99% of the time.  Track chairs are H-U-G-E, heavy, slow and are battery hogs.  The crane lift in the bed of my truck is rated for 500# and that's still not enough to pick up a track chair.  They are also very wide and can't fit through some doorways.  My Zoom chair weighs only 175#, is all wheel drive, goes up to 15mph and can be air shipped so if I get to go on any trips where I need to fly I can take my Zoom with me.  The tires are 12" dirt bike tires has front and rear hydraulic disc brakes.  The wheels are offset to make climbing over obstacles (logs, rocks, curbs, steps, etc.) real easy and safe and each wheel hub houses an electric motor.  The hubs aren't waterproof but I can still go in 4" of  water without worrying about destroying the motors. 

It's powered by twin 47v (I believe that's correct...I'll have to double check the manual) lithium batteries which should give up to 20 miles of travel on a full charge at about half speed.  Now going balls out over rough terrain should get 10-12 miles but that's still a lot of traveling for one day so I shouldn't have to worry about running dry.  There is a hunting & fishing accessory package that has a rod holder & gun rack but was too expensive for me to get so what I'm going to do is fashion my own gun rack and possibly a rod holder as well.  There is even a provision to install a trailer hitch so I might even put together a gear wagon to tow so that I won't have to be all jammed up in the seat with a backpack and whatnot when I go out hunting.  It runs really quiet so I won't have to worry about spooking game as much as when a truck rolls up to a stand. 

I'll be taking it hunting in less than 10 days so I'm really looking forward to seeing how it does and since it will be another disabled veterans hunt it's possible that I can help another person get their independence back and be able to get out doors and have more fun.  I've already taken it out with my daughters bike riding and we just saw Van Halen this past Friday night and I took it with me.  I got a lot of compliments and some even liked my custom sticker job.  Here's what she looks like...enjoy and let me know your thoughts.



North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

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    coelacanth

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 11:15:49 PM »
    That's a pretty slick looking rig.  I like it.   :thumbup1
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    seanp

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #2 on: September 16, 2015, 12:53:24 AM »
    Pretty short wheel base though... Curious to see how stable it would be on rough ground.
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    mattitude

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #3 on: September 16, 2015, 01:30:11 PM »
    I should've taken a pic straight on so you can see that the wheels aren't vertical, they are angled about 15-20 degrees to help with stability on rough terrain.  Now if you are going fast then you'll roll but as long as you adjust speed to the conditions then stability isn't really an issue.  This was made for disabled people so it has to be somewhat safe to operate.

    Pretty short wheel base though... Curious to see how stable it would be on rough ground.
    North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

    strangelittleman

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 01:32:49 PM »
      Does the handle bars move/tilt forward, slide fore and aft for custom reach, etc., to make it easier to get into? It looks very rugged. Jump in that thing and model it for us, you seem to be a tall guy, I'd like to see how it fits on ya and how adaptable it is to different body sizes, shapes, etc.
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    MTK20

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 05:51:07 PM »
     :thumbup1
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    mattitude

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 06:44:06 PM »
    The whole steering column tilts forward to make it possible to get in & out and the whole rig is completely customizable/adjustable.  The leg extension looks short but when I cross my feet I get more than enough clearance with the handle bars to make tight turns.  There is supposed to be a longer leg extender (that I ordered with my chair but didn't get yet) and I'm waiting to get mine to see if it's more comfortable than it already is. 

    I'll have to take a few more pics with the steering column forward and also with my fat self wedged up inside it.


      Does the handle bars move/tilt forward, slide fore and aft for custom reach, etc., to make it easier to get into? It looks very rugged. Jump in that thing and model it for us, you seem to be a tall guy, I'd like to see how it fits on ya and how adaptable it is to different body sizes, shapes, etc.
    North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

    strangelittleman

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    Re: My new hunting buggy & all around outdoor mobility device
    « Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 07:03:17 PM »
      Wow, I quite honestly have never seen anything quite like it before. Powered by lithium batteries no less! I took another look at your pics and can see the canted wheels you mentioned.....Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! I believe you'll be very well served by it.
    Semper Gumby.....Always Flexible.
    Vision without action is a daydream, Action without vision is a nightmare.
    Zol zayn azoy.

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