Need some help-advice on how to give quadropegic man a ride in a sidecar.

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Mr. Cob, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy All,

    Many years ago, in 1998 I met a man on the Internet on the "EXUP" list, his name is Rick Frame. Rick was the very first person I responded to on an Internet forum, he was the very first person I ever sent an email to, we soon became cyber friends. Rick still lives in Arlington Texas just outside of Dallas-Fort Worth, Rick and I had made plans to meet and ride together as I was planing one of my long rides the following summer of 1999.

    Then fate intervened, Rick was stuck by a car from behind while riding and was knocked over a freeway over pass falling forty feet to the concrete road surface below. That Rick is still alive is a miracle if ever there was one, but the wreck has him left a quadriplegic ever since. It has been a dream of Rick and myself to someday take that ride we planed so long ago, NOW I think I have the machine to make this dream come true.

    I have a sidecar on my BMW R1150GS, but I need to make some kind of body support that will fit into the sidecar that Rick can be placed into and using belts or some sort of straps secured to that frame. MY idea is to use light tubing such as electrical conduit to bend up a simple frame that can be inserted into the sidecar, nothing fancy, this will a one time use item, SIMPLE and CHEAP are the operative terms.

    I have stopped in to visit with Rick whenever I have been in the area, the last time we saw each other was in July of 2008 when I rode the Ural all around the USA. Heres some photos of that visit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Does someone in the Everett, Arlington, Snohomish area have access to electrical conduit and the tools needed to work with it to help fabricate such a frame, old used conduit would be perfect. I need to have this built by the middle of March at the latest as I'll be leaving for Texas the last week in March. If someone can lend a hand please contact me, THANKS. :deal
    #1
  2. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    First, how will you transfer Rick to the sidecar? Maybe a Hoyer lift if there's one handy, or at least a couple strong folks. Second, from the looks of his seating system Rick has pretty serious stability and positioning challenges. I'd try to copy the positioning setup on his wheelchair, and maybe various foams would be best to work with as they're fairly easy to cut and manipulate to the desired shapes. We have any OTs, PTs, orthotists, etc. here that can offer some advice? And of course the foremost expert to consult is Rick- he knows best what works for him.
    #2
  3. SmellyGoatBoy

    SmellyGoatBoy Adventurer

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    I'm wondering if there is a way to just bolt something in the Rick my already have. An old chair set up or the like. Then just prep the rig with a plate to connect the chair/harness to when you get there.
    #3
  4. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Having spent allot of time in hospital myself Rick would be able to tell you how best to support him when he's in the sidecar, and perhaps he owns a hoyer lift, but the transfer will be the difficult part and require a lift or several strong helpers.Worthy cause though.DB
    #4
  5. Jimm Dandy

    Jimm Dandy Been here awhile

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    howbout ya take yer tub off and bolt down a sheet o f3/4 plywood with some anchors in the appropriate places to strap his chair down.. and fashion a temp. ramp to get his chair on and off.. it will work. i have seen 3 guys in chairs operating a rig and driving it by themselves from a chair on the hack.
    #5
  6. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy All,

    Thanks for the input. Rick already has the lift which is used to transfer him from the bed to his chair, bath etc, that is not a problem. The problem is Rick is in Texas, I am only going to be at his home for a couple of days and I won't have time to fab something while there. I have been in contact with Rick, he has explained what is needed to support his body, basically he just needs to be strapped into something that will keep him from falling forward, backward or sideways.

    This is something that is only going to be used ONCE while on this trip and if it works maybe sometime in the future, I won't be taking the sidecar off the frame. Thats why I am thinking a simple frame made from conduit that can be placed in the sidecar would be simple, cheap and easy. I don't have any of the tools needed to work with bending conduit.
    #6
  7. cluedog

    cluedog Adventurer

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    Mr Cob
    If your rig can make it out to Port Townsend,
    I can help you make something out of 1 inch aluminum
    that will be light and disposable. We could also make it adjustable.
    It would probably cost 1 beer.
    #7
  8. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Cluedog,

    PM, is on its way. THANK YOU. :clap:clap:clap
    #8
  9. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    I would take a different approach.

    Fitting the chair to the hack will be simple, the hard points you've got to bolt to are known. Fitting the chair to Rick will be somewhat more difficult, he'll have to be comfortable and the restraint systems will need to be fitted to him. Building the chair in Washington and riding it down to him might work out fine, but that depends on a certain amount of luck, and as my grandfather used to say, "Luck is a crutch for the unprepared". I would find someone who can fabricate the chair in Rick's area, he'd be able to test it for fit and function before you arrive. In the meantime, you take some detailed measurements of the hard points in your hack so the fabricators can build a drop-in frame. Perhaps a bit easier, you have a mount built local to you and fit that to the hack before you leave and provide dimensions to the folks in Texas so they can build the chair to bolt directly to that.

    Its a little more complicated this way, but it is more likely to work the first time you try it out.
    #9
  10. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Mary,

    Thanks for your suggestion, if this were something that would be used for days, or on a regular basis what your suggesting is great. Truth is we don't know if Rick will be able to do this, so spending a lot of time and money is out of the question. Rick has not felt the wind in his face since 1998, if we can come up with something simple that will just let us go around the block or a few miles I know it would mean the world to him.
    #10
  11. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Fair enough. The point is to get him out, not to build a rig he'll use on a regular basis. Perhaps this is the seed that will develop into something he's able to use regularly?
    #11
  12. SmellyGoatBoy

    SmellyGoatBoy Adventurer

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    [​IMG]

    What about something like this?
    #12
  13. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy SGB,

    That would be wonderful, but even at the sale price of 350 bucks its way to much money for a single use item.
    #13
  14. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

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    Mr.Cob :clap to you. Anything you need on your way to Dallas, let me know, 40 miles n. of Denver.
    #14
  15. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy norton (kel),

    Thanks but I'll be getting to Dallas via Moab Utah and the Big Bend Park area of Texas before hitting the big D.
    #15
  16. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    I really have no bases for these thoughts, but....

    What about a piece of foam for under the knees, like a triangle to prop his knees up, could be "glued" to a piece of wood that has a belt of sorts to hold thighs or shins in location.

    Then maybe a higher back rest affixed to the back of the chair, with a couple straps to hold him upright.

    Not sure what the head situation is, but I'm sure that's relatively easy to deal with.

    Couple tips on belts, jc Whitney has universal lap belts very inexpensive as does Volkswagen bug parts places.

    Good on you for trying to take him for a ride, I bet he'd love nothing more than some wind in the face
    #16
  17. SmellyGoatBoy

    SmellyGoatBoy Adventurer

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    #17
  18. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Dave, go to eBay Motors and search for 5-point harness and you'll find them for $25 shipped (used).

    Once you get Rick loaded into the M72 using the regular DMC seat cushions, the sidewalls of the tub will keep him from sliding sideways cause that opening is only about 19 inches wide.

    His legs can't go anywhere because there's not much room up in the nose of the car. Maybe a couple of pillows down there if needed.

    The harness down strap can be attached to the seat support crossbar under the seat.

    The shoulder straps can be routed up and over the back of the seat then down behind the seatback and anchored to the fiberglass "wall" between the trunk and the passenger area. Just requires two holes to be drilled through the wall then a couple of through bolts. You can figger out the best location. That fiberglass is plenty strong enough.

    The waist belt can be anchored to the two bolts under the seat that attach the car to the frame (that's where I have Queen Bee's seat belt anchored), see this pic--

    [​IMG]


    I really think that would work, it would cost under $30, you could get it all set up at home before heading south, and if you didn't want to keep the harness, you could re-sell it on eBay after you get back.

    The only thing I don't know about is if his head and neck need support. If so, seems like you and Rick ought to be able to puzzle that part out.
    #18
  19. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy DRONE,

    Strapping Rick in won't be a problem, I need something that will support his head especially with the weight of a helmet. From the neck down Rick has no movement or control of his body. He can support his head and he can turn his head but when he is in his wheel chair his head is resting against the high back of the wheel chair.

    I don't want to start drilling a lot of holes and modifying the sidecar, a couple of holes for a seat belt is no problem but I don't want to take the stock seat out and start building totally different seat, thats why I am thinking that making tubular frame that will set into the sidecar, using the stock seat will work the best without incurring a lot of cost and work.

    Like I said if this was something that would be used on a regular basis I would go through the work and the expense of having a custom fitted cockpit made as some have suggested making using foam and plywood.
    #19
  20. M37cdn

    M37cdn Adventurer

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    For supporting your friends neck, what about one of those foam neck rolls
    #20