The swivel seats can be fitted on either the driver or passenger side and are generally fitted inside a van or minibus. The person is lifted into the vehicle in their wheelchair, via ramps or lift, the wheelchair is positioned behind the seat which is swivelled 90° to the normal position. They then transfers from their wheelchair onto the seat inside the vehicle, leaving the wheelchair inside the vehicle. It can be a good solution for a person with a weak transfer and for a person using a power wheelchair and is unable to load it into the vehicle. Swivel seats are only suitable in vehicles with a flat floor and no console between the front seats. It helps if the seat can slide forwards and backwards and lift up as this helps to get the legs past the gear lever and hand brake.
The 6-Way power seats from Ricon and Autoadapt have a lift and lower function as well which helps to lift the feet up off the floor while swivelling. The Ricon Power Transfer seat is available from Shoprider and Leda Medical, who supply the AutoAdapt range, have a range of seats that swivel either inwards (TURNIN) or outwards (TURNY). On these bases they are also able to provide a tilt function (TILDA), which can give more headspace as the seat slides into the vehicle, or it can give a more comfortable driving position inside the vehicle.
Angelo Kater Motor Trimmers (011 3633450) in Springs and BusTruck in Jetpark (011 8263222) have a mechanical swivel available which can be fitted to any of the larger minivans or vans which have a single driver’s seat. It is a rotating base which is bolted onto the pedestal under the seat. It has a locking mechanism which locks it into any number of predetermined positions. The locking mechanism is controlled by a large lever on the side of the chair.
Shoprider (012 6531817) have a swivel base which can be mechanically or electrically operated. It has 400mm of travel forwards and backwards to create space for the users’ legs. It can swivel 90 or 180 degrees, with 3 locking positions. It has a mechanical spring loaded latch to release.
EZ Drive (0713629350) and Easy Drive WC (0824524639) can supply the Guidosimplex range of swivel seats. These range from a basic manual or electric swivel function to a fully automated lowering and lifting function.