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IN-DEPTH: Handicare’s next generation

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Making life easier for their customers is what drives stairlift manufacturer Handicare to bring new and improved products and services to the marketplace.

The company says it relies on customer insights and feedback from all quarters to inform its R&D process and prides itself on its collaborative approach to working with key partners including its worldwide dealer network.

Introduced in early 2019, its “next generation” straight stairlift, the Handicare 1100 was an immediate hit with dealers who appreciated its modern design and features which made it quicker to install and easier to sell.

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Now over 70% of Handicare’s straight stairlifts sold across all its markets are the 1100, with a growing number of local authorities very receptive to its practical and versatile features.

The Handicare 1100’s tooth and grease-free slimline rail and continuous charging strip are judged to be its standout qualities, while the non-handed rail, pack and seat make it perfect for dealers to hold in stock so they can quickly respond to customer demand.

Earlier this year, the manufacturer launched rail options for the Handicare 1100 including a Zero Intrusion, Slide Track and Easy Hinge.

Handicare Sales and Marketing Director, Paul Stockdill said: “Staircases come in all shapes and sizes, particularly in the UK where space is often limited. The introduction of these rail options means dealers now have a modern solution that’s attractive to their customers and which can be installed in a wide variety of homes from stock. The 1100 really does have the versatility, as well as the reliability, desirability and profitability dealers demand from a straight stairlift.”

 Zero Intrusion Accessory Kit

This unique solution is designed for homes with a door on the upper landing, or where the stairlift could be a possible tripping hazard at the top of the stairs.

The kit eliminates the rail overrun, allowing installers to fit the Handicare 1100 without making modifications to their customer’s home. It includes special rail supports and an adapter plate for the seat chassis, and can be used in combination with the powered swivel and footrest.

The special rail supports are used to move the rail away from the top nose until zero intrusion is achieved. By installing the adapter plate between the footrest and the noses of the floor, the steps become reduced allowing the 1100’s footrest to end flush with the landing on the top floor.

There is no difference in how the staircase is surveyed as the rail length stays the same. Moving the rail slightly forward means more parking space is required for the lift at the bottom of the stairs.

•             Modular solution: only one extra kit
•             Easy and fast to install
•             Stockable item. Keep one in stock to install straight away when needed
•             Great for basement stairs
•             Minimum gap between footrest and nose of last step

Slide Track

Handicare’s revolutionary alternative to hinged tracks is a ground-breaking solution that has proved popular with dealers and customers alike. The track moves up the staircase at the same time as the seat is moving, leaving any doorways at the top or bottom of the stairs unobstructed. It’s activated automatically with the toggle or remote control.

The 1100 Slide Track has new and improved technology which makes it quieter and more reliable. Its introduction follows field trials carried out in conjunction with dealers including Surrey Stairlift Services.

Commenting on the slide track, Leon Miller said: “Whisper quiet operation, clean grease-free rail. Slick and sleek in operation, a vast engineering improvement on its predecessor.”

The 1100 Slide Track’s exceptional advantages for users include:

•             Zero intrusion, both upstairs and downstairs
•             No waiting time for the rail to (un)fold
•             Fully automatic
•             Smooth ride: no bumps over hinges in the rail
•             No extra handling needed (folding the rail)
•             Safe: no pinching hazard, no sharp edges, no vertical moving parts, sensors at both ends stop the track is an obstacle is detected
•             State-of-the-art style

The benefits for dealers include:

•             Non-handed – usable left or right, matching the 1100 standard rail
•             Powerpacks are compatible with the powerpacks for standard rails
•             Re-usable
•             Stockable item. Keep one in stock to install straight away when needed

Easy Hinge

The lightweight Easy Hinge option is effortlessly folded out of the way to clear the hallway while the stairlift is moved into a parked position. It’s an ideal and cost-effective solution for hallways where access is required through doorways that are close to the staircase.

The folded rail also means there aren’t any tripping hazards at the bottom of the stairs.

The Easy Hinge is engineered to make manual operation as effortless as possible. It has a built-in gas spring in the rail, assisting the movement making it very easy to unfold or fold the hinged rail part. A light tap is all that’s needed to operate the Easy Hinge.

The Handicare 1100 can be parked anywhere on the rail. Even when it’s parked on the hinged part of the rail, the batteries will charge thanks to the continuous charge function throughout the rail. Ideal if the stairlift is placed in front of a door that’s seldom used, like the meter cupboard for example.

•             Cost-effective solution
•             Easy to install as pre-assembled
•             Only one rail part so no extra boxes
•             No additional levers or brackets on the rail
•             No brackets on the floor
•             Non-handed – can be used on either side of the stairs
•             Re-usable
•             Stockable item. Keep one in stock to install straight away when needed
•             A robust safety bracket ensures compliance with standards in line with EN 81-40 guidelines.

Handicare has created a full suite of supporting marketing literature to accompany the new rail options, as well as installation and sales manuals.

Training videos are available on the dealer portal, along with photos and videos which can be used to show customers the full range of alternatives to suit their needs, their budget and their home.

Tags : handicarestairlift
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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