Ross Hovey takes delivery of the UK’s first drive from Mercedes-Benz V-Class wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Despite living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II, and requiring 24/7 support for tasks and activities such as washing, dressing, feeding etc. 39-year-old Ross Hovey from Cambridgeshire has refused to let it stop him living life to the full. One activity where Ross is fiercely independent is driving.
Ross works for Lloyds Banking Group as Accessibility Manager, a job which involves regular travel across the UK. Away from work, Ross is a huge Liverpool fan which can involve travelling all over the country to attend away games – therefore a reliable car is vital to Ross and this is where Lewis Reed has been pivotal to Ross and his independence, as he explains:
“Prior to taking delivery of my Mercedes V Class from Lewis Reed, I owned two Chrysler Grand Voyagers which were great but used an awful lot of fuel. When the time came to look at changing my vehicle I did some research on the Mercedes V Class which I felt was the only comparable vehicle to my ageing Chrysler. I soon discovered that Lewis Reed offered a passenger conversion but had seen a drive from model on a trip to Germany so visited Naidex – the UK’s leading disability exhibition – to talk to Lewis Reed and have a look at their vehicles. I met with Gordon Sciarrillo on the stand at Naidex, and asked the question about a drive from version and was told “yes” immediately which was fantastic news. I then got in touch with Motability, and after a relatively short space of time Lewis Reed, Motability and Steering Developments all confirmed that I would be suitable for a drive from Mercedes V Class WAV”.
Ross’s vehicle is fitted with a space drive system which operates wirelessly. The system incorporates two joystick controls, one to power the vehicle and accelerate / reverse and a second from which Ross steers. “The Space Drive system is just amazing, it makes driving so much easier compared to previous hydraulic joystick conversions I have driven” continued Ross.
“This is our very first drive from Mercedes V Class and represents our latest WAV innovation. It has been a pleasure to work with Ross during the development and conversion of his vehicle and hearing how happy he is with his new vehicle is fantastic for everyone here at Lewis Reed” commented Dr Peter Scullion Managing Director Lewis Reed and Chairman of the OECVA European WAV’s Committee.
To enable Ross to access his vehicle easily, his Mercedes is fitted with a side access lift and 4 corner air suspension system which is highly unusual and allows you to raise and lower the whole of the vehicle to suit driving conditions. As part of the conversion, Ross’s Mercedes had a full flat floor installed in the front to enable him to easily transfer from the driving to passenger position in his powerchair should someone else wish to drive. Once in the driving position, Ross uses a wheelchair docking station to secure his wheelchair in the driving position. Additional features of Ross’s vehicle include a bleeper system for all the secondary controls such as indicators, wipers etc. and many standard driver enhancements including 360-degree camera, blind spot indicators, distrionic cruise control, GPS tracker and many more, all of which helps any driver but even more so a disabled driver.
“From day one, everyone at Lewis Reed has been fantastic and I cannot praise them enough. Purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle can involve numerous assessments, meetings etc and no matter how many queries I had, I always received a prompt and friendly response. I would not hesitate in recommending Lewis Reed to anybody looking to purchase a WAV” concluded Ross.
To find out more about the full range of vehicle conversations available from Lewis Reed please call 0151 343 5360 or browse our website. You can also keep up to date with the latest news from Lewis Reed on Twitter @lewisreedgroup and facebook /lewisreedwavltd.
Lewis Reed Group, Provider Of High Quality Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
With over 20 years experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.