Whoever said that losing your mobility also meant giving up your independence? We've already seen that the adventurous wheelchair user or walking-impaired person can head off road with a six-wheeled electric all-terrain vehicle or a caterpillar-tracked micro EV drive train. Now there's another option: Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain personal utility vehicle, which allows the wheelchair-bound to traverse up to 12 miles (19 km) cross country at a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 km/h).
The Tomahawk is the brainchild of company owner Brice Crawford, who saw first-hand how difficult it is to get around outdoors with a disability. His grandfather had a prosthetic leg after stepping on a land mine in World War II and his mother had difficulty walking thanks to nerve damage suffered during an operation that punctured an artery in her leg. With the goal of letting such people "get off the concrete and get back into nature," Crawford founded the Nebraska-based Rocket Mobility.
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The company's first vehicle to hit the market is the 380-lb (172 kg) Tomahawk, which features a steel frame packing two deep-cycle 12-volt batteries to power its two 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) motors. It also sports a left- or right-mounted mechanical joystick control and boasts a zero turning radius of (so you can turn on the spot), an adjustable lap belt to keep you secure, along with flip-up arm rests and rear anti-tip wheels to ensure you don't take a backwards tumble if you hit a ditch as you climb a hill.
The caterpillar tracks provide 5.5 in (14 cm) of ground clearance for the vehicle's body, while its seat is situated at a height of 23 in (58 cm) and measures 19.5 in (50 cm) wide, with the whole vehicle measuring 38 in (97 cm) tall, 36 in (91 cm) wide, and 44 to 48.5 in (112 to 123 cm) long, depending on which extras you select.
The Tomahawk comes at a base price just shy of US$10,000, with optional extras and accessories pushing the cost up to a maximum of $12,960. Standard colors are black, red, orange, or blue, although you can pay an extra $495 for a custom frame color.
Other extras include a racing seat, roll bar, LED headlight, 20 amp battery charger, self-leveling drink holder, and a harness or extended lap belt. Hunting enthusiasts can have a gun rack and scabbard installed, along with a camo wrap on the frame, and there's also a fishing rod holder option.
Source: Rocket MobilityView gallery - 10 images