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Choosing An All-Terrain Buggy

Considerations When Choosing an All-Terrain Buggy

Steel or aluminium, pneumatics or solids, will it fit my car? Choosing a three-wheel all-terrain buggy for a user with special needs requires careful consideration, as outlined by Adrian Bradbury, designer of Delichon’s Delta buggy.

Points To Consider


Your ATB will be used over long periods and come in for less than gentle handling so the first thing to look for is a strong frame. Steel buggies tend to be heavier and liable to rust whereas aluminium frames offer a lighter alternative with greater durability. And check the frame allows the buggy to fold small enough to be easily moved in and out of your car and still leave room for those other essentials.



ATB seats can look similar but some are better than others. Rigid seating might appear to offer better support but can become uncomfortable in off-road trekking. Users get a greater feeling of security in a canvas hammock thanks to better wraparound contact, external shoulder support and shock absorption. A bucketed seat position improves these feelings and, when combined with the right frame, lowers the buggy’s centre of gravity, improving stability. You should check weight, balance and ease of use by manoeuvring the ATB with the user in the seat.



Wheels and tyres also affect manoeuvrability; for example, large diameter wheels make pushing easier while tyre choice depends on where you want to take your ATB. Pneumatic tyres offer a softer ride but can get punctures - which used to be a serious problem with heavier users in the middle of nowhere – however the use of "slime", or a similar product, is an effective solution to the problem.



Good brakes are essential for slowing the buggy quickly and safely, and locking brakes increase safety when stopped on a slope or transferring the user in and out. An anti-tip device is very useful accessory during transfer. A swivelling front wheel offers better manoeuvrability on smoother surfaces but is trouble off-road; here, fixed is better. A fixed wheel also allows larger users to position their feet either side, giving a lower, better balanced, seating position. Some buggies allow the wheel to be changed from fixed for outdoors to swivel for indoors. Although attractive, check the mount for possible wear over time as it can become weak. Removable wheels also reduce the buggy’s folded size and allow muddy wheels to be bagged separately.


Expert Advice

Perhaps the overriding consideration when choosing an ATB is the carer and user. At Delichon we have been helping people choose three-wheeled ATBs since 1996 when the first standard nursery models appeared, experience we have engineered into our new Delta buggies.