Buggy offers a world of mobility

Local creation holds potential for users and designer/builder

Clifford Brotherston

Along with the acres of rustic community enjoyment up for grabs at last weekend’s Pass Creek Fall Fair there was one especially intriguing mechanical component.

Parked among the assortment of beautiful classic cars and trucks, near the bandstand, was a unique and interesting piece of motorized hardware.Right there beside a stunning two-door ’55 Chevrolet was the unit known as the “Freedom Buggy,” a  serious venture into the domain of heavy-duty transportation for those with limited mobility.

On board in a well-secured wheelchair was the teenage Orrin Patton. The unit and the people nearby were attracting their fair share of attention from passing fair-goers.

The Freedom Buggy is obviously built to last with a welded steel structure and a stable looking wide stance.Its designer and creator, Clifford Brotherston of Ootischenia, says he’s often made or adapted machines to suit whatever the situation dictated.

“I worked on different farm equipment and pipeline equipment. I was always into some new type of work that would make something easier for someone else,” he related. It was plain to see the rig looked capable for its intended purpose, but what about gaining legitimacy and, subsequently a foothold in the marketplace?

“That kind of thing is being looked at as we speak,” said Brotherston the Monday following the fair.”I see it eventually being legalized and licensed like a quad, or other recreational vehicle.”

Whether it could end up being seen in numbers like the familiar scooters for physically challenged folks remains to be seen, but Brotherston is actively promoting it and feels it’s future could depend largely on the government’s Ministry Of Transportation.

The unit features a ramp for getting on and off it, a rear-mounted engine and rear wheel drive.The small front wheels have a lot of steering freedom and Brotherston says the unit can be “turned 180 degrees in its own length.”

It was interesting speaking with the inventor, a long-time heavy-duty mechanic, about the robust “conveyance.”A popular TV show came immediately to mind, and a related question was quickly asked.

“I haven’t thought about the Dragon’s Den,” he said. “Well I guess everybody dreams about the Dragons’ Den, but there’s more people who get turned down than ever get accepted. At my stage in life I would probably look for a manufacturer.”

There may come a day when the locally-designed Freedom Buggy will grow from a local effort and the dream of its creator, into a mass produced success story. But if it does it may carry a different name as it appears the trademark “Freedom Buggy” may already be taken.Whatever the case, Brotherston has built this one to last and he’s happy to supply details. Drop him an email at freedombuggy@gmail.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read