GuidoSimplex is relatively new with its introduction to the USA and some parts of Europe, but their hand controls are simply some of the best out there so their introduction has been expected for quite some time.
Below you’ll find a list of the different ‘types’ of hand controls which they have on offer. Mechanical designs are the worst (although in comparison to most U.S based competitors their ‘worst’ are their opponent’s ‘best’. Generally speaking hydraulic and electronic technology models are the best.
Why GuidoSimplex hand controls are different…
Overall they’re different because their minimum standard is very much near to the top standard of most of its competitors. You’ll find that at least mechanical assistance is offered for the vast majority of their models.
What’s more are their innovative designs, allowing a wide array of situations to be catered for, such as:
- Unique driving solutions such as ‘accelerator wheels’ which fit over the steering wheel.
- Minimalist installation models which do not cause permanent car damage but also don’t impede quality.
- Hydraulic brakes (completely unique) for particularly weak drivers.
- Electronic accelerators which allow driving at simply the push of a button.
- Completely automatic driving control systems allowing for all disabled drivers the possibility of driving.
You’ll find that as you go through and down their product list, their models are certainly much different from the majority of what’s on offer.
Instead of being able limited to just a few different models with comparatively limited capabilities you can make practical decisions based upon your:
- Financial situation.
- Disability status.
- Non–permanent installations.
Mechanical Brake and Accelerator
These are the most basic hand controls by GuidoSimplex, but for manufacturers across the world – including those in the US and UK, you’ll find that these are in many cases the most advanced.
The ‘mechanical’ part refers to a mechanical linkage which is between the actual hand control and the floor pedals. This linkages reduces and spreads out the effort required making driving smoother and requiring a lower maximum effort level needed. A good comparison would perhaps be that of a pulley system, where ropes are leveraged to make the overall task easier.
Although GuidoSimplex offers far more advanced types of technology, you’ll find that for almost all paraplegics or otherwise disabled drivers will have no problem using them. Considering that standard ‘non mechanized’ hand controls work for most people you’ll find that these certainly do as well.
The reasons that people pick the different technology types, which I’ll outline below, are because they either want a more comfortable driving experience, or they have an incredibly serious disability which doesn’t just affect their legs but also their arms and hands and finally there are also cases where the driver has use of one leg, in which case pedal modifications or acceleration/brake only models are a reasonable choice to pick.
Electronic Accelerator and Mechanical Brake
These are the most common hand controls which people tend to go for because they feature the electronic accelerator. The mechanized brake is important for easing the braking process, but remember that the accelerator is the one you’re going to be using far more.
It’s far better purely from a time perspective to have the acceleration made easiest because it allows for the driver to relax the most effort consuming activity, instead of having to pay for electronic versions of the brake which would substantially increase the overall price you reach a compromise position based on cost and functionality.
Accelerator Only Hand Controls
There are two different types of accelerator hand control, but firstly it’s important to recognize who would want this type of device. Firstly there are people who still have use of one leg and can fully operate the brake pedal, this doesn’t have to be a specific leg necessarily because a left gas pedal can be fitted (this is adjustable based on the car the country is from).
Next there are people who are still completely disabled, but want to ‘mix and match’ by choosing an acceleration control combined with a brake only device.
The benefits of this is that you get far greater flexibility in choosing a combination which perfectly suits your requirements. You can pick something which caters to what you want in a far more specific manner, plus the acceleration/brake only models are very different allowing for completely unique characteristics (such as the acceleration ring which goes over the steering wheel).
Brake Only Hand Controls
These are used for a similar reason that acceleration hand controls are, but you’ll find there’s an even greater variety to choose from.
Here you can pick between mechanical, electro-mechanical, electronic and hydraulic brake only controls:
- Mechanical controls are simply those which are constructed with mechanical linkage which makes their use easier.
- Electro-mechanical have the same linkage, however its activation is by an electronic button or lever.
- Electronic feature a completely automated system which has a quicker response time which isn’t hindered by the linkage.
- Hydraulic brakes feature the use of liquids as well as moving components which allow the brakes to be accessed by a lever which gives a greater degree of control than pushing a button whilst retaining an incredibly low level of effort required.
Hydraulic Brake and Electronic Accelerator
These are very much just for two types of people, those with serious physical disabilities who have reduced strength in their arms and hands – or those who want an incredibly easy driving experience.
As you’ll have seen from the topics above, hydraulic braking action and electronic acceleration are really the easiest and most effortless way for a disabled person to drive a vehicle.
It allows for complete flexibility of control whilst maintaining an incredibly low input of effort. The only downsides are that there are only a limited number of models, so perhaps it may be best to pick standalone accelerators/brakes and combine them together.
Clutch Hand Controls
Clutch hand controls allows for the semi-automatic operation of the clutch via the gear knob, although this process of activation is different based on the vehicle as well as under certain conditions. I shall quickly outline them below.
- The other models require a change of the gear knob to a different gear, in which case the the clutch attachment (which is detecting and calculating other car functions at the same time) will activate the clutch accordingly.
- Or in the case of the ‘Duck Clutch’ version, you’ll find that a button on the top actively gives you control over changing the clutch.
- Finally for some controls, under certain speeds the control of the clutch is automatic if you want it to be set like this.
These are perfectly suited for people with manual transmission cars who want the control of the clutch and manual driving, without the associated risks for the disabled person having to operated too many things at once.
You may be pleased to know that many race car drivers also opt for this kind of clutch control because it allows them quicker reaction times
GuidoSimplex – A Handicap Driving Equipment Company from Italy
If you’re looking for other GuidoSimplex disabled driving solutions we suggest you check out the GuidoSimplex page. GuidoSimplex’s story began in Italy and since then they’ve become world renound for manufacturing some of the most advanced hand controls. But it’s not only their hand controls which are incredibly useful – they have handicap pedal kits and steering wheel attachments which make GuidoSimplex one of the best manufacturers all-round.