Saturday, October 06, 2012

2012 Community Awards

The Women's Club Community Awards were presented on Oct. 6, 2012, as part of the Apple Day celebration in Greenville, Illinois. For 2012, Women's Club Awards Chair Jerri Davenport and her colleagues honored Scott Darnell with the Presidential Award for his work in designing handicapped vehicles. Among many dear friends, other honorees included lifelong family friend Gerald "Speed" Jenner, who was presented with the Service Award for his many years of outstanding community service. More information here via

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Travel Report: Greenville, Illinois, to Loyalty Mobile Innovations, Gallatin, Tennessee

Driver: Scott Darnell, C-5/6 Quad
Vehicle: 2008 1500 2WD Chevrolet Silverado equipped with award-winning Further OPTIONS DMS mobility system.
Date: July 26, 2012
Distance: 630 miles round trip

I would like to thank Sherry Schaefer for introducing me to Joe Loy - owner of Loyalty Mobile Innovations in Gallatin, Tennessee. Thank you for taking such good care of us yesterday… your personnel / facilities / capabilities are incredible, and I cannot wait to work with you!

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Loyalty Mobile Command Vehicles, Custom Coaches and Motorhomes

Loyalty Mobile Innovations is the leading manufacturer of high caliber mobile outreach and command facilities, luxury motorhomes, luxury buses, custom coaches, luxury RVs and conversion buses. We stand apart from our competitors by combining cutting edge technology with an old school approach to actual customer service - an approach that begins and ends with LOYALTY and INNOVATION. INNOVATIONS are our means to an end. No two of our conversions are alike. Joe Loy (CEO) himself interfaces with each customer to design and build custom conversions that consistently exceed client expectations and industry standards.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab 2500HD 4x4

EVERYTHING is new! New company, new lift, etc. Much to report, we will get it up as soon as we can. In the meantime, here is the latest.

Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab 2500HD 4x4
- 3" body lift/56" of floor-to-ceiling-height
- Users chair: Bounder Plus "H" Frame (user plus chair = +560lbs.)
- The new DDS Lift has 32" of stroke

 All buttoned up!

...doors open from the back...

 ...doors open from the front…

...lift in the "driving" position *this client had not yet had his wheelchair 
synced up to the truck - so the aluminum "forks" are especially long…

...lift in the "all the way up" position straight on...

…"all the way up" from the side…

…lift all the way down in the "load / unload " position straight on...

..."load / unload " from the side (forks have been modified for user in this picture)...
The DDS lift has 32 inches of stroke - it is 28 1/2 inches on this truck from the lower door rubber to the ground.

...manual backup switch-box wired directly to hydraulic pump...

Emergency Situation - Step one (electrical and hydraulic pump failure)
*the power door system operates on air - when doors close, they operate just as from factory - grab the factory door handles and open the doors

Step two

Step three

...backseat from the passenger side...

...front portion of the drivers compartment...

...drivers compartment floor...

...rear portion of the drivers compartment... section...

Stay tuned...more to come!

Friday, June 08, 2012

2012 National Mobility Awareness Month update

Together with the executives from the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association, I want to thank you again for participating in National Mobility Awareness Month. NMEDA's team has shared this message:

The response was fantastic and with your help, leaders in Washington, D.C. have also taken notice of the awareness month. Recently, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, a resolution was submitted to designate May 2012 as National Mobility Awareness Month.

You'll also be interested to know that Alberto Cruz of Willimantic, Connecticut, Ken Davert of Bay City, Michigan and Ron Miner of Frankfort, Illinois, are the winners of the new wheelchair accessible vehicles. Please join the celebrations honoring these and other Local Heroes by visiting

Thank you!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A 2012 NMEDA Local Hero?

Dear friends:

Scott Darnell has been nominated in the 2012 NMEDA Local Hero Contest. If he's able to get enough votes, he has a chance to win a 2012 custom Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country or Honda Odyssey wheelchair accessible vehicle.

If you have a moment to vote for him, he'll be deeply grateful, and he has promised at least one free ride per vote (round-trip, of course!).

Please follow this link to cast your vote (the rules say people can vote every 24 hours): Scott Darnell

Voting ends on May 13.

Scott says: "I’m feeling very lucky just to have earned this nomination and to have so many great people in my life. Thank you for being one of them, and for any help on this."

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Travel Report: Greenville, Illinois, to MGA Research Corp., Burlington, Wisconsin

Driver: Scott Darnell, C-5/6 Quad
Vehicle: 2008 1500 2WD Chevrolet Silverado equipped with award-winning Further OPTIONS DMS mobility system.
Date: Jan. 19, 2011
Distance: 664 miles round trip ("count 'em - 3 tanks of gas!")

When my colleague Cristy Willman and I got on the road from Greenville at 4:00 A.M., it was 20 degrees and the roads were a little slippery.

The GPS - or "mouth" as we lovingly refer to her – took us much closer to Rockford, Illinois, but did steer us clear of Chicago.

It was a quiet drive, my co-pilot only needed one stop and we arrived at MGA Research Corporation, Burlington, Wisconson, at 9:40 A.M.

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NDAs were signed and into the facility we went... I was very impressed! After some visiting we were placed behind the safe barriers – with the crash-test dummies (a dozen or so... I swear they were moving, just managing to stop/freeze each time I looked over). Equipped with MGA Research safety glasses, we all witnessed a brand new vehicle smash head long into an unmoving wall at 35 miles per hour!

It only took a minute and we all gathered around to weigh the damage. I was impressed when the front doors opened just as intended... I'll just say, I'm sure it performed exactly as the manufactuer hoped it would. The data came out and was explained to us, all of the marks they needed to ascertain were met easily!

Then the different elements of crash testing were explained, like what we would need to do to surpass predefined safety marks... what we would have to do to get our pick-up truck and SUV to pass current legislation.

For anyone interested, our current truck application needs just one relatively simple tweak to bypass the need for crash testing. That's right - our structural modifications are so minimal that our trusted authorities inform us that, after making that one adjustment, we will not have to crash test!

Do please note that for anyone interested in having the factory seat put back into a position so that able-bodied people can drive the vehicle from it, we will have to crash test. At the end of the day, the information showed that all our homework has been fruitful, warranted and appreciated.

After exhausting everyone with my questions, we made our escape. We had not eaten anything all day, so we were both hoping for a little something up the food chain for a late lunch. Much to our joy, we found someplace I have long wanted to visit, having seen it on TLC as a stop on CBS's the Amazing Race. We chose to dine at Gino's East!

We filled up with gasoline first. You do know that if you pull up to a gas station at the pump and honk your horn, attendants will come out and pump your gas? It's a wonderful thing in our country, each time I've experienced it. I am most grateful to everyone who works at any store where gas is served, and where this duty falls to you. You are extremely appreciated!
After refueling, we wound our way through Lake Geneva, Wisconsin... a beautiful town with incredible architecture and a lake you can drive your truck out on! Seriously, we pulled down to the lakeside and there were little fishing houses, just like in the movie, "Grumpy Old Men" out on the lake. Some had pickup trucks parked right next to them!

Gino’s sits looking out over the park, where in the summer you can rent rowboats, and the small bay comes right up and kisses the town.

What I can also report is, deep dish Chicago style pizza at its very best! The bruschetta was fantastic... the pizza, well worth the wait!

Gino's East, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

We got back in the truck and headed back for home. We drove past many signs that are currently difficult to ignore – Antiques - Flea Markets - places I was oblivious to prior to my injury.

The ability to get out and go is certainly a priceless commodity. Thank goodness there are those who have fought the fight to establish this as a legitimate right for us all thus far.
I cannot wait for you all to have experiences like these... to once again look out over the hood of the vehicle you choose... as the scenery gently waves you on...

Home at 8:02 P.M.... another great day! Big thanks also to Cristy, her husband Mike, and all our friends, familymembers and partners that make these adventures possible. The efforts are already helping us get more new people back on the road in style!