|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2013)|
|Industry||Power wheelchair manufacturer in the durable medical equipment and home medical equipment industry|
|Founder(s)||Thomas E Kruse|
|Products||Power Chairs, Mobility Scooters, Patient Lifts, Personal Vehicle Ramps, Mobility Accessories|
|Revenue||$100 million (2005)|
Hoveround is an American corporation that manufactures and distributes the Hoveround brand of power wheelchairs (also known as motorized wheelchairs) and sells scooters, lifts, ramps and power chair accessories.
The company, founded in 1992 by former nurse and inventor Tom Kruse, is based in Sarasota, Florida. Its battery-operated products are primarily designed to assist mobility challenged individuals in getting around inside their homes and to facilitate mobility-related activities of daily living (MRADLs).
Hoveround sells directly to consumers. It is the only power wheelchair supplier that manufactures, customizes, and delivers, in addition to servicing and repairing all the power chairs it provides. Hoveround relies primarily on direct response television, their website and direct mail marketing for advertising sales efforts.
Hoveround employs more than 500 employees, with service locations covering 45 US states as of 2012. Hoveround celebrated its 20th anniversary in April 2012 and, to date, has distributed over 190,000 power chairs to customers with limited mobility.
Inventor Thomas Kruse, along with his brothers George and Robert, founded Hoveround Corporation in April 1992. Built to increase the mobility of wheelchair-bound individuals, the Hoveround prototype maximized ease-of-operation, comfort and durability.
The name “Hoveround” is the brainchild of Tom Kruse. He blended the word “hover” (based on the hovering look of the wheelchair),with the Beach Boys’ song “I Get Around.” Kruse had been listening to the song on the radio while driving to a power chair promotional event and came up with the Hoveround name.
On June 28, 1994, Hoveround began selling its power wheelchairs direct to the customer. Within 90 days, Hoveround was profitable. In subsequent years, the company has continued to see revenue growth as the need for mobility assistance increases with the aging of the US population.
Hoveround is the only direct-to-consumer power wheelchair manufacturer in the home medical equipment industry and, therefore, does not contract out with distributors or local dealers. Hoveround has over 100 warehouses located throughout the contiguous United States and has more than 150 factory-trained field technicians who deliver and service its power chairs.
Hoveround achieved FDA certification as a registered manufacturer in 1994, followed by ISO 9001 certification in 1997. In 1998, private holding company Jordan Industries, purchased an 80% stake in Hoveround. The remaining stock remained with Kruse and his brothers.
Hoveround’s administrative headquarters are located in Sarasota, Florida and its manufacturing facilities are in nearby Manatee County.
Hoveround custom assembles all of its power chairs at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Southwest Florida. Each power chair is customized in accordance with individual client needs, and as medically prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.
Hoveround power chairs are also rigorously tested for quality in the company’s self-described “torture chamber.” This environment simulates 5+ years of heavy, day-to-day power wheelchair use, and ensures that every Hoveround meets industry standards for quality, durability and product safety.
Accreditation & Awards
To date, Hoveround is the only power wheelchair manufacturer that is both Joint Commission accredited and ISO 9001-2008 certified. Hoveround has the highest BBB rating and has been a member since 1996.
As of 2012, Hoveround offered six power wheelchair models, three motorized scooters, personal lifts, ramps and various power wheelchair accessories. The electric wheelchair models manufactured by the company and available as of 2012 included:
- MPV5 Power Chair
- Teknique FWD
- Teknique RWD
- Teknique GT
- Teknique XHD (a bariatric front-wheel drive model with a 450 pound weight capacity)
- Teknique HD-6 (bariatric strength and a 600 pound weight capacity)
In 2010, Hoveround expanded its personal mobility equipment offerings to include what it called the HOVERLIFT suite. These products, not covered by Medicare guidelines, introduced a line of personal lifts
- Car/Vehicle Lift
- Stair Chairlift
Customers can purchase any of the HOVERLIFT products without a prescription, directly through the Hoveround website.