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Q'Straint
Press Releases

PRESS ADVISORY - MAY 20, 2014

NEW W18 STANDARDS WILL PROVIDE INCREASED SAFETY FOR WHEELCHAIR PASSENGER TRANSPORT

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - MAY 20 2014: With safety as the number one priority in wheelchair transportation, the Rehabilitation Engineering Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) updated the WC18 standards for wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint systems (WTORS) which will take effect in December 2015.

“Q’Straint is extremely proud of our new iQ Research Centre of Excellence,” said Andy Cumming, Managing Director of Q’Straint. “With our investment in the facility, we can now research, test, certify and deliver the next generation of securement systems to market, thereby improving safety for everyone.”

Currently, WC18 requires that WTORS withstand a sled impact test using a 30mph/20g crash pulse, a 187 lb. surrogate wheelchair and a 170 lb. midsize adult male crash-test dummy where the lap belt is anchored to the vehicle. Since new WC19 standards now require the availability of an optional wheelchair–anchored lap belt to hold the occupant into place, RESNA had to address the higher wheelchair forces that would be transmitted to the tiedown/securement systems when a person riding in a wheelchair is using that lap belt. As a result, RESNA developed the new WC18 standard requiring that WTORS must also be able to withstand the increased forces generated in a second impact test, in which the 170 lb. crash-test dummy is restrained by a lap belt that is anchored to the surrogate wheelchair rather than to the vehicle itself.

“Manufacturers of wheelchair and occupant restraint systems and those responsible for transporting people dependent on wheelchairs are planning now for the new safety regulations,” said Bob Joseph, VP of Business Development for Q’Straint, a global leader in developing innovative solutions for wheelchair passenger travel. “One way to ensure compliance with the new WC18 standards by the December 2015 deadline is to consider equipment upgrades to transportation fleets and personal mobility vehicles in advance.”

Q’Straint has embraced the new WC18 standards by developing and offering the QRT-360, the first retractor to meet the requirements, which demonstrates the company’s increasing commitment to the safety of travelers seated in wheelchairs. The QRT-360 is the first 4-point, heavy duty, fully automatic retractable tie-down system designed, engineered and built to perform successfully in the required 30mph frontal crash when a wheelchair passenger is traveling in a motor vehicle and is using the optional lap belt as discussed above. It also offers a shortened retractor footprint that allows for more flexibility in vehicle anchor-point locations to better accommodate large wheelchairs. The revolutionary new product is therefore compatible with the widest variety of wheelchairs and is an acceptable solution to wheelchair securement in all types of motor vehicles.

In addition, the self-tensioning tie-down system automatically tightens the straps during small wheelchair movements that occur during travel to eliminate slack. The belts continue to tighten during low-g vehicle accelerations, thereby further reducing the potential for wheelchair movement in the event of a collision. The webbing used in this system has also been redesigned and is twice as strong as the material used with other wheelchair and occupant restraint systems.

“The benefits of the new WC18 standards address not only improved passenger safety, but also offer a more efficient and independent securement process,” adds Joseph. “All industry transit providers and those with private vehicles should begin their preparations for complying and update themselves on the new standards and the products that meet these standards.”

As background, WC19 was the first industry standard in the U.S. for wheelchair manufacturers to address the design and performance of wheelchairs used as seats in motor vehicles. WC18 governs the systems used to safely secure the wheelchairs within the personal or commercial vehicle.


About Q’Straint: For nearly 30 years, Q'Straint has remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for more than two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in more than 70 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.



PRESS ADVISORY - APRIL 2, 2014

Q’STRAINT UNVEILS iQ RESEARCH CENTER OF EXCELLENCE WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART CRASH TEST SLED

Investment underscores Q’Straint’s position as a global technology industry leader

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, APRIL 2, 2014:
Q’Straint, a global leader in developing innovative solutions for wheelchair passenger travel, has announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art research facility exemplifying the company’s leading edge innovation in advancing the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel.

The iQ Research Center of Excellence will push further innovation and enhance the company’s product development capabilities. This facility features state-of-the-art technologies such as a HYGE™ crash simulation system or “test sled,” and Phantom high-speed cameras to help study the dynamics in a crash environment as they relate to wheelchair passengers. It’s another example of how Q’Straint is going above and beyond to focus on safety and develop new technologies that allow for quicker product development, increasing the speed with which new products can be introduced.

“The investment in the iQ Research Center of Excellence underscores the Q’Straint commitment to advancements in research and development,” said Bob Joseph, Q’Straint VP of Business Development. “Our new test sled allows us to now study, test, certify and bring new products to market quicker than ever before, thereby improving safety for everyone while at the same time reinforcing our position as a global technology leader within the industry.”

The new iQ Research Center of Excellence and crash simulation system are located in Q’Straint’s Whitstable, East Kent, UK location. Oversight for each test will be provided by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) which will witness and critique each test, only certifying the tests that meet the agency’s stringent criteria. Currently only a limited number of HYGE dynamic crash simulation systems exist in the world.


About Q’Straint: For nearly 30 years, Q'Straint has remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for more than two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in more than 70 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - FEBRUARY 15, 2014

FINAL UPDATES TO WHEELCHAIR STANDARDS APPLYING TO SECUREMENTS TAKE EFFECT IN DECEMBER 2015, BUT AT LEAST ONE COMPLIANT OPTION IS ALREADY AVAILABLE

Q'Straint's QRT-360 securement meets a WC18 requirement that goes into effect December 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, FEBRUARY 15, 2014:
New product design and crash-test requirements for wheelchairs by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) have already been implemented, but additional ones go into effect December 2015. The main change at that time will apply to WC18, a standard that acts as a companion to the WC19 standard that went into effect in 2000.

Meanwhile, last October at the NAPT Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich., wheelchair securement provider Q’Straint introduced a new retractor that meets the higher load requirements of WC18.

Both WC18 and WC19 are voluntary standards aimed at improving transportation safety for those who must ride in a wheelchair while in a moving vehicle, including a school bus. The WC19 standard mandates the use of wheelchairs that have been crash-tested and come with an integrated lap belt. The WC18 standard dictates that tie-down equipment must meet the added weight load requirements associated with WCI9-compliant wheelchairs.

To comply with the new industry standards published in RESNA’s Wheelchairs and Transportation, Volume 4, the WC18 wheelchair standards, wheelchair tie-downs or other securement devices have to pass two different dynamic strength tests.

While WC19-compliant wheelchairs are built with four crash-tested securement points to tie-downs and can withstand forces of a 30-mph impact, the standard also made WC18 and stronger tie-downs necessary.

Both WC18 and WC19 are meant to escalate the current Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2249 regulations. A J2249-mandated wheelchair has lap belts either anchored to the vehicle or to securements. In a collision, the occupant in this type of wheelchair moves forward, and their load is transferred to the floor of the vehicle through an occupant restraint.

In a WCI9 wheelchair, both the wheelchair and the occupant move forward. In this case, the occupant’s load is transferred to the WC19 wheelchair supplied lap belt, through their wheelchair and then directly to the retractors secured to the floor. The occupant’s load is dispersed between the shoulder attachment to the vehicle and the chair’s two lap-belt attachments.

Combining the load of both the occupant and wheelchair places a significant increase on the loading for the rear tie-downs. “Transit providers, including those who provide school transportation, paratransit and public bus services, and family members and caregivers who operate private vehicles, need to be aware of these new standards, and products to comply with them,” said Dr. Larry Schneider, chair of the RESNA Committee on Wheelchairs and Transportation and head of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

AHEAD OF THE GAME
Q’Straint Product Manager Patrick Girardin noted that the company had been developing its new QRT-360 for “several” years in anticipation of the WC18 requirement. “The [new retractor] can be utilized now, as the WC19 wheelchairs are already popular,” he added.

The QRT-360 is a four-point, heavy-duty, fully automatic retractable tie-down system designed to work in a 30-mph frontal crash when the occupant is in a WC19 wheelchair in a moving vehicle. It is compatible with a variety of wheelchairs as the shortened retractor footprint allows for more flexibility in vehicle anchor-point locations. Some of the product’s features include an energy-absorbing steel frame, new high-strength, 58-mm-wide webbing and a fine-adjustment, self-tensioning mechanism using 25 high-strength teeth in the retractor locking mechanism.




About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint has remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for more than two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.



PRESS ADVISORY - JANUARY 31, 2014

Q'STRAINT NAMES 2 NEW REGIONAL SALES MANAGERS

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, JANUARY 31, 2013: Wheelchair passenger safety solutions provider Q'Straint has appointed two new regional managers to its sales team.

Mitch Drouillard has been named southern regional sales manager for the transit and rail market segment, with a focus on developing new business and building customer relationships.

Drouillard previously spent 15years in the automotive industry, focused on sales and sales management for a tier one original equipment manufacturer, working extensively with government agencies.

Don Eaton has been named western regional sales manager for the transit and railmarket segment for Q'Straint He has more than eight years of experience in the transit industry, most recently with mobile surveillance provider Apollo Video Technology.




About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint has remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for more than two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.



PRESS ADVISORY - OCTOBER 20, 2013

Q’STRAINT DEBUTS NEW RETRACTOR THAT MEETS WC18 STANDARDS

QRT-360 is the first that meets the higher load requirements of WC18

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, OCTOBER 20, 2013:
Q’Straint announced today the availability of a new wheelchair retractor tie-down system that meets the higher-strength requirements of WC18 that take effect in December 2015. At that time, compliance with WC18 will require frontal-impact sled testing of the wheelchair tie-down system with the crash-test dummy restrained by a three-point lap/shoulder belt with a lap belt anchored to the 187-lb surrogate wheelchair, such that a large percentage of the wheelchair-passenger restraint forces are transmitted to the rear tie-down straps. The new QRT-360 is the first 4-point, heavy duty, fully automatic retractable tie-down system designed, engineered, and built to perform successfully in a 30-mph frontal crash when the user of a powered wheelchair is traveling in a motor vehicle while using a commercially available crashworthy lap belt that must be used in the frontal-impact test conducted of wheelchairs under WC19.


QRT-360

The new QRT-360 meets RESNA’s (Rehabilitation Engineering Assistive Technology Society of North American) newly revised WTORS standard for effective wheelchair securement well in advance of the 2015 deadline. It also offers a shortened retractor footprint that allows more flexibility in vehicle anchor-point locations to better accommodate large wheelchairs. The revolutionary new product is therefore compatible with the widest variety of wheelchairs and is an acceptable solution to wheelchair securement in all types of motor-vehicles.

“Transit providers, including those who provide school transportation, para-transit and public-bus services, and family members and caregivers who operate private vehicles need to be aware of these new standards and products that comply with them. They should also give serious consideration to purchasing and installing the latest versions of tie-down/restraint equipment that has improved over the years to become much easier to use, especially for people who are traveling while seated in a WC19 wheelchair with four easily accessible securement points,” said Dr. Larry Schneider, a research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The QRT-360 design utilizes innovative energy management features and material technologies to deliver the system’s full strength for maximum load capacity. It features an energy-absorbing steel frame, new high-strength 58-mm wide webbing, and a fine-adjustment self-tensioning mechanism using 25 high-strength teeth in the retractor locking mechanism. The geometry of the teeth and an innovative new locking bar ensure perpendicular alignment for maximum strength in all tie-down situations. A re-engineered positive-locking Interface in the retractor mechanism contributes to the system’s ability to resist extremely high dynamic loads. The QRT-360 is covered by a comprehensive five-year warranty.

The WC19 standard requires that wheelchairs designed for adults and children who weigh 50 lb or more are crash tested with a commercially available wheelchair-anchored lap belt to which a vehicle-anchored shoulder belt can be connected to comprise a three-point belt restraint system. Use of this wheelchair-anchored lap-belt restraint option by passengers seated in wheelchairs enhances overall safety by providing better positioning of the lap belt low on the pelvis and preventing wheelchair components, such as arm supports, from interfering with proper lap-belt positioning. It thereby reduces the risk of the wheelchair occupant “submarining” under the lap belt in a frontal crash, which can result in serious injury to the occupant’s abdomen. A crashworthy wheelchair-anchored lap belt also reduces the time involved in properly positioning a lap/shoulder belt restraint on the wheelchair passenger while reducing intrusion into the passenger’s personal space. However, according to Bob Joseph, Q’Straint VP of Business Development, “use of a crashworthy wheelchair-anchored belt places higher loading on the wheelchair tie-down/securement system by as much as 60 percent.” According to Joseph, “The QRT-360 is an innovative new design that withstands the higher loads that will be required of wheelchair tie-downs by the new WC18 standard in a little more than two years.”

Automatic Tightening Increases Safety Q’Straint’s industry leading, self-tensioning strap-type tie-down system automatically tightens the straps during small wheelchair movements that occur during travel to eliminate slack. The belts continue to tighten during low-g vehicle accelerations, thereby further reducing the potential for wheelchair movement in the event of a collision.

Automatic Release and Easy to Use Effective wheelchair securement is further enhanced by a compact and ergonomically designed tie-down-strap tensioning knob on each retractor assembly. Also, thanks to the QRT-360 auto-release mechanism, operators and attendants can pull the strap out of the retractor to attach the tie-down hook to the wheelchair without having to press a release button until it is time to release the wheelchair from the securement system at the end of a journey.

QRT Max and Deluxe Retractors Are Enhanced Q’Straint is also announcing a product update for the QRT Max and QRT Deluxe retractors. Both models will feature a new cover design with improved ergonomics and a beveled webbing window that extends the life of the belt. For the QRT Max and Deluxe, this will be a running change that begins in December. The QRT Standard and units with cables will continue in their current configurations.




About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint has remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for more than two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - OCTOBER 16, 2013

Q’STRAINT INTRODUCES REVOLUTIONARY NEW FULLY AUTOMATIC WHEELCHAIR SECUREMENT SYSTEM

Quantum is the transportation industry’s first of its kind designed to ensure new levels of safety and independence for mobility passengers

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (OCTOBER 16, 2013):
Q’Straint has announced the introduction of Quantum, the transportation industry’s first fully automatic rear-facing wheelchair securement station designed for virtually any bus or rail car.

The revolutionary new product was developed by combining transportation insight, intelligent technology and a pioneering new approach to securement. After boarding a bus or rail car, Quantum allows wheelchair and scooter passengers to position their chair and by simply pushing a button to secure themselves in a stable and safe rear-facing position without driver assistance. The process takes under 25 seconds.

“In addition to ensuring the highest level of passenger safety, keeping buses on schedule and preventing tip-overs, Quantum provides a more respectful experience to the process of wheelchair securement,” said Bob Joseph, Q’Straint VP of Business Development. “Now safe securement and release is fully automated.”

In the past, drivers would take additional time to affix straps to harness the chair, potentially invading the passenger’s personal space. With Quantum, all passengers are treated equally. Wheelchair users have the freedom to board the vehicle and automatically secure their mobility device without assistance. With the push of a button, Quantum’s arms move into position and secure wheelchairs and scooters by capturing the wheels – and then continually adjusts grip as needed throughout the journey.

“One of our goals is ensuring the integration of people with disabilities into society -- and transportation is a key enabler,” said Jim Franklin, an advocate with the Action Committee of People with disAbilities. “No one enjoys being singled out when a driver must come back and secure a wheelchair because it always takes time. People with disabilities just want to get on the bus and go.”

How Quantum Works
Q’Straint engineers applied the highest levels of industrial design to ensure Quantum delivers the performance to keep passengers safe and operators productive. When the vehicle is safely stopped, the Quantum unit is ready for the wheelchair passenger. Once the passenger’s wheelchair is centered against the backrest, the press of a button engages the automatic locking sequence. Integration with existing vehicle electrical and interlock systems prevents accidental release of a secured wheelchair while the vehicle is in motion. Quantum is being introduced after one year of extensive field tests in severe driving conditions.

Industry Benefits
Operators will benefit immediately and profoundly with reduced dwell time when securing passengers in mobility devices which will result in more reliable schedules. More evolved than manual tie-downs, Quantum puts an end to challenging securement maneuvers that upset passengers and put drivers at risk of personal injury. By safely securing wheelchairs and scooters, Quantum ultimately reduces liability exposure for injuries to mobility passengers as well as to seated or standing commuters who could be injured by unsecured mobility devices.


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

Q’STRAINT ANNOUNCES THE Q’UBE 3-POINT SECUREMENT STATION

An Innovative Sliding Bumper Provides Critical Stabilization and Tip-Over Prevention for Transit Operators That Need to Maintain Maximum Capacities in 2+2 Seating Layouts

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013:
Q’Straint announced today the availability of a new Q’UBE 3-Point Securement Station that features an innovative Sliding Bumper that provides critical stabilization and tip-over prevention that the ADA requires for 3-Point Securement. It was designed for transit operators that need to maintain maximum passenger seating capacities in 2+2 seating layouts: A 2-passenger forward facing flip seat combined with a 2-passenger aisle facing flip seat.

The Q’UBE 3-Point was designed as a fully adaptable, complete bolt-in solution that can be mounted for many vehicle applications without the need to run cables or wires. The user-friendly design helps operators maintain schedules and reduce dwell times on fixed-route buses by integrating a single-motion mechanical delay release that significantly reduces wheelchair securement time and effort. A wide assortment of brackets and occupant solutions were developed to ensure that Q’UBE 3-Point is adaptable to virtually any fleet.

“Our goal with the Q’UBE 3-Point was efficiency: preserving seating capacities with a minimum footprint, easy installation and offering a cost-effective solution,” said Bob Joseph, Q’Straint VP of Business Development. “It required some clever new patent-worthy engineering to achieve an ADA approved 3-point securement in such a compact space.”

Qube-3pointWith 3-passenger aisle facing securements (such as the Q’POD), there is sufficient length for Q’Straint’s patented stabilization bumper - a proven design that acts as the fourth contact point and prevents tip-overs. In 2-Flip seats, it was necessary to develop a sliding bumper that can be extended beyond the width of the seats to assure proper securements, yet stows out of the way when not in use. A front tensioner features a J-hook and scooter ring that combine to safely secure the wheeled mobility device against the bumper. This cost-effective system simplifies installation and optimizes seating capacity.

“Several transit properties that had selected Q’POD for all their new vehicles were looking for a solution that could be retrofitted into existing buses running high-capacity routes,” said Q’Straint Sales Director Jim Reaume. “By trickling down some of our high-end technology to this modular retrofit, we are able to provide a system that satisfies the customer needs of cost and space efficiency.”

The Q’UBE 3-Point features include:
  • A sliding bumper that is either hand or foot operated reducing operator bending and injury potential
  • Heavy duty stainless steel construction that is durable and corrosion resistant
  • Rubber surfaced stabilization bumper that securely grips the wheels of mobility devices
  • A popup hand lever that stores out of the way when not in use
  • Recirculating ball bearing design for heavy duty strength and smooth operation
  • Automatic return of the sliding bumper to the storage position with a touch of the release lever

About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

NEWLY ORDERED L.A. METRO BUSES TO COME EQUIPPED WITH Q’STRAINT Q'POD

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (SEPTEMBER 9, 2013): Q’Straint’s award-winning Q’POD, the first fully integrated wheelchair securement station specifically designed and tested for transit wheelchair passenger transportation, will be installed in the 550 new Xcelsior™ 40-foot heavy-duty compressed natural gas (“CNG”) buses recently ordered by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Metro”).

“We have set the high standards for safety, performance, reliability and convenience when it comes to serving the residents of our community,” said Richard Hunt, General Manager, Transit Capital Programs for L.A. Metro. “By installing two Q’PODs on each of these new buses, we are offering our mobility riders a safe, secure and convenient way to ride that keeps everyone moving at full speed.”

Q′POD secures virtually all styles of wheelchairs with a simplified operation that allows for quicker securement times and reduced vehicle dwell time. It is the first complete wheelchair station that can be simply bolted into the vehicle and an integrated shoulder belt eliminates the need for window brackets. Q’POD’s stabilizing bumper, in combination with the front tensioner and scooter ring, deliver an ADA approved 3-point securement that eliminates a trip hazard.

According to members of the L.A. Metro training staff, the three point Q’POD with its placement of wheelchair securement straps, self-tightening features and the efficient placement of the occupant restraint system makes use of the securement system so much easier for the operator. “Our instructors consistently said that the Q’POD system was easier and faster to use, placed less stress on the operator’s body and was less intrusive with the customer,” said Hunt.


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - JUNE 26, 2013

Q’STRAINT ANNOUNCES NEW LINE OF RETRACTORS CAPABLE OF SECURING WHEELCHAIRS TO 200 KILOGRAMS

Designed and Dynamically Sled Tested to Handle 200kg and 150kg Loads, the QRT 550E and QRT 350E Are Built to Safely Secure Today’s Heaviest Wheelchairs

TELFORD, UK (JUNE 26, 2013):
Q'Straint is announcing the launch of a new line of retractors that are capable of securing the heaviest of modern wheelchairs. Designed and dynamically sled tested to handle loads of up to 200kg and up to 150kg respectively, the QRT 550E and QRT 350E are built to safely secure today’s heaviest wheelchairs. Q’Straint’s QRT™ line of wheelchair and occupant securement systems are now offered in three distinct ranges. Complementing the industry standard 1 Series, including the QRT Max, Deluxe and Standard models, the all new 5 Series systems are designed for loads of up to 200kg to accommodate the heaviest of chairs or instances of heavy chairs with integral lap belts. The new 3 Series retractor has a capacity of 150kg to safely secure most generally available powered wheelchairs or standard weight wheelchairs with integral lap belts.

The QRT 550E retractor utilises an innovative double webbing loop and employs advanced material technologies with new energy management techniques to achieve the 200kg certification. Prior to the QRT 550E, the only alternative retractor system able to achieve this maximum rating has been the use of four retractors on the rear of a wheelchair. With just two 550E’s, securement is faster, space efficient and a more practical option. Extensive dynamic sled testing has demonstrated that wheelchair excursions in the event of a collision are reduced by up to 50 percent as compared to the use of four rear retractors -- greatly enhancing passenger safety.

“Securing wheelchairs with the QRT 550E gives operators a safer securement in less time with fewer retractors,” said Eric Girardin, Q’Straint president. “Any time you can reduce the difficulty of the securement, you also lessen the chance for errors and injuries.”

The QRT 350E delivers a higher load capacity than any previous retractors, yet does so without a space or weight penalty. The evolution of increasingly heavy wheelchairs and the recent introduction of wheelchairs with integrated lap belt systems mean that both the full mass of the chair and up to 60 percent of the occupant is transmitted to the rear tie-downs. The QRT 350E safely secures these integrated lap belt (WC19) wheelchairs and is designed to accept these now increasingly common heavier load requirements in WAVs, Community Transport, and other public and private vehicles.

The 1 Series retractors include the popular QRT Max, Deluxe and Standard configurations. Each has been tested on the sled and on the street with millions of miles logged safely and securely. The contemporary new cover design on the Max and Deluxe models is both attractive and functional. All three models provide a full range of options for simple, safe and effective securement of wheelchairs in community transport vehicles, mini-van, rail, coach, bus and WAVs.

Q’Straint is exhibiting these new and updated lines of retractors on stand B73 / Hall 2 at the Mobility Road Show in Telford, UK from 27 to 29 June.


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - JUNE 3, 2013

OMNI LINE OF ANCHORAGES ANNOUNCED BY Q’STRAINT AND SURE-LOK

New Line of Tracks and Pockets Gives Operators the Flexibility to Use Securements from Either Brand

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (JUNE 3, 2013):
Q’Straint and Sure-Lok are jointly announcing the availability of a new line of anchorages that gives operators the flexibility to use securements from either brand. This means that properties will be able to mix and match retractors and manual belts from both Q’Straint and Sure-Lok simply by using OMNI Floor Anchor Systems. Designed for agencies that require total flexibility in a mixed-brand environment, the OMNI line takes the guess work out of securing passengers in school bus, para-transit, wheelchair accessible vehicles, community transport, ambulance or non-emergency transportation vehicles.

It has always been recommended that tie-downs match with the brand of their floor anchorages. Now with the OMNI series, operators can reduce their liability and know that this new line of products have been tested and certified for both Q’Straint and Sure-Lok systems.

“Operators can now feel at ease whenever there is a chance that retractors and belts from both Sure-Lok and Q’Straint are at a property, plus it gives them the flexibility to source from both manufacturers,” said Bob Joseph, Q’Straint VP of Business Development. “There are thousands of properties that have retractors and manual belts from both Q’Straint and Sure-Lok and by using OMNI anchorages operators no longer have to brand match the track and pockets.”

All OMNI Floor Anchor Systems feature stainless steel or aluminum materials designed for demanding transportation environments. Aluminum L-Track is the most widely used floor anchorage in the transportation industry, offering superior strength and corrosion resistance. Installing L-Track provides maximum flexibility to accommodate many different wheelchair positions. OMNI L-Track is an aluminum alloy (6061-T6) and can be configured in custom lengths and drill patterns.

The OMNI line includes three different profiles of L-Track (Regular, Flanged and Angled) and is offered in standard lengths of 100 inches. The L-Track Pockets that are available include a Recessed version with a hinged cover, a Flush model that is designed to be recessed in the floor and an Oval pocket with a sleek design that minimizes tripping and interference with wheelchair casters. All are single bolt installation and feature high quality stainless steel construction to prevent corrosion even in the harshest of transit environments.

The Slide ‘N Click anchorage is now an OMNI compatible product. Slide ‘N Click’s 360 degree design eliminates any need for alignment and makes it virtually foolproof for the operator. When using a Q’Straint QRT MAX, Deluxe or the Sure-Lok Titan Series, one hand is all that is needed to attach or remove tie-downs thanks to the easy-to-use positive locking plunger.

“It is all about compatibility and liability. By installing OMNI track, we know that the buses we are providing to our customers can use both Q’Straint and Sure-Lok retractors without worry about safety and potential legal exposure. This is the universal solution we have been looking for,” said Tony Matijevich, president with Creative Bus Sales.

OMNI Products Have Been Tested to Meet the Following Standards:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - “Accessibility Specifications for Transportation Vehicles”
  • Applicable NHTSA Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards
  • RESNA Vol. 4, Sec.18 Formerly SAEJ2249 - Recommended Practice – Wheelchair Tie-down and Occupant Restraint Systems for use in Motor Vehicles
  • ISO 10542 - Technical Systems and Aids for Disabled or Handicapped Persons - Wheelchair Tie-down and Occupant Restraint Systems
  • Canadian Standard Association (CSA) - “Mobility Aid and Occupant Restraint (MASOR) systems”

 


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - MAY 28, 2013

PARA-ATHLETE VICTORIA ARLEN NAMED Q'STRAINT BRAND AMBASSADOR

Announcement comes during National Mobility Awareness Month

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA:
Victoria Arlen, a gold medal winning para-athlete swimmer who was recently chosen to participate in the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships in Montreal in August, has been named a brand ambassador for Q’Straint, which develops safety solutions for wheelchair passenger transportation. The announcement comes during National Mobility Awareness Month.

Arlen will appear in Q’Straint ads in national trade publications. “Our mission is to ensure that people in wheelchairs are able to safely get wherever they are going whether it is on public transportation, taxi or their personal vehicle,” said Dan Bruck, Q’Straint marketing manager. “Victoria is an amazing young lady who has overcome incredible odds during her life to become a very successful para-athlete. We are honored to have someone with her dedication, poise and determination as our brand advocate.”

Paralyzed at age 11 due to transverse myelitis, a rare viral disease, Arlen spent nearly two years in a coma. Today she is a star para-athlete swimmer. During the games last summer in London, Arlen won gold in the 100 meter freestyle and a silver medal in the 50 meter freestyle, 400 meter freestyle and 4x100 meter freestyle medley. She is the world record holder in the 100 and 400 meter freestyle and holds the American record in the 50 meter breaststroke and 100, 200 and 400 meter freestyle and Pan Am record in the 100 meter breaststroke and 400 meter freestyle.

Transportation vehicles serving the para-athletes during last summer’s games in London were outfitted with Q’Straint products. In addition, Arlen’s personal mobility vehicle is equipped with Q’Straint retractors.

“The independence that Q’Straint provides from a security and safety perspective means so much to those of us in wheelchairs and offers the highest level of reassurance for our families. I’m excited to be part of their team,” said Arlen.


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - MAY 6, 2013

Q’STRAINT ANNOUNCES THE VELOCITY XPRESS RELEASE HANDLE FOR THE Q’POD

This Fully Mechanical Remote Option Eliminates the Need for Electrical Installation Making Retrofits Faster and Less Costly

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, MAY 6, 2013:
Q’Straint announced today the availability of a new option for its award winning Q’POD – the first fully integrated wheelchair securement station. The Velocity XPress is a mechanical remote release option that eliminates the need for electrical integration and makes Q’POD installation retrofits faster and less costly. The release system enables drivers to unlock rear restraints for 15 seconds enabling quicker wheelchair securement and better positioning. The remote release minimizes bending by driver/operators, reducing back injuries and improving securement.

Q’POD’s original Electric XPress Delay remains the default release mechanism with all new orders, but many transportation agencies expressed interest in having the option to choose. With the Velocity XPress remote release, operators can elect to reduce total acquisition costs on new buses they want to outfit with Q’PODs. Velocity XPress also dramatically lowers the cost of outfitting existing buses with Q’PODs in a retrofit installation. No electricity is required; it eliminates the need for interlock integration; and the entire project can be completed in much less time.

“Transit officials now have the option to go electric or manual with their Q’POD securement systems while maintaining an identical appearance and comparable operational procedures,” said Bob Joseph, Q’Straint VP of Business Development. “This way drivers use the exact same steps learned with the electric version and mobility passengers have the same great experience regardless of whether the agency chooses Electric XPress or Velocity XPress timed release handles.”

 


The Velocity XPress Remote Release features include:
  • a hydraulic cylinder velocity controller as a mechanical timer;
  • simplified and less costly installation and integration;
  • rapid installation process on new or retrofit buses; and
  • no electrical connection required for operation.

qpod-velocity-xpress

“As soon as our operators had seen their first Q’POD installed on one of our new Gillig buses, they immediately inquired on how soon our existing buses could be retrofitted,” said Votran/Daytona Beach General Manager Steve Sherrer. “The Velocity XPress manual release would undoubtedly make an upgrade easier and less expensive.”


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


PRESS ADVISORY - FEBRUARY 18, 2013

Q’STRAINT AND SURE-LOK ANNOUNCE AN EXPANDED AND RESTRUCTURED SALES ORGANIZATION IN THE U.S.

New Market Segment-Focused Structure Gives Customers the Benefits of a Sales Organization with Greater Specialization and Knowledge

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, FEBRUARY 18, 2013:
Q’Straint and Sure-Lok are pleased to announce a new Market Segmented Sales restructuring to be effective February 1st for the U.S. region. The Sales team will now be organized into four core segments: Transit, School Bus, Para-Transit, and Personal Mobility. This strategic shift to a segmented approach was motivated by the desire to better serve customer needs.

Special Needs equipment is becoming more pervasive in public and private vehicles and demographic studies are showing that the number of users necessitating securement continues to rise. The regulations mandating a transportation infrastructure that is accessible and flexible grow in sophistication. And finally, technology that makes securement safer, more efficient and user friendly requires complex engineering and integration experience. Now, the Q’Straint and Sure-Lok teams can further specialize their knowledge base in the transportation segments relevant to the customers they serve.

“Most importantly, we wanted to improve our ability to respond to and support our customers and OEM partners”, stated Q’Straint’s Director of Sales, Jim Reaume. Adding, “We also needed a structure that gave us the foundation and flexibility to support future growth. The changeover will take a bit of time, but our sales group is actively communicating with customers that may be affected to ensure a seamless transition.”

The Q’Straint and Sure-Lok Sales team was recently augmented with the addition of two additional sales reps. Coincident with this organizational announcement, Trisha Nolen has just been hired as the Southern Regional Sales Manager as part of the School Bus/Para-Transit market segment. Trisha has 20+ years of business and technical experience specific to the bus industry and is based in Dallas, TX.


About Q’Straint: For over 25 years, Q'Straint and Sure-Lok have remained focused on one mission: To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for over two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.


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