An Accessible Argo A Vehicle That Restored A Mans Freedom

Brendan* was a Canadian logger, an outdoorsman. He spent most of his days outside, harvesting trees and loading them for transportation. On weekends, Brendan hunted among the hundreds of acres of Crown land that surround his home. For Brendan, this lifestyle was freedom.

On June 8th, 2010*, a workplace accident changed the course of Brendan’s life forever. A tree fell on him, crushing his legs and causing severe damage to his internal organs. Doctors were able to save his life, but not his legs. Since then, he has remained determined to get back to what he loves, exploring the outdoors, and hunting.

As a result of his accident, Brendan endured multiple surgeries and years of extensive rehabilitation. It impacted Brendan’s mobility, independence, and ability to do daily activities. He had to adapt and learn a new way to do even the most basic things. Although he faced unimaginable adjustments to his lifestyle, Brendan never lost hope that he could get back to doing what he loved.

About a decade after his accident, Brendan made it his goal to get back to hunting. For months on end, he researched wheelchair products and vehicles to find any suitable option. During his search, he contacted several vehicle companies, all of which turned him away. A wheelchair accessible hunting vehicle was simply not on the market and custom building one was not something traditional accessibility companies had experience with. In a last attempt, Brendan turned to his Occupational Therapist, who was already familiar with the work done by Universal Motion. They approached Universal Motion with the idea of converting an all-terrain vehicle, called the ARGO.

Located in Toronto, Ontario, Universal Motion is a company with expertise in building wheelchair-accessible vehicles, specializing in custom van conversions. Universal Motion’s unique ability to create customized mobility solutions was exactly what Brendan needed to turn his vision into a reality.

Marco Ferrara, president of Universal Motion and a consumer himself, and his team worked together with Brendan to determine if they could design a custom conversion vehicle for him. The challenge was immense. They needed to convert an off-road vehicle that would be safe, work in all weather conditions, transport a person in a wheelchair with a companion, handle the weight of the vehicle modifications, and be customized for hunting.

Even without taking mobility into account, off-road vehicles already have a big problem, they are loud, and they scare off the animals. Pre-injury the solution would just have been to ride into the woods, and then walk. Now the vehicle itself would have to be silenced so it wouldn’t scare off the animals.

The first step was to find the right vehicle. Out of the hundreds of vehicles they considered, the 2022 ARGO Conquest Pro (which we will refer to as “the ARGO”) was the most suitable due to its size, durability, and off-road capabilities. Conquest Pro is a commercial model that was created to support the most difficult outdoor jobs.

It took several months of planning to get the details right. Custom materials had to be ordered, which took 6-7 weeks to arrive. It then took 3 weeks of work to complete the conversion. After years of dreaming, months of planning, and weeks of production, the ARGO Conquest Pro was complete.

Brendan made the 8-hour journey from Northern Ontario to Toronto to see if his dream had come to life. He lowered the ramp, made his way inside, and turned on the ARGO. It was at that moment, with tears in his eyes, that Brendan knew he had found his way back to freedom.

It is Universal Motion’s dedication to each client and their commitment and desire to redefine what is possible that turned a hopeful dream into a man’s reality.

To get an exclusive first-hand look at the accessible ARGO hunting vehicle come visit Universal Motion at the Canadian International AutoShow from Friday February 17th – Sunday February 26th or contact us directly for more information.