GM4X - OUR HISTORY
"My aim is simple: to make adventure safe and accessible to all through new thinking in wheelchair engineering."
Managing Director of GM4X, the creator and manufacturer of Paratreker
GM4X designs, develops, and manufactures a range of all terrain wheelchairs under its own brand name ‘ Paratreker’.
The company traces its roots back to around 1990, when its owner and managing director, Gordon McGregor, was involved in voluntary work with disabled children and adults, and specifically in arranging and leading trips for youngsters with additional support needs to explore the great outdoors.
After many adventures, including trips to the top of Ben Nevis, Gordon became acutely aware of the severe limitations faced by people with mobility difficulties who want to access the hills and open countryside trails that many of us take for granted. And so began his quest to address this challenge.
He defined his mission as:
"Designing and manufacturing a wheelchair that would work in a wide range of outdoor environments, that is simple to use, safe, comfortable, robust but light, engineered and built to the highest standards, easy to transport, affordable and, above all, would provide an incredible user experience."
GM4X's early work was around establishing, specifically, the needs of users, and exploring modifications to existing equipment, using his expertise and experience as a qualified outdoor leader. But, in undertaking these activities, Gordon became increasingly convinced that something more was required. And so, GM4X was established and clear plans were formulated.
Then followed the meticulous design, development and testing of all terrain chair models, with GM4X working in conjunction with Strathclyde University’s Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management department (DMEM). Pooling Gordon’s extensive field experience and the renowned engineering prowess of Strathclyde University resulted in a powerful combination and, from that, the prototypes of what have now become ‘Paratreker 3™’ and ‘Paratreker 4™’ were born. Two key environments were identified in which the Paratreker would revolutionise accessibility for disabled people:
1: Country tracks, routes and rough roads on which Paratreker 3™ is ideal.
2: Wild, rough country terrain, including hills and mountain paths, for which the Paratreker 4™ is perfect.
After many field tests, trials and demonstrations, taking on board new ideas and improvements along the way, the range of Paratreker chairs is now fully in production and available to private individuals, outdoor centres, businesses, and charities involved in outdoor activities. Some of the photographs on this site are of Paratreker chairs now being used by our customers - and more products are currently in design and development.
All design work, testing and manufacture are carried out to the latest UK and European standards and, where components are bought in from subcontractors, the same quality regime is applied. And all assembly and testing is carried out in-house, thereby ensuring that the final product is delivered to our customers at a standard to which we are proud to put our name.
PEOPLE WE WORK WITH
Paratreker works with a number of partners who have contributed to creating the Paratreker all-terrain wheelchair range through development and design, manufacture, marketing and finance.