Hook-i TECH - How we have arrived at where we are

Our Values

Hook-i TECH is a trading division of Brotherwood Automobility Limited, a company founded in 1985 after the Managing Director, Rod Brotherwood, identified the need for a new approach to providing motor transport for wheelchair users. Over the subsequent years a number of principles have been adopted by the company, some relate to a belief in a set of values that a converted vehicle should meet, and others a set of standards. Many of the latter were established by the company and have since been adopted as a statutory requirement. Brotherwood Automobility has been in the forefront of pushing the standard forward and is currently actively involved in the European Type Approval process as well as providing the means to test wheelchair vehicle restraint systems in a consistent manner.

An extensive range of vehicles have been converted since 1985, all with entry by a rear tailgate and hinged ramp. This has been found to be the most versatile in all but a few parking scenarios as well as being quick. An additional benefit is the protection afforded to the wheelchair user when it is raining. A low level floor so that the wheelchair passenger’s eye-line is the same as other occupants, and a shallow ramp angle are other attributes the company prides itself in achieving. And all these features are within the normal aspirations to provide customers what they want, such as a choice of engine size, manual or automatic gearbox and even extends to vehicle colour.

Vehicle Conversion

New vehicles are bought in and stripped inside and out. The shells are then mounted on a jig, the floor is cut away and a new steel floor pressing, between 100mm and 300mm lower, is welded in. The new floor also means fitting a new petrol tank, new exhaust and new rear axle carriers. On some models the roof is cut away, and a new roof panel inserted to give more headroom.

All changes to the shell and components carry full European Low Volume Type Approval, and the company operates to full ISO 9000:2001 quality standards. The current range includes the VW Sharan, Caddy Life and Caddy Maxi, Kia Sedona, Peugeot Partner Tepee, Fiat Multipla, and Nissan X-Trail.

Now the company; which has 58 members of staff and a turnover of more than £6.5 million, converts vehicles to allow wheelchair passengers across the world to travel seated in their wheelchairs. It exports internationally as far as Australia, Asia and South Africa as well as Europe.

Why we are branching out

Two key things have triggered the initiative behind branching out and providing wheelchair accessible vehicle related accessories. The first is the desire to produce and provide a restraint system that is easy to use and the second is an increasing awareness that legislation is being introduced that addresses the need to restrain increasingly heavier wheelchairs.

Convenience is an ever increasing value people have grown accustomed to expect, but the potentially conflicting requirement of safety has also gained importance over recent years. In many cases it is extremely difficult to satisfy both needs as in order to ensure something is safe, it invariably involves extra time and trouble going through additional steps. It is this challenge that Hook-i TECH has applied its many years of experience to solve, and we believe we have gone some way to achieve. This belief is firmly founded in the provenance of Brotherwood Automobility.