Here at Eddie’s Wheels, we are very proud of the fact that we build every cart from scratch at our workshop in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. This picturesque New England village also boasts the longest operating knife-making factory in the United States (www.lamsonsharp.com). Faced with competition on the marketplace with “made in China” , one size fits all, dog wheelchairs, we remain committed to manufacturing our products right here, with a crew of trained assemblers, machinists, and customer service personnel. In all we support 16 households in our community, providing decent jobs with flex-time and medical and dental benefits. Everyone who works at Eddie’s Wheels helps take care of our three disabled dogs – Sweet Pea, Willa and Webster. So we can honestly say, that everyone involved here spends time with disabled pets, and takes pride in knowing that their work here directly impacts the lives of pets and their caretakers.
The first week of the fabrication of your custom cart entails designing the custom frame built to your dog’s dimensions, getting it to the welder and back, padding the saddle and letting the glues set, and making all the custom parts for your cart. That might entail custom axles for counterbalanced carts, making a counterweight for an amputee, or making custom modifications to the frame to compensate for individual anomalies, like fatty lipomas. At the same time, standard parts, such as blocks that hold the cart together are being made on the CNC machine, sewn parts – chest straps, harnesses, belly straps and stirrups are being sewn.
Some of our employees have been with us from the beginning of Eddie’s Wheels. Hayley and Nina, the mainstays of our assembly crew carry on the traditions of our company for excellence of craftsmanship and attention to detail, and pass them on to our new employees. Nina Rossi also designs our brochures, logos and advertising, and has a line of Eddie’s Wheels inspired artworks available online and at her funky gallery in Turners Falls.
People come here from all over to have us meet and assess their four-leggeds for wheelchairs. This has filtered down into the local economy with several pet-friendly lodgings becoming available for our far-away customers.
We never imagined that Eddie’s Wheels would grow as it has, exporting dog wheelchairs all over the world, and becoming an important part of our local economy. It’s a bit humbling to have garnered the attention we have over the years, appearing in 2008 on the Today Show, and being plastered all over the AP wire that same year. We continue to expand our product line, based upon the needs of our individual clients and the professional veterinary rehab community. Our clinical equipment, quad carts and front wheel carts have set a new industry standard. Who knew what our dog Buddha had in store for us, 21 years ago, when Ed built his dog wheelchair for her!