HISTORY OF THE LEADER AND LEANDER TABLES
In 1981, Leander Eckard, DC, invented a motorized version of the Thompson/Cox/MacMannis tables. His goal was to facilitate a simpler approach to full spine adjusting and to solve the difficulty he was having with the carpal tunnel syndrome he developed over the many years adjusting with a manual Cox table.
1981 - 1983 LEANDER TABLES
The early Leander tables (777XE and 777XME) did not have arm rests and the very crude drop mechanisms included only a pelvic and cervical drop. The earliest table (the LRMD X-ray Positioning Table/777XE) did not incorporate the drop-away abdominal section; instead an area below the abdomen was open for placement of an x-ray cassette to take x-rays with the patient in motion, and the ankle and head sections were fixed. Additionally, the caudal cushions were very narrow -18" versus the current 23", and the table was offered with the following options: cervical and pelvic drops; speed control; electric variable height (26"-32"); and scoliosis package. The 777XME included a spring-loaded pushrod with a pin that could be removed for manual operation of the caudal (pelvic) cushion. These tables were available in six colors: blue, brown, green, red, black and tan. This table design was used for several years until a new design with additional features was offered in early 1984.
1984 - 1985 LEANDER TABLES
With the next model LEANDER TABLES, the 727, 727K and 727PT, Dr. Eckard Lenader changed the design of the base, abdominal and head sections. This design incorporated the following new standard features and options: hinged cervical section with arm rests; drop-away abdominal section; thoracic restraint strap; lateral flexion with locking device; and, a manually adjustable ankle support. The LEANDER TABLES color availability was expanded and included genuine leather cushions. Also, the 727 and 727PT were available with a 24", 26" and 28" fixed height, as well as a variable height of 24"-32". The 727K incorporated a rear base cover to house the motor and gearbox drive system.
1986 to mid-1988 LEANDER TABLES
The next design LEANDER TABLES, the 786, began to appear in January 1986. The base was radically changed and included a full plastic cover extending to the front of the table, which housed the motor and gearbox drive system. The hinged cervical section of the LEANDER TABLES became a standard feature on the 786 and incorporated the Pierce or Toggle type cervical, forward gliding drop mechanism as an option. Another major change in the LEANDER TABLES was moving from a round tube center structure to a square center tube. This LEANDER TABLE change dramatically increased the strength of the main carriage which carried the weight of the entire upper sections of the table. A thoracic drop was added to the drop-away abdominal section and a manually operated lateral flexion locking device was incorporated into the square center tube and front support sections. Finally, the 786 LEANDER TABLE was lowered another two inches and was available with a 22"-30" variable height, a sliding mechanical pushrod, and fixed heights ranging from 22" to 32". Near the end of the production of this model, the pelvic cushion was widened to the current 23 inches.
Mid-1988 to mid-1990 LEANDER TABLES
Following the 786 came the 788 LEANDER TABLES. This LEANDER TABLES design first appeared in July of 1988, continuing until mid-1990. Two changes were introduced on the 788 model. The most significant; moving from a manually operated lateral flexion device to a simple, "squeeze-handle" operated automatic mechanical locking device. This LEANDER TABLES feature allowed the operator of the table to manually flex the entire upper section (abdo and head sections) by squeezing a handle located just outside and between the abdominal and face cushion. In later LEANDER TABLES models of the 788, this feature was included on both sides of the table. The other major change in the LEANDER TABLE was the addition of this same style mechlock device to the ankle section. This allowed both the lateral flexion and ankle cushion to be positioned and locked anywhere within a predetermined range. Both of these features, although modified slightly in later models, remain in today's design of all Leander tables.
Mid-1990 - 1992 LEANDER TABLES
The next model, the 790, was introduced in July 1990 with few new changes. The major change was to the cam system which was the driving mechanism to operate the up and down movement of the caudal or pelvic section of the table. Throughout the history of the development of the Leander table, one of the major breakthroughs being researched was to lessen the noise, vibration and backlash caused by the motor and gear reducer drive system. With the introduction of the 790, the company thought it had finally solved this seemingly elusive goal. A new design using a phenolic cam/cam-follower configuration allowed for the smooth transition of up/down motion without the noise, vibration and backlash. This is one of the major features which characterizes the unique difference of the Leander table versus other adjusting tables. Unfortunately, the new cam design was not the solution. The round cam made of phenolic, touted as an invincible material, began to wear quickly and split and shatter against the case-hardened steel cam-follower.
Several modifications were made to the drive system, but only after more than 700 of the phenolic cam disks were placed on tables. The company offered to replace all of these drive systems with a newly designed drive-plate and drive system. The first modification was made in August 1991, and the second was incorporated on tables manufactured beginning in March 1992. During this period, sound and vibration absorbing foam was placed in the cover housing the drive system. Additionally, a bottom cover with a special sound absorption material was added to reduce the decibel level of sound.
LEANDER TABLES 1992 BRINGS NEW OWNERSHIP -NEW IDEAS
In January 1992, the company was purchased by the current owners. A new emphasis on quality and a customer-first corporate culture were instituted. The new owners were intent on making sure the company's products were the finest available and always on the cutting-edge.
1992 - March 1993 LEANDER TABLES
For the next year the company's engineering staff made relentless attempts to find the elusive breakthrough of substantially reducing the backlash of the gear reducer and to lower the noise decibel and vibration levels caused by the drive system. Finally, in late 1992, the engineering staff, with the input from several consultants, appeared to have found the solution to its ever elusive goal of a quiet, smooth transition drive system. Incorporating a new minimum-backlash gear reducer, coupled with a unique isolation system under the drive system steel mounting plate and under the caudal (pelvic) section (where the cam mounted pushrod extends upwards from the gear reducer), the vibration and backlash were almost completely eliminated. The added benefit was that the noise level was also substantially reduced. So successful was this discovery that the company applied for and was awarded Patent No. 5,423,861 for the Isolation Drive System in June of 1995. This new discovery was added to tables beginning in March of 1993 and introduced the new Leander 800 Series table.
March 1993 - late 1993 LEANDER TABLES
Several other features were being tested with the 800 Series LEANDER TABLES. With this model the company began changing the front support section integrating a gas charged supporting mechanism to facilitate raising and lowering the head section. This device replaced the mechanical lock, which when released did not provide the necessary resistance requested by many chiropractic physicians. Additionally, a new electrical control system was being developed to reposition the power cord and on/off and variable height pedals from the underside of the table to the base cover. Several of the first models to incorporate these wiring changes had the power and pedal cords exiting from the side of the base cover. The other notable change was the use of solid steel versus tube steel in the building of the pelvic frame. Other areas were also reinforced to guarantee a trouble-free, quality product for our customers.
Late 1993 - today LEANDER TABLES
The 800 model LEANDER TABLES was quickly followed by the 900 Series table, which was introduced in late 1993. The 900 model LEANDER TABLES incorporated many of the features being tested on the 800 model and substantially improved many others. A completely new wiring system was developed which allowed for dual on/off and variable height foot switches on both sides of the table; a patient safety/power-off control bulb device; a safety power-on/off switch; and, an automatic flexion timer control for unattended therapy (time controlled auto-CPM).
With the development of this new electrical control system, the 900 model LEANDER TABLES allowed for easy upgrading to add an additional on/off pedal, variable height pedal, or both, just by changing a specially designed electronics module which housed the electrical components and is located on the back of the base cover. Although the base cover was split into two sections to allow for easy access to the drive system for service and repairs on the 800 model LEANDER TABLES, the 900 LEANDER TABLES was further modified to streamline the appearance and incorporate the electronics control module, patient safety device and variable timer.
Other changes included a complete re-engineering of the drop mechanisms; a small extension on the lateral flexion control lever; a newly designed face paper cutting mechanism; a newly designed ankle-slider release lever; relocating the cervical drop engaging handle; and a newly designed head section release handle and fully adjustable face cushions (these last two features were also included on the late model 800 Series). The lateral flexion mechanical locking device was also relocated and redesigned to offer less stress on the mechanism and greater functionality. Finally, the thoracic cushion was redesigned incorporating a non-bottoming foam, and the T-bar handles were widened and lowered.
The company was so sure of the quality and integrity of the 900 Series LEANDER TABLES that it extended its warranty to three years on everything except the cushions, which were taken from 90 days to one full year. No other company offers this extensive of a non-prorated warranty.
The 900 Series Leander table brought recognition of a world-class product from all corners of the globe. The task ahead now was to continue to refine the many features this unique motorized continuous passive motion flexion distraction table offered. The marketing staff began to survey the company's thousands of customers and inquire with some of chiropractic's most well informed researchers as to practitioner and patient needs. Based upon input from its customers and the researchers, the next two years found the company's engineering staff working tirelessly to perfect many new features determined necessary to provide the ultimate adjusting instrument.
INTRODUCTION OF THE MOST ADVANCED LEANDER TABLES IN CHIROPRACTIC - Late 1995 - today In late 1995, in accordance with the outcome of our survey, Leander Health Technologies, Leader's health care division, proudly introduced what it believes is the most desired adjusting table ever produced. The new Leader 900 'Z' Series LEANDER TABLES is perhaps the finest, most well thought out adjusting instrument ever offered in chiropractic. The quality, engineering and functionality of this new table far surpasses anything ever offered before.
With more than a dozen cutting-edge changes, this new Leader 'Z' Series LEANDER TABLES will provide the provider and patient with comforts never afforded with any previous chiropractic table. The base of the 'Z' is a completely new design and incorporates a bold 21st century look. As bold as the vision are the new "One-Touch" ergonomic controls for the T-bar handles, adjustable face cushions, ankle section and hinged cervical section.
The problem most mentioned in our survey was that the thoracic section was uncomfortable for elderly men and woman, and especially woman with augmented or large breasts. Also mentioned was the need for awareness that woman's breasts and thoracic area are most sensitive at the time of menstruation. Our challenge was to develop a comfortable, yet stable thoracic cushion to allow for proper thoracic adjustments by the physician, while simultaneously providing comfort to the patient. We believe the new "ThoraciSupport Pillow Cushion" in combination with the new break-away abdominal cushion will provide the solution to the problem most urgently identified by doctors and their patients.
Another item mentioned often was the location of the on/off and variable height foot pedals. Most doctors mentioned that the pedals always seemed to be in the way, and their patients accidentally stepped on the pedals energizing the table or engaging the variable height control. Again, our marketing and engineering staff began to investigate the best way to solve this problem. Based upon the feedback we received, the pedals were removed from the floor and are now conveniently located in an indented area within the base cover at the front of the table. To ensure ease of use and maximum functionality, an additional on/off switch, variable height switches, timer control setting knob and electric variable speed control knob are all located at the rear of the caudal (pelvic) section. No more bending or moving to the front of the table to energize or raise and lower the table.
To provide ease in changing the face paper a new design was incorporated. The face cushion nearest to the where the face paper roll is hung now opens fully to allow for a simple, hassle-free change of paper. Additionally, this new design allows you to clean between the face cushions easily and without effort to ensure the highest level of hygiene for you and your patients' safety. When changing paper for the next patient, you will also find how easy and without restriction the paper moves.
Finally, the armrests have been lowered and the handle bars (T-bar) have been bent inward and down for the perfect ergonomic grip and shoulder stress reduction. These two features will substantially improve the comfort required by your elderly and osteoporotic patients and those individuals with acute extremity discomfort; especially in the shoulder, wrist, elbow and thoracic regions.
The Leader 'Z' LEANDER TABLES comes fully warranted for three years on all parts and labor non-prorated, except cushions which carry a full one year warranty. The table cushions are covered with Boltaflex® commercial grade vinyl. This unique covering feels and acts like genuine leather and is available in more than two dozen of today's most popular colors.
IN CONCLUSION . . .
Yes, the LEANDER TABLES company has come a long way since 1981. The year 2004 represents our 23rd year of serving the chiropractic profession and providing only quality, cutting-edge products. We hope this history of where the Leader/Leander tables had their start, and how far we have come, helps you in your decision to trade-in your old Leander or purchase a new Leader/Leander table for the first time.
Today, the company offers three motorized continuous passive motion (CPM) flexion distraction table models: The state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line Leader 'Z' Series LEANDER TABLES, the 900 Series LEANDER TABLES and, for the cost-conscious practitioner, the Leader® TK90 LEANDER TABLES(includes electric variable speed and flexion timer control). In addition to the motorized CPM line of tables Leander Health also offers a manual table, the Leander Lite® LEANDER TABLES.
There is a reason why our chiropractic adjusting tables are now in operation in more than 39 countries worldwide . . . "The products known worldwide for quality, reliability and performance." We hope you will call us to see and feel the difference a Leander table will make in your practice. Experience first-hand the increased patient satisfaction and referrals this wonderful 21st century adjusting instrument will generate.