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  1. #21
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    5,788
    Location
    Wylie, Texas
    Tractor
    JCB165HF

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    <font color=blue>What do you find strange about a guy who can't walk, buying a lake? Sounds pretty reasonable to me.</font color=blue>

    I see little difference from that than a guy buying a place in the country and had always lived in a condo or an apartment.

    I believe it was in eighty eight when a friend of a friend of a friend kind of thing showed up at my home with a three wheeled go cart. They wanted to know if I could modify it for a boy who was born with birth defects. He had no legs but he wanted a go kart.

    It was nothing but a thing.

    When it was done we took it over to meet the new operator. He was fifteen and looked like a linebacker that someone had removed everything below his waist. He was a toot and a half.

    I'd put a fiberglas rod with a flag on it from a bicycle I believe on it so he would have some visibility. Folks don't always understand that the kids have to be seen. As I was showing him how to operate it I was trying to impress upon him the seriousness of riding his machine and the dangers of the highway if he ever, gawd forbid, ventured onto it.

    There were six or so adults and this kid and me at the orientation. The adults all did a big "oh my gawd!" inhale when I looked Matt in the eye and said, "Matt I don't want you on the street on this. If some lady did hit you and you crawled out from under her car in your condition it'd kill her."

    Matt and me being kids howled. I guess when something's so bad that all you can do is laugh about it the only thing better is laughing at someone else's reaction to it.

    A couple of years later Matt's mom contacted me to find out if I could help them out one more time. Someone had donated a Yamaha golf cart to them and they needed to have it modified so Matt could use it.

    I didn't have all the tools I have now. But I was able to make a pipe bender that did the job. I bent rails so he had hand holds for entering and exiting. I was able to convert the feet controls to hand. It was interesting arranging the seat belts to hold in someone with out anything below the rib cage.

    Another thing that was fun was setting it up where a normal person could also operate it without compromising Matt's needs. He was real proud that regular folks had to enter from the passenger side and slide over and all he had to do was a quick transfer from his chair, slide in, lift the chair in behind him and hit the go button.

    Back in the early eighties I got an introduction into the world of paras and quads. Every now and then you get to have a memorable moment when one of the truths of life hit you dead between the eyes.

    One of those was lighting a cigarette for a quad in a VA hospital. He was paralized from the neck down from a gun shot. He was the most chipper and up person within a couple of square mile area, maybe three. There in the midst of all that misery and pain he found reasons for happiness. The human spirit is amazing.

    Another one of those moments was listening to my friend, a recent super quad, complain about the pain in his legs to a para. I saw in the para's eyes total envy that someone with a spinal injury could actually feel his legs, even if it was just the pain.

    The local police department found some para access controls in a van in some wrecking yard. They brought me this bundle of rods and levers. My friend the superquad had a Lincoln Mark something or another. I remember they'd picked it up because it had big doors. It was challenging to figure out how to hook up the hand controls from some unknown van but we did it so that the Mark became and either or. Either a para or superquad could operate it or a regular person too. I do recall that you pushed the lever down to apply the brakes and rotated it clockwise to operate the gas. That was twenty years ago. I'm not sure if it rained then or if we got our moisture from a morning dew.

  2. #22
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,445
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    I guess a lot of people have never been around anyone with a "physical disability" so they're really surprised at what some of those folks can do. I had polio when I was a kid, did the daily exercise bit a couple of years, special shoe and brace on one leg a couple of years, and finally a few weeks in the hospital and a couple of surgeries, and I thank the Good Lord that I don't have any "disabilities" (or maybe I should say "special abilities"), but I sure met a lot of folks who did. But there are sure lots of amazing attitudes toward such things. It took me 5 months of arguing with doctors to get on the police department when I was 24. Just because I have a few little scars and one leg is just slightly smaller in diameter than the other, and the word "polio", that danged city doctor sure didn't want to hire me; because he said I'd want a disability pension before I put in 20 years. Well, I finally convinced the head man that I could do anything anyone else could, and I retired on a "long service" pension after nearly 25 years (the last 13 as a Captain). Guess I never was too bright; should have tried for that disability pension; sure would have saved me a lot of money on income tax.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Of course when I say I "convinced" the head doctor, it was probably more luck than convincing. I finally succeeded in getting an appointment with him and enroute to his office, I had the radio on in the car, and heard on the news that he had just received an award at an award luncheon that day, so when I walked into his office, the first thing I did was congratulate him on that award and had the old man grinnin' from ear to ear before we discussed the reason I was there.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img] Of course, the doctor who had kept turning me down was there also, and when the head doctor looked at him and said, "Oh, let's give him a chance", that first doctor frowned, looked at me, and said, "OK, but don't you dare limp going out of here."[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img] I laughed all the way home.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    May 2002
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    913
    Location
    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
    Tractor
    Currently tractor-less

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    Hi Patrick,

    I have no experience with disabled folks, and barely any with tractors, but the only problem I can think of would be changing implements. This can be a bear of a job for most anyone.

    I know nothing about the "Quick Change" type of modifications some people make, but I would certainly explore that as the first step. Once you get past the implement issue, I would think it would be all downhill from there. If they can make cars that work with hand controls, certainly a tractor would be no more difficult. But those implements... hmm..

    I'll ask around and see if anyone around here has any experience with this.

    Bob

  4. #24
    Veteran Member Slamfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    1,494
    Location
    Coker Creek, TN
    Tractor
    Mitsubishi D 1800

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    I just thought a guy who couldn't walk could get around his lake by swimming or boating. It is usually easier than skootering though the tules. My only handicap is age. I did put a neighbor in the tub and take him out at the end of most days for a few years.

  5. #25
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    20
    Location
    Lowell, MI
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson TO35

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDan View Post
    I am a paraplegic and have a BX2200. Have a lever bolted on in place of the foot pedel for the hydrostat control and also have a lever bolted onto the brake pedal. Works great and was cheap!

    I have an electric lift (crane) I bought from Northern Electric on a roller track about 10 feet long. I put a basket seat under my butt in the wheelchair hit the switch and lift myself to tractor height and then grab the tractor roll bar and pull myself over the seat. Then drop the basket and I'm on. Works great. Lift was about $275 and about $100 in steel and for the trolley.

    Dr Dan
    Did you use a barn door track for your roller, or a gantry crane beam and trolley? What type of electric crane did you get from Northern? I see this conversation was over 10 years ago, and I wonder how the system has worked for you long term if you're still using it. Thanks!

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