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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Tractor for paraplegic

    I have a neighbor who is paraplegic and has expresed an interest in getting a compact tractor, mostly for brush hogging but it will see other use as well. I was wondering if anyone on TBN had any experience or had seen a paraplegic tractor operator and any mods they may have on their machine. I solicit any input regarding transmission style and so forth. I would think that it would be best to recommend a tranny that did not require clutching to go between forward and reverse. Shuttle shift will do this, yes? I have only driven one tractor more than 1 min and it is hydrostat. This guy doesnt have good use of his legs so I anticipate that he would have to modify some of the controls. His van has hand controls and he drives his 4 wheeler (with no modifications, I think) like a maniac with a NEED FOR SPEED.

    At first glance I thought a hydrostat could be easily converted to hand control since it seems to be just a mechanical pedal working the tranny through a mechanical linkage. The tranny shouldn't care how its linkage gets positioned, just where it gets positioned. My kubota has a lock to hold the hydrostat in one position for you (sorta like cruise control but not directly speed controlling) It releases when you use the brake or hit a big bump.

    Anyway, I would appreciate any input or leads to where I could get good input as I would like to steer him in a good direction. He went to a Kubota dealer (not where I trade) and they didn't treat him very well, probably didn't think he was a serious buyer. He told them he needed more detailed information before he could buy and they weren't forthcoming. Some folks think he isn't a serious hunter but he comes back out of the woods on his 4 wheeler wtih a deer wrapped around it. Not bad considering he literally can't stand up.

    Anyway, I would like to try to help him make a good choice, given the expense of a new tractor. He is thinking he wants a compact tractor of about 40 HP. Any recommendations? I only know one tractor, mine, and it is a Kuboth L4610HSTC, too much tractor for him.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance,

    Patrick

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    224
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    Bota 2400

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    A couple of thoughts: the machine should be big enough to have decent stability, and front mounted implement would be handy for maintaining his balance on the seat. I think the cranked around position of watching a rear mounted implement would be difficult without muscle control in the legs. In all fairness to do this right, I'd start the project in November, just like air conditioning projects, when the necessary skilled trades are available. There's alot of imagination out there, it can be done. SteveV

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    353
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    G1800 & BX2200

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    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

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    50
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010 w/FEL

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    Hey Dr Dan I am in the same position as you. Any chance of getting a picture of what you rigged up? Would love to see it. I am anticipating getting a L43 or a B2910 and really leaning towards the L43 due to a large and ongoing need to move concrete rubble to shore up the sides of my pond.

    Patrickg just a quick question why do you feel the L43 is to much tractor for him? Is it because of his driving abilities or is there another reason? I am truly interested in your observations. By the way if you watch gimps they are 90% nuts. I have a friend who keeps knocking his spinal drain tube loose because he drives like an idiot in his Argo 8x8. He ends up needing surgery every other year because of this and he still won't change a thing. Then you have others that can't walk and buy a 10 acre lake. Go figure!! As you already know some of us just don't stay at home in front of the tube like we're supposed to. My hat is off to you for giving your buddy a hand. As much as we don't like to admit it thier are some things that we just can't do alone, and a friend helping is truly a golden event. As far as the sorry attitude of the dealers I have been fighting the same battle. Went looking today and could not get a salesman to look at me much less get information on modifications. Keep up the good work and let me know what you decide or plan on.

    Carl

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    482
    Location
    Connecticut

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    I would speak with Steve Carver @ carver Equ.,I believe that Carver has set up tractors for those with special needs,Steve C.is a good person to deal with and are straight shooters,they deliver anywhere,best of luck

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    Dr. Dan and Carl, I am greatful to you for ringing in, and everyone else too. I'm no angel of mercy just being neighborly and have told him I think he will need help with some evolutions (drills, whatever you know, certain operations) like changing some implements and the things able bodies do hopping off and on without hardly thinking about it. Still, I have always admired physically challenged folks who don't give up and go on to accomplish within their abilities. I think it is what you CAN do that counts not what you cant. By the way, I won't turn you in for getting away from the TV, THIS TIME but watch that attitude and don't get UPITY!

    When I was a kid in school, 3rd through 8th grade we had a neighbor about 10 houses up the street who had lost both hands in a factory accident when he shoved a lady out of the way of a stamping machine that was about to crush her. He drove a stick shift(with a suicide knob with a leather cup), reached in his pocket and pulled out change, fished with worms and the old fashion reel (never got backlashes like I did) and caught plenty, would get his limit in pheasant season and a deer in deer season, and would come down some evenings to our next door neighbor's house where several families would gather and play "hill billy" music. He played the steel guitar (slide guitar, electric amplified) better that I have ever heard it played before or since. Post-accident he was a milk tester with a route of dairies. P.S. He had the best penmanship I recall seeing even if though he had to hold the pen with both stumps.

    He isn't the only physically challenged individual I have known but he made an undying impression on me. The best welder I ever saw was in a chair, man he was an artist, we hired him as a consultant once to demonstrate a product I was involved with.

    BOING..... back to the present time...

    Carl beat me to it Dr. Dan, but pix would be great.

    Anyway, this isn't a sympathy thing and we aren't particularly close. He is the son of a friend's brother and they live at the dead end of the section line that borders me on one side a mile away. That said, I'd help anyone (not take 'em to raise but help them) able bodied or whatever. All my life I have had folks help me for no particular reason other than I needed it and they were GOOD folks. I have offered to take him to MY DEALER where I am sure he will be treated with respect, a friendly helpful attitude, and will get the decision making information he needs to make an informed purchase. I will be there during the all important "first impression" stage to ensure a positive outcome. After that, I'm sure he will do fine on his own. I will not let him be "the invisible customer" at MY DEALER.

    He can get around on his knees pretty fair and mounts his 4 wheeler reliably or can go from the ground to his electric chair reliably. Maybe he won't need anything fancy, complicated, or costly to pick him up like a knight in armor to be lowered onto his horse. If so, boy is he lucky that you guys have been there done that and will share the tricks. Perhaps some simple hand holds or whatever will do the trick. I am glad to have my guess confirmed about the ease of modifying a hydrostat for hand control. Will he need a vacuum cylinder or hydraulic cylinder to effect "Power brakes" I need to put my 13-14 boots down pretty hard on my brakes, especially to lock and unlock the parking brake function and I don't think he can do that.

    Now Carl, he has told me that he wants a compact tractor of about 40 HP. My Grand L4610HSTC is 46 net HP not too far over his guestimate but a lot pricer than smaller more compact, compact tractors. I have the cab model and it would be distinctly harder for him to clamber aboard, I think. I have invited him down for a close inspection of my tractor and to witness an implement change, including PTO hookup. I'll let him try to climb into the seat if he wants to. Who am I to say he can't do it. With the doors and all, I would think it would interfere with the good Doc's mechanized approach, should something like that be required.

    I'm trying to not prejudge his ability and limit what I show him based on my ignorance. I didn't ask what his budget is but they aren't wealthy. Of course, there may be some sort of monetary assistance involved. Any way, one step at a time. Show him my tractor and the hitch unhitch process. Hitching/unhitching can be real hard for me and (not bragging as it was out of my control) but I am 6'2" and 230 lbs and in fair shape having lost 30 lbs or so since moving onto this rural place. I bought an anvil a few days ago. Picked it up off the floor and set it in my shopping cart. Put it in truck, drove home, put it in shop. Days later I peeled the price tag off of it and was some startled to note the weight was listed in the item description, 110lbs. I had estimated 60-70 lbs. I don't want to sell the guy short but I use hammers and long pry bars and walk about a hundred yards in total circling the work site when changing implements and it is tough frustrating work. I open the back winjdow and can just barely reach the hydraulic controls from behind the tractor. I have to stand on the lower 3PH arms to reach the raise lower control. Maybe with luck he can get a quick hitch accessory that will make life easier for him, I think I wan't one (make that NEED one).

    Would you guys mind fielding any of his questions if he wants to get it direct from the horse's mouth, members of his "CLUB?"

    I'm sure when I share your posts with him he will be encouraged, like he needed it! What was it Mark Twain said, "the trouble with youth is that they waste it all on the young" or was that the cowboy philosopher, Oklalhoma's own Will Rogers? Yet another senior moment...

    Patrick





  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    Shifty, Bird, et al, Thanks for the input. I think the guy wants to buy local but I'll tell him about Carver and if needed that is another resource.

    Thanks again,

    Patrick

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Rest in Peace
    frank_f15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    6,033
    Location
    BUFFALO ,NEW YORK AREA
    Tractor
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    i would think a hydro might be a better choice, something like what DrDan suggest. the hydro lever would allow him to go forward and control his ground speed at the same time. not sure about the rear pedal tho. dan what do u use? for reverse?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    Frank_F15, I crawled under and inspected the underside of my kubota L4610HSTC the other day and noted that the hydrostat pedal was a fairly simple mechanical linkage to the tranny. The HST "lock" (cruise control thingy) should still work if a hand control is substituted for the pedal. There would be safety ramifications of course but it shouldn't be too hard to add user adjustable friction to the HST hand controller similar to the throttle quadrant of an aircract to relieve the need to spend effort continuoulsy holding the HST hand control if it was decided that would be better than the existing "lock" which comes off pretty easy hitting a bump.

    I have less than 2 minutes seat time with any tractor other than HST. So I sure am not the guy to compare or contrast the strong and weak points of one tranny vs another. I like the HST but the user's stated intent is to "almost" exclusively use it for brush hogging with some FEL and occasional box blade. It is a minor anoyance that brush hogging requires you to spend a lot of effort controlling the pedal with the HST type tranny where the others leave you to just make throttle adjustments (my interpretation according to what I read).

    Patrick

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    353
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    G1800 & BX2200

    Default Re: Tractor for paraplegic

    I am a veterinarian and have been working some long hours of late. I have Sunday thru Tuesday off so maybe I can get a pix or two taken. It is really quite simple. Para's are very adaptive. If it's a hydrostat and he likes it just buy the dang thing and park it in the garage. Only be a day or so if that long before he's out in the field bushhogging. Why does he need 46 HP? I find a B2910 to be more than one would need.

    DrDan

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