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Slip-In Tool Pallet Turns Pickup Into "Instant" Service Truck
Twenty-three-year old Eric Richards, Greenwood, Indiana, is a student and a farmer. What that means, he says, is he really can't afford more than one pickup.
  Eric owns a Dodge 2500 4-WD. He likes to keep it clean and in good shape for "commuting" to school but he still needs to use it around the farm as a tool/fuel truck to tend to the needs of field equipment.
  He and his younger brother, Aaron, solved the problem by building what they call a "tool pallet". It's a self-contained shop-on-wheels that they can slip into the truck with a forklift in minutes.
  They started with a couple of 7 1/2-ft. lengths of 1/8-in. thick, 2 1/2 by 6-in. steel tubing. They set these 2 ft. apart to match up with the forks on their forklift. On top of these, the brothers mounted a 7 1/2 by 4-ft. sheet of steel tread plate. At one end of the platform is a 90-gal. fuel tank and electric pump. Atop that, there's a tool chest. Along each side of the tool pallet, they mounted longer side-mount tool boxes. These are located so that when the pallet is slid into the pickup truck bed, they're easily accessible from the side of the truck.
  Between the skids, they installed a shallow drawer that's 3 1/2 ft. long by 2 ft. wide. "This works great for sockets and ratchets," Eric says. "You can only open the drawer when the tailgate is down."
  On top of it all, they mounted a light bar, with four off-road lights and a beacon. Inside the left-side toolbox is a work light with magnetic base. The light can be pulled out the back of the toolbox and the cord winds onto a reel mounted inside the box. A fire extinguisher is mounted on this side of the pallet and a grease gun holder is mounted on the back of the right-side toolbox.
  They get 12-volt power from the pickup to the pallet by way of a 7-pin trailer plug.
  "It only takes five minutes to put it in or take it out again and everything is right there. It's great for when you need the pickup to run an errand or to haul lumber or something else," says Eric.
  The brothers have decided to make a few tool pallets for sale. They'll custom build them to fit anyone's truck. They recently completed one that has an air compressor.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richards Farms, 110 Bluffdale Drive, Greenwood, Ind. 46142 (ph 317 859-3610 or 317 881-5725; fax 317 882-8131.

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2