2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Rolling Step Ladder
The Monroe, Wis., farmer made the one-of-a-kind step ladder mostly out of 1/2-in. pipe. The step ladder rides on a pair of 3-ft. high steel rake wheels (tines removed, of course) and is equipped with a platform that's about 5 ft. off the ground. He rolls the step ladder up to his equipment and uses a spray wand connected to a pressure washer to do the cleaning work.
"It moves around like a big wheelbarrow. Because of the big wheels I can push it right through mud and snow with no problem," notes Waelti.
The wheels mount on an axle made from a length of pipe. Cotter keys are used to join both ends of the pipe to the wheel hubs. The 2-ft. sq. platform is made from lengths of 1-in. flat iron set on their edges and spaced 1 in. apart. A 3 1/2-ft. high railing made from 1-in. pipe surrounds three sides of the platform. The steps are made from expanded metal. A pair of long handles with hand grips extend about 1 ft. past the steps.
The expanded metal steps are bolted onto lengths of angle iron that are welded horizontally onto the sides.
"It's one of the handiest things on my farm. I've also used it to paint equipment and buildings, to build a garage, trim trees, and to replace light bulbs in my shop," says Waelti. "I can carry a paint pail up with me and set it on the platform or hang onto it. It's stable enough that I can even use a chain saw on it, which I couldn't do with an ordinary stepladder. The front part of the railing has a hinged step attached to it that I can stand on to reach even higher. The step folds up out of the way when it's not needed."
Waelti says his rolling stepladder didn't cost much to build. "I already had the rake wheels and got the expanded metal that I used to make the steps free from a local welder. I bought the pipe for the axle and railing new."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Louie Waelti, N3337 Aebly Rd., Monroe, Wis. 53566 (ph 608 325-6385).
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