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Great Portable Farm Shop
There's nothing better than having a fully-equipped shop on wheels, says Mark Gordin, Jamestown, Ohio, who put together a "tool bus" from a 25-ft. bus designed for handicapped passengers.
  Gordin, who bought the 1991 model bus for $2,400, totally remodeled the interior. On one side of the bus he installed a gas engine-powered air compressor, a 7-ft. long workbench, a roll-around toolbox, and a welding torch and acetylene tank. On the other side of the bus there's a 50-ft. air reel, 4-drawer bolt bin, electric-operated grinder, and a 110 and 220-volt AC/DC Hobart welder-generator. Each side of the bus is wired with three 110-volt outlets, eliminating the need to run an extension cord from tools to the generator.
  He converted a remote-controlled wheelchair lift on one side of the bus into a welding table that's fitted with a vise. The wheelchair lift automatically lowers to a horizontal position, providing a handy work station.
  Gordin, who grows corn, soybeans, and wheat, says he needed a mobile shop because his fields are located up to 25 miles apart. "The bus lets us carry many more tools than a pickup or cargo van and we can work inside during bad weather. The bus is equipped with a Chevrolet 6.2-liter diesel engine and Allison automatic transmission. It had been well maintained and everything on it worked and was ready to go. All the tires were new.
  "I spent about $7,200 for tools to go inside it. Some farmers spend $30,000 just for a 1-ton pickup equipped with a utility box, and that doesn't include the cost for tools. Even a used 1-ton pickup equipped with a utility bed costs about $10,000. Unlike with a pickup, on my bus everything is enclosed so nothing gets wet. The bus has dual wheels on back so it's not likely to get stuck in the field.
  "All the equipment inside the bus is bolted to the floor. I had a local muffler shop custom build an exhaust system, which hooks up to the gas engine on the air compressor and also to the engine on the welder-generator. Exhaust pipe runs through the bus floor and out the back to keep fumes out of the bus."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Gordin, 7290 U.S. Route 35 E., Jamestown, Ohio 45335 (ph 740 948-2838).


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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1