2013 - Volume #37, Issue #3, Page #02[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Custom Lift Works On Older Farmalls
Repka has been a C 6-7 quadriplegic since he was in a snowmobile accident in 1995. Prior to that, he worked at a factory and raised crops on his hobby farm. He didn’t realize he missed farming until his friends took him to a tractor show in 1999.
“Then I got the bug,” Repka says. Despite very limited use of his hands, he created a cardboard model of a lift on an H Farmall toy tractor.
“I took it to a local welding shop, and three months later they had a lift,” Repka says. “They had a meticulous welder who did a very professional job.”
He also asked shop workers to modify the steering and other controls on his Super MTA Farmall and mount the lift on it. They did, and Repka was farming again. He has also mounted the lift on a 560 diesel Farmall, and most recently a 450 Farmall.
The tubular steel lift is secured by bolts to the rear axle and is operated by a separate motor, battery and hydraulic system – the same type of setup used on pickups with plows. Repka rolls his wheelchair onto the diamond plate deck and locks his chair in place to a wheelchair locking system, like those found in vans. For extra safety he secures a bar with a pin behind him. He hits a toggle switch to raise the lift with the hydraulic arms.
Besides removing the seat and moving the battery, modifications were made to the clutch and brakes, and the steering wheel was extended. Repka is unable to grasp with his hands so everything is made to push or pull. He puts his arm inside the steering wheel to turn.
The reach on the first tractor’s clutch was too far and couldn’t be modified, so Repka had the lift installed on the diesel 560 tractor. But he had problems holding in the clutch to shut it off. The 450 Farmall has been working out better, though shifting is still a challenge. He also had the lift modified to use the tractor’s 3-pt. hitch.
Repka says he enjoys being able to farm a few acres each year – this year he’s planting 15 acres of soybeans on his 35 tillable acres. The only help he needs is someone to hook up the implements.
“I’ve taken it to a couple of shows,” Repka says. People have been interested, and he has considered selling plans or possibly even manufacturing and selling the lifts, which fit on Farmall models H, M, 300, 400, 460, 560 and their variations.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Repka, 275 Essjay Rd., Apt. 118, Buffalo, N.Y. 14221 (ph 716 631-3474; email@example.com).
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