2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Combine Stairs Better Than A Ladder For Ease Of Use
“My wife and I put stairs on our grain bin 10 years ago, and we appreciate them more every year,” says Stermer. “As we get older, the issue often is getting up onto equipment. The ladder on my combine was getting pretty rickety, so I decided to replace it instead of just reinforcing it.”
Stermer admits he may have overbuilt the stairs, which he fabricated with 2 by 6-in. channel iron for the frame. He mounted 5 corrugated metal steps to the frame with 1/8-in. diamond plate for the deck. He ran a support from the combine frame to the stairs. It attaches just above the lower 2 steps, which fold over center, allowing gravity to hold them in place when up. A rope runs down the combine side of the stairs, for retracting the steps from above.
“We’ve had 3 large men on the stairs with no problem,” says Stermer. “I’m confident the stairs could hold 900 lbs.”
Stermer says the biggest challenge was just deciding to make the stairs. He estimates local fabricating shops would have charged him $2,500 plus. He ordered needed material and had it delivered for a total cost of $1,100.
“I don’t know why the farm equipment companies don’t put stairs on new equipment instead of ladders,” says Stermer. “Worked into the price of new equipment, the added cost would be pennies.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Stermer, 67 County Route 115, Lindley, N.Y. 14858 (ph 607 329-6518; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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