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Paraplegic Tractor For Handicapped
"It's one of the most popular new products we've ever introduced," says Richard Steiner, president of Steiner Corp., Orrville, Ohio, and manufacturer of a first-of-its-kind paraplegic tractor for the handicapped.
"For persons confined to a wheelchair, or persons who can't walk or exert themselves because of a stroke, heart problems or whatever, the chair itself serves as the driver's seat. The driver simply wheels onto the operator's platform to board the "freedom machine" freedom to mow the lawn, plow snow, or to simply drive around the farm to check cattle, fences or crops.
Steiner's standard paraplegic tractor is designed with hand controls. However, special controls can be custom-ordered, depending on the driver's needs. For example, steering and other controls can be rigged for foot operation for people with little or no use of their arms or hands. "We'd even explore electric controls,including steering, for quadraplegics who have head and shoulder movement but can't use their arms or legs," Steiner told FARM SHOW.
To operate, the driver wheels right onto the lowered power ramp platform with the wheelchair. When on the platform, the operator then raises the power ramp to the "up" or operating position. (If the tractor should run out of gas or stall for any reason, the power ramp will lower by itself manually, allowing the driver to back out with the wheelchair.)
The tractor is powered by an 18 hp, 2 cyl. Briggs and Stratton engine (19.9 hp Onan engine is optional). It's equipped with a two speed hydrostatic transmission with infinitely variable speed (0 to 8 mph) forward and in reverse. Wheel base is 48 in., width 44 in., length 90 in., and height 46 in. It weighs 950 lbs. and has 21 by 11.00 tires in front, and 4.80 by 8.00 tires on the rear. There's also a loud horn which the driver can sound, if needed, to call for help.
Currently available front-mounted attachments for the tractor include a 48 in. or 60 in. lawn mower, 48 in. tiller, 60 in. rotary broom, 48 in. snowblower, and a 48 or 60 in. power-angle blade. An optional removeable bench seat is available which allows persons not confined to a wheelchair to operate the tractor.
The tractor itself, without any attachments, sells for $5,695.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steiner Corp., 12657 Church Thad, Orrville, Ohio 44667 (ph 216 683-0055).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #5