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Bean Buggy Modified For Disabled Farmer
A commercial bean buggy modified so that it can be controlled by a disabled operator lets Bob Yeagle, Farmer City, Ill., spot spray weeds in soybean fields, road ditches, etc.
Yeagle, quadriplegic as a result of a horse riding accident, teamed up with his friend and neighbor Kyle Kopp to modify a Mae Wes "ill Wesley" bean buggy. Kopp re-moved the front part of the frame and re-placed it with a powered seat lift and a push-pull steering column. The seat lift allows Yeagle to transfer from a wheelchair into the buggy seat, then automatically raise the seat to operator height. A motorized screw-type cylinder, or actuator, is used to move the seat up or down and is activated by a switch on the armrest. The seat can travel 20 in. up or down.
Since Yeagle couldn't squeeze and grip a conventional spray wand, Kopp designed one especially for him. He cut a notch in an old deep well socket to fit the wand and secured it with a hose clamp. The socket snaps onto a wobble-type socket extension that Kopp bolted onto the steering column. The socket extension allows the nozzle to be rotated to any angle. When he's ready to spray, Yeagle uses the palm of his left hand to aim the nozzle and his right palm to push the lever-type trigger.
"It lets Bob steer, aim the nozzle, and spray all at the same time using only his arms and the palms of his hands," says Kopp. "He uses a seat belt across his up-per chest to belt himself in. The buggy is equipped with two tanks and two sets of hoses and nozzles so he can switch herbicides without having to clean out the tank or mix chemicals. One set of nozzles snaps onto a socket extension that's bolted onto the frame behind the seat. To switch herbicides, he simply swaps hoses and nozzles.
"The buggy is powered by an electric start 9 hp engine and has a hydrostatic transmission. Bob bumps the transmission lever to go forward or reverse. The throttle is activated by a button mounted next to the armrest.
"The socket extension serves as a directional aid, letting Bob aim and fire the nozzle without having to hold it and squeeze the trigger. He steers with his left arm on top of the push-pull steering bar so he can keep both hands free for aiming and firing the nozzle."
Kopp says he plans to put a 15-ft. spray boom on back so Bob can spray yards, as well as a 30-ft. rope wick applicator for soybeans.
Kopp and Yeagle got help from AgrAbility Unlimited, an organization that helps farmers and ranchers find ways to continue farming despite injuries or chronic illnesses that limit mobility. As a 19-state national effort, AgrAbility is supported by the USDA Extension Service, the National Easter Seal Society, and the Breaking New Ground Resource Center at Purdue University.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kyle Kopp, Rt. 2, Box 109, Farmer City, Ill. 61842 (ph 309 928-2352) or the Illinois Easter Seal Society, 2715 South Fourth St., Springfield, Ill. 62705 (ph 217 525-0398) or the Breaking New Ground Resource Center (ph 800 825-4264).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3