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Electric-Powered Vegetable Picking Cart
A North Carolina inventor has come up with what may be the ultimate machine for comfortably picking vegetable crops - a low-riding, 3-wheel electric-powered cart.
"I worked on it for six or seven years before perfecting it two years ago," says Russell P. Jones, Raleigh, N.C. "It makes tough jobs fun, virtually eliminating back-aches. It would be especially helpful for the elderly or anyone with back problems."
Jones' cart is powered by two 12-volt Delco batteries. It'll run up to 72 hours be-fore requiring a recharge. Recharging takes three of four hours with a standard 10-amp battery charger.
The batteries drive a 1/3 hp electric motor that draws 1.8 amps, and a gear box with 275:1 ratio. They chain drive the cart's drive axle, which Jones made from a lawn mower axle shortened on both ends and fitted with a 1 3/4-in. dia. drive sprocket that accommodates a #35 roller chain.
The cart is 22-in. wide, 73 in. long, and 17 in. high in back and has a frame made out of 1 in. sq. tubing. Rear axles are fitted with 4.00 by 8-in. tires. There's a single 3.50 by 6-in. tire on front. The cart runs just 5 in. off the ground. The operator sits in a lawn mower seat which is adjustable on the frame to accommodate operators of varying heights. Vegetable containers are placed on a 14 by 22 in. plywood deck in front of the operator.
The front caster wheel is fitted with a wagon handle used for steering, and to pull the cart. By turning the handle a half turn, you can lock the wheel into position for running straight down the row, leaving your hands free for picking.
Jones' cart runs on 12 or 24 volts, either of which is selected by flipping a toggle switch on the motor to the right or left of center, respectively. (The center position shuts power off.) Operating on 12 volts, top speed is 3 ft., 6 in. per minute. Operating on 24 volts, top speed is 6 ft., 8 in. per minute.
He'd like to find a manufacturer and/or marketer.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Russell P. Jones, 6116 Holly Springs Rd., Raleigh, N.C. 27606 (ph 919 851-1411).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #3