1989 - Volume #13, Issue #2, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Toy excavator for pint size workersGeorge Manning couldn't fmd a good excavation toy for his son, so he designed one that looks and operates just like a real back-hoe.
The "Dig Rig", made of heavy steel, is equipped with a seat and two levers. One lever operates the arm lift, and the other lever operates the shovel.
The unique toy excavator is designed to cut 16 in. deep, dump over the side of a 24-in. box, and rip out 70 cu. in. of sand with a single bite. It has a2-ft. reach and weighs 40 lbs.
Manning, a Saskatoon, Sask., industrial designer, was observing his 4-year-old son watch a hydraulic excavator one day when he got the idea of inventing a child-sized replica.
"It reproduces the exact bucket motions of a full-size hydraulic excavator. On previous mini-excavators you couldn't roll the bucket independently of the boom action. The Dig Rig has full movement in its primary boom, secondary boom, rolling bucket, and sideways pivoting action. Any one of the four movements can be easily controlled independently of the others. The result is a miniature excavator that captures the interest and thrill of operating a real backhoe," says Manning.
Some digging toys are frustrating to use, according to Manning, because their controls are too complex for children or so simple that they quickly become boring. In contrast, the Dig-Rig's simple control system can be learned in seconds, yet the digging action is so complex that even adults enjoy playing with the toy. "One simple adjustment tailors the toy for 30 lb. or 200-lb. operators," notes Manning. "The operator's weight counter-balances the weight of the boom and load and maximizes a small operator's digging power."
The seat rolls forward and back on an adjustable, sloped cam and controls the primary boom. The greater the slope of the cam, the more the operator's weight counter-balances the weightof the booms and bucket. The bucket and secondary boom are con-trolled by the two hand levers. The side pivot is controlled by the operator's feet.
The toy breaks into two parts with the removal of a single bolt and can be easily stored in a car trunk. It can also be quickly locked into transport mode and towed on its wheels using the boom and bucket as a handle.
Two models are available. The Junior Quarry Master is designed for ages 3 to 9, weighs 40 lbs., and sells for $275. The Quarry Master, designed for larger children, has a heavier and stronger secondary boom system and bucket and sells for $365. A set of plans and a construction manual to build your own Dig-Rig is available for $21.50.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Child-Power Toys, Inc., Box 6001, Saskatoon, Canada S7K 4E4 (ph 306 382-5465).
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