Are there foot-pedal-to-hand-control conversion kits for my lawn tractor or at least design plans for homemade foot-to-hand control conversion?
- A hand control can be made by attaching a bent rod by means of a bracket to the foot pedal for the clutch, brake, or hydrostat transmission. The rod can be clamped onto the foot pedal and bent to come up to a convenient location for hand operation. An article with color pictures and evaluation of different designs of bent-rod hand controls can be found at http://asae.frymulti.com by typing "Evaluation of Mechanical Tractor Pedal Extensions" in the with-the-exact-phrase search window, click "GO" then "download pdf."
- John Deere used to make—but no longer offers—a conversion kit (part no. BM19690) for some of its models. If you would happen to find such a kit or even its installation instructions, you might be able to modify it for other makes or models. Check with your local dealer.
- A few companies fabricate custom-manufactured hand controls for lawn tractors or perhaps provide design plans that you or a local machinist could use to make the conversion. Three such companies are Life Essentials of Brookston, IN (765-742-6707 or www.lifeesstentialsweb.com); John Hancock of Lexington, KY (859-227-7099), and Northend Mobility of Welland, Ontario (905-735-5552 or www.northend-mobility.com).
- Two companies make joystick controls for cars and trucks that could possibly be adapted for lawn tractors—Electronic Mobility Controls (www.emc-digi.com) and Creative Controls (www.creativecontrolsinc.com).
- The Breaking New Ground (BNG) Resource Center at Purdue University has two entries in its Plowshares Technical Reports series that that you might find beneficial—"Hand Controls for Agricultural Equipment" (Plowshare #2) and "Farming with a Lower Extremity Amputation" (Plowshare #24). They can be viewed and downloaded from the Center's Web site—www.breakingnewground.info.
- BNG also developed the "Toolbox," which is a CD-ROM and on-line catalog of commercial and farmer-modified equipment and assistive devices for farming with a disability. It includes fact sheets that show tractor, utility vehicle, and lawn tractor foot-to-hand control modifications. Your county Extension office and local high school agricultural education teacher should have a copy of the CD to view (perhaps borrow), or you can access it (in pdf format) on its Web site–www.bngtoolbox.info.
- The University of Wisconsin Extension AgrAbility Web site carries an article on a homemade hand-operated clutch lever that you might find helpful. Go to fyi.uwex.edu/agrability and click on "Assistive Technology Resources," then on "Plans for Equipment Modifications."