Fold-up Tractor Step Assistive Technology

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Introduction: Fold-up Tractor Step Assistive Technology

About: I started out my agricultural engineering career serving farmers with disabilities for Breaking New Ground at Purdue University. I then moved to Lowell, Michigan to be a dairy farmer and started a vegetable ma…

This fold-down step works very well and reduces strain on your knees climbing off equipment. The step flips up and down with a rope and stays in place nicely while driving. Other workers who don’t need the extra step can just leave it folded up and step on it in place. Here are instructions how to make your own.

Supplies

1 1/2 x 1/4" angle iron; 1/4" plate steel; 1 1/2 x 1/2" bar stock, welder, drill, cutting wheel or saw

Step 1: Tread and Legs

1. Measure the width of the upper step that the folding step will rest on in the up position. Make a tread for your folding step that is 2” narrower than the upper step and then lay it on the upper step. I use ¼”-thick x 5"-wide steel for treads.

2. Cut 2 pieces of 1 ½ x 1 ½ x ¼ angle iron 6-inches long for mounting brackets and then lay them out parallel on the bottom tractor step.

3. Measure from the upper step tread down to the mounting brackets and cut 2 pieces of 1 ½ x 1 ½ x ¼ angle iron at that length for legs on the folding step. The ones shown in these pictures are 9”-inch-long legs. Weld the legs onto the tread as shown.

Step 2: Hinge Pivot Holes

4. Drill a ½” pivot hole in the mounting brackets. It should be 2 1/4" from the front edge of the mounting bracket. It should be 7/8” up from the bottom surface of the mounting bracket.

5. Make a hinge bar 2 3/4" long out of 1 ½ x ½ -inch bar stock. Drill a ½” pivot hole in the center of the bar 1/2" from the end. Trim the corners around the hole so they are rounded.

6. Use a ½” grade-8 bolt through the pivot holes to connect the hinge bars to the mounts. Align the legs with the hinge bars and weld them securely together.

Step 3: Mount on Tractor or Equipment

7. Secure the mounts to the lower step by welds or bolts. Tie a rope or cable to the outer corner of the tread. Tie the other end of the rope to a grab handle near the tractor cab for raising and lowering the step.

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    6 Comments

    1
    EddieK19
    EddieK19

    6 months ago

    As a welder and someone who has operated a backhoe, some times you hurt yourself by just trying to get in the cabin of the equipment and this looks like a great job at getting rid of those problems :)

    0
    stollerned
    stollerned

    Reply 5 months ago

    Heavy equipment is a challenge to climb on with any type of physical impairment. This step would help with many types of machines. Thanks for your comment!

    0
    tryb01
    tryb01

    Tip 5 months ago on Step 3

    I really like how simple and elegant this design is! I have a new client who may need an add-on step for his tractor. I'm not yet sure if he would do better with a fold-down like this or a flexible step to allow for deep ruts etc. I haven't tried one yet but if I use a flexible one I think the one with stiff rubber belt hangers look like they might work well. If instead I use your design one change I am thinking about is to attach the brackets to the outside of the step stringers so it won't encroach on the step width & will maintain continuity of step size. My client had a stroke so he's not as surefooted as he was. I may use a cheese grater textured step to provide maximum traction even with mud caked boots. Thanks for sharing this design!

    0
    stollerned
    stollerned

    Reply 5 months ago

    Through-bolting to the outside of the steps would be a great idea. Thanks for the tip. You can check in with http://www.agrability.org/contact-lists/ for your state and maybe a technician could come out with you and look at your client's tractor. I'd be happy to think with you on it too.

    0
    tytower
    tytower

    1 year ago

    Filed that one away for certain future use . Good stuff Thanks.