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.


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, Mounting Brackets & Legs

1. Tread: 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. Mounting Brackets: Cut 2 pieces of 1 ½ x 1 ½ x ¼ angle iron 8-inches long for mounting brackets and then lay them out parallel on the bottom tractor step.

3. Legs: 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 Bars

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. Hinge Bar: 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 mounting brackets. Align the legs with the hinge bars and weld them securely together.

Step 3: Mount on Tractor or Equipment

7. Rest the tread in the folded up position on the upper tractor step. Secure the mounting brackets 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. A carabiner clip tied onto the rope can be clipped onto a handle near the cab to hold the step in the up position while the equipment is operating.