Handy Devices

January 2021 Handy Devices

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Step Right Up (Progressive Farmer image by Ray E. Watkins Jr., colorized by Barry Falkner)

STEP RIGHT UP (Editor's Choice):

Jack Keiser, Fremont, Ohio, found it difficult to climb into the back of the truck bed. To repair that situation, he made a step that fits into the truck's hitch receiver. The step is made from 2-inch square tubing that slides into the receiver. To that, he bolted a 3/4-inch piece of plywood to create the step. He also glued a piece of rubber stair tread to the plywood for traction. Another option he suggests would be to weld a piece of plate steel to the tubing, then attach the piece of rubber stair tread. When not in use, Keiser stores the stair in the truck cab.

FIX SAGGING GATES:

After many years of struggling with chains and bungee cords to hold double gates shut, Ben Harman, Frostburg, Maryland, designed a set of gate latches. They both hold the gates closed but also eliminate the need for center support. Harman built the latches with old rake teeth, exhaust pipe and 1/4-inch carriage bolts. The rake teeth are bent in three steps. The first bend is meant to engage a vertical gate tube; the second (at a 90-degree angle) creates a welding point so it can be attached to the exhaust pipe; the third allows the latch to clear the gate when it's being opened. Harman also cut a 2-inch piece of pipe lengthwise, pushed it around a horizontal gate tube and bolted it into place. Then, he welded the rake teeth to the pipe.

UPSIDE-DOWN HITCH:

Here's another way to unspool wire. David Wade, Hiwassee, Virginia, took a receiver hitch and turned it upside-down to create a flat surface. He set the spool of wire on the upside-down receiver, at the same time pushing a tractor drawbar pin through the wire spool and hitch. He secured the drawbar pin in place with a cotter pin. He drives the assembly along his fencelines, unspooling wire as he goes.

> WINNING IDEAS: Win $400 if your idea is chosen as the month's "Editor's Choice" Handy Device. Win $200 for other ideas used on this page. To submit a Handy Device, please send clear photographs, detailed drawings and a complete explanation of your idea. With each entry, include your name, address and telephone number. Send Handy Device entries to Progressive Farmer, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209. Sorry, but we cannot acknowledge submissions or return photographs, drawings or documentation.

[PF_0121]