7 June 1996

Fuel fill made simple

REFUELLING the combine is now less of a chore for Somerset farmer and contractor Andrew Palmer.

"I was tired of humping 5 gallon drums around and smelling of diesel all day," says Mr Palmer, who farms 97ha (240 acres) at Bower Hinton, near Martock.

His solution was the Contractors Fuel Bowser, which comprises a 205-litre (45gal) drum mounted on a plywood frame in the back of the farms pick-up.

A 12V car cooling fan and a belt-driven washing machine pump are connected to the drum at one end by standard BSP fittings and a ball valve, and at the other by a two-section hose fitted with a home-made spout. Refuelling the combine is a simple matter of opening the valve, placing the spout in the tank and operating the switch on the handle to turn on the pump.

"A 45 gallon drum generally lasts for two days. It is easy to see what is left in the drum by holding the pipe vertically. The diesel runs back to the clear section of pipe to show the level remaining," he says.

Mr Palmers neighbour, Jim Pearce, helped with the development of the bowser.