In the first of a new series on workshop kit, we get farmers and contractors to test interesting-looking tools and equipment and comment on them.
• What is it?
Ring Automotive 3100W professional inverter for turning 12v from a vehicle battery into 240v AC for powering tools etc.
Other models available: 2100W (£374), 6000W (£800).
Contact 0113 213 7389 or www.ringautomotive.co.uk
Pete and Richard Burbage
P and R Burbage farmers and contractors, Nobottle, Northamptonshire
• How did they get on?
This wasn’t the first time Pete and Richard Burbage had used an inverter, but the 3100W Ring unit was somewhat bigger than their previous one.
“That one could just about run a 4.5in grinder, but this unit can power a 9in grinder without cutting out,” says Pete.
“We’ve screwed it to the wall of the van we have for the contracting side and use a second battery to power it. It’s a lot easier to pick up than a 40kg generator that you’d have to use as an alternative and also less likely to be nicked.
“We’ve used it a lot, usually with the grinder or an STS drill. It’s good if you’re hanging a gate in a field and we even cut out a cow that had got its head stuck in a creep feeder.
“We do a lot of hydraulic pipe repairs and you need an angle grinder to cut off the ends. The mobile swaging machine and inverter make a good combination.”
“Also, we do building work and if we’re drilling holes in stanchions with a mag drill we have the inverter and battery in the manbasket. That’s better than having a generator buzzing away next to you.
“OK you could use a cordless drill for some of these jobs, but the charge doesn’t last that long and always runs out just when you don’t want it to. A generator will do the same job, but they’re heavier and the starting and stopping all the time becomes a real nuisance.
“We’re wondering if it could run a compressor, too, and maybe there’s even a welder that could work with it.”
• Scope for improvement?
“It would be ideal if it had croc clips,” he says.