With fewer workers on farms than 20-years ago, two-person jobs such as cleaning out gutters and changing shed light bulbs, simply get left until a wet day in harvest or when your offspring return to be fed and watered at Christmas.
However, a new type of working platform – UTX – has been developed by US firm Innovative Equipment based in Wisconsin, which can be bolted onto the back of any farm buggy (UTV) with a cargo bed of 420kg or bigger.
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Hooking-on the UTX takes around three minutes once you’ve removed the back from your buggy. It stands on four jacks for storage and is attached by reversing the buggy under or lifted on with a forklift, with just two bolts to secure it, claims the company.
There’s two manually operated jacks as standard, which slide out to the rear and are wound up or down until the cage is level, although fancier electric powered ones are also available.
There are two models, a UTX 30 offering a work height of 5.5m and the UTX 44 giving a 5.8m lift, with both models able to house two people in the cage.
The smaller model can lift slightly less at 227kg, while its bigger brother can hoist 273kg.
Cage sizes are decent, with largest platform offering a 152cm width and a length of 112cm – plenty of room for two workers and tools to travel lightly over wet soils to cut that tree branch hanging out over the field.
The UTX is laden with plenty of override alarms and safety lockout features to keep everyone out of danger and complies with American National Standards Institute rules regarding aerial work platforms.
Power comes via a 12v system with on-board heavy-duty battery and charging system, while a host of units have been sold in the US to farmers, film crews, hunters and airlines.
As yet, there’s no plan to bring them across the pond, but the company says it is keen to find out if the UK has a market for them, with a retail price sitting at £5,950 excluding delivery.