Author Topic: Anyone drive a tractor?  (Read 2726 times)

Offline chasamp

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Anyone drive a tractor?
« on: April 09, 2008, 11:15:25 PM »
Just wondering if there are any above knee amputees on here that drive a tractor or even a car with a clutch? I was a below knee amputee for nine years and had no problem pushing in the clutch. On Nov 30 2007 I had to have a revision to above the knee. I'm just wondering how hard it will be now. Thanks in advance for any replys. Oh. BTW I have the "Agility" Knee made by Freedom

Offline Oneblueleg

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Re: Anyone drive a tractor?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 09:04:28 AM »
Just wondering if there are any above knee amputees on here that drive a tractor or even a car with a clutch? I was a below knee amputee for nine years and had no problem pushing in the clutch. On Nov 30 2007 I had to have a revision to above the knee. I'm just wondering how hard it will be now. Thanks in advance for any replys. Oh. BTW I have the "Agility" Knee made by Freedom

I am a RAK, I drive an auto, but I know LAKs who drive manual cars with no modifications. They seem to be able to press the clutch OK.

And by the way, the 'Agility' knee is no longer called that, they've had to change the name to 'Plie'

Offline chasamp

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Re: Anyone drive a tractor?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 09:11:41 AM »
And by the way, the 'Agility' knee is no longer called that, they've had to change the name to 'Plie'

LOL. Yes I've read all the posts about the name change, but as of right now mine has "Agility" printed on it. LOL...

Offline herb

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Re: Anyone drive a tractor?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 09:19:50 AM »
Hi Chas - I have a left above knee amputation and I have tractors and trucks with manual transmissions. I have a c-leg but have not been able to operate the clutch with my prosthesis well enough to feel safe. Since the tractors have both a foot and a manual throttle, I can easily just set the throttle and then use my right foot to operate the clutch. I have to slip the transmission into neutral when I  stop. For my trucks, I keep a cane in the cab and can use that to operate the throttle. I have driven that way for over thirty years and have never had a problem. I took my license exam in 3 different states using that method to have the restriction of automatic or manual controls taken off my license. Herb

Offline King Rocky

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Re: Anyone drive a tractor?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 10:28:15 AM »
I wanted to reply to this a while ago, but my internet browser has been playing up.  It keeps logging me off, whereas the other browser works well (which I just came to find out today)  :-(

Anyway, I'm a left above knee for a little over 2 years now.  I used an hydraulic knee joint known as the 3R60 from OttoBock ... and had a manual car.  We had a chauffeur driver us around for a while, but for one week ... we didn't have one.  I was desperate to get to work, so I tried driving a bit and it seemed okay.

So, I took the car out ... the thing is, I didn't sense or feel anything when I was operating the clutch.  I went by previous judgement.  At times, when the gear wouldn't change, I knew I hadn't pressed hard enough.  It was always safer to press down a little bit harder, to ensure there was no jerk or engine going off.
It was hard work ... I wouldn't have coped where the traffic was heavy or up and down hill.
I managed for a week ... but then we got an automatic car. 
Now I am back on the wheels, no tension and have done nearly 26k kms in about 20 months.

If I am desperate and I had no other go ... then I can manage a car or any other vehicle ... and that's only because I knew driving before I was an amputee.
But the caution is:  IT'S TOO RISKY!
King Rocky
aka - Jan. '06
"Significant times in life are NOT ALWAYS significant, when we are going through it" -  Rajan '98

Offline chasamp

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Re: Anyone drive a tractor?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 12:48:32 PM »
Thanks for the replys. I actually got up on the garden tractor over the weekend to see if I could push in the clutch with the prosthesis. NO GO. LOL. I can do it with the right foot, but I'm just kinda of afraid if I have to stop quick I'll get scared and confused. Yes, I am female, but not blonde. LOL. Just want to be on the safety side of things. So, I think we will try to figure out a way to put a hand control on that clutch. I love mowing with the garden tractor and this is really bumming me out right now. Thanks again

Offline herb

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Re: Anyone drive a tractor?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2008, 08:16:40 PM »
Hi Chasamp- I have put hand controls on the clutch of many trucks over the years. It is really very simple. Go to a junkyard and get the emergency brake handle and cable assembly out of an old dodge pick-up or light truck. These were dash mounted on the left side and had a pipe handle that pointed straight down when not being used. Mount it on the dash of your tractor. Run the cable through the firewall and attach to the inside of the firewall. Attach the cable to the clutch linkage and adjust to get the proper throw. On a few trucks I had to fabricate a mount on the firewall to attach the cable sheath. One nice thing about the emergency cable handle is when it is pulled out 90 degrees it is locked and you can let go of it until you are ready to take off. It is very simple and works great. I have used several for over 100,000 miles and never had a problem. Good luck, Herb