Saturday, August 15, 2015

Getting Up In The World w/pic

I suppose truck manufacturers never stop to think that a short person, or REALLY fat person might want to climb into one of their trucks. Why else would Volvo only put two steps on their trucks, and THEM 19 inches or more apart? My old Mack was hard enough for me to get into, but my current one, a Volvo has, on several occasions,  actually caused me to make more than one attempt in order to get behind the wheel. That's bad enough, but it was becoming obvious that I was going to blow out my left knee VERY shortly, unless something changed. So, it changed.

Drilling no extra holes, I used the existing 5/16 holes in the steps to run two all-threads of that size between the steps. Putting a piece of pressure-treated 2x4 at the halfway point gave me the added step that I needed. The distance from the ground to the first step wasn't inconsequential, so I wanted to add something there, too. I hesitated to mount anything solid, though, as it might catch on something and rip the whole step assembly off.

Seeing a length of 5/16 chain some former truck-driver had carried in the truck (probably for "protection"), the idea occurred to me of a hanging step. Mounting a couple eye-bolts on the bottom of the lower step gave me a place to hang each end. Since certain places might still have objects that could snag a chain, I put a carabiner on each end, so the chain could be removed quickly, if desired. Using a bolt-cutter, I cut the excess length off the two previously mentioned bolts, and the eye-bolts, and called the job done. The system is still a tad awkward, but it's a whole lot better than what was there before.

As you can see in the photo, a couple trips to the limestone mine has already coated the carabiners with limestone slurry from the access road, so I'd best keep them cleaned and oiled a bit, to insure their easy removal. © 2015



Sunnybrook Farm said...

That will get you an Appalachian Engineering Degree!

Mamahen said...

Very clever...I have enough difficulty climbing in my 4runner these days.

Gail said...

What a brilliant solution.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

That was a good idea. Before my husband had a running board I used to keep a folding step (from the camper) to get in and out. I'm only 5'2" so it doesn't take much to be too tall for me.

Ralph Goff said...

Pretty handy work there Gorges. And "non invasive" too so that nobody can complain about extra welds or holes in the truck. I guess the original might have been ok for a long legged lightweight like me but not for most people. I have seen some combines with the lowest step hung by heavy rubber straps so that it can give and fold when the combine sinks in the mud.

Gorges Smythe said...

There used to be a couple common terms for such work, SF, but now I'd be called racist to use them.

And I, my pickup, Mh! lol

Yeah, Gail, guess I'm just a brilliant kinda guy (and humble, too)!

You have two inches on my wife, Kathy. She's the reason that I put running boards (the young guys call 'em nerf bars) on my truck.

Yeah, Ralph, you could probably hop right in. I've seen the steps you mentioned on log skidders, too.

Chickenmom said...

Stirrups! Great idea, Gorges!!!!

Sixbears said...

Clever. I like it.

When I drove fire truck my captain was a little short guy. I had to throw him in the truck before I got in. Finally we got the town garage to weld a few steps for him.

Pumice said...

I am guessing that you violated several regulations here but I promise not to report you. Remember if the government had wanted it to be easy to drive they would have made you taller.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...

LOL! - I hadn't thought of them as stirrups, Cm!

I hope he didn't bruise easily, Sixbears! lol

They may yet, Pumice. I may be on the rack if Obama declares martial law. ;-)