Lawncare or groundskeeping can be an enterprise for a worker with leg and mobility impairments. Many of the same adaptations for farm equipment apply to lawncare equipment. It comes down to accessible transportation & trailering, access to the operator’s station, and access to the controls.
A manlift could be used to access lawn care equipment that is loaded on a trailer if the manlift is mounted in such a way as to reach over the side of the trailer and lower to wheelchair height, then raise up and swivel near the equipment seat. Before being lifted to the equipment on the trailer, the tailgate must be lowered. The Gorilla Lift (search item GP-143892) is a spring-loaded mechanism to help lower and raise heavy tailgates, and would help a person with limited strength to access their trailer.
A manlift (search item le-equiplift) can be used to access riding lawncare equipment such as zero turn mowers, lawn tractors, utility vehicles, riding lawnmowers or ATV’s. A man-lift will lift a worker who cannot climb to the equipment operator’s station. Lawnmowers and other equipment often have obstructions between the ground and operator’s seat so it is very difficult to transfer from a wheelchair directly to the seat. Workers with limited mobility who are able to stand can use platform man-lifts that lift them up so they can walk directly from the platform to the tractor seat without climbing any steps. Workers who cannot stand need a man-lift with a seat or sling that will lift them from ground level to a position near enough to transfer from the man-lift to the tractor seat. Commercially manufactured man-lifts or hoists certified to lift people should be used as the lifting mechanism.
Once on the equipment, hand control levers (search item le-handlever) can be used to operate foot pedals for workers with paralyzed legs or other limitations such as those caused by stroke, MS, MD or severe arthritis. Levers bolted onto foot pedals allow workers with leg impairments to control equipment brakes, hydrostat or clutch by hand. Pull with your arm instead of push with your leg. Give arthritic knees and hips a break by using a hand control alternative. Most equipment brakes and clutch are controlled by foot pedals so they can not be operated by workers with leg impairments.
Shade can be added to lawn care equipment by installing a canopy (search item gd-LNP1012) over the operator seat. This canopy mounts on roll-bars to keep the operator out of direct sunlight and to reduce eye strain, fatigue & heat stress. Stay in the shade while mowing the yard! Heat drains you of energy when you need it for doing your work. Workers with spinal cord injuries are not able to control their body temperatures adequately, so this shade would be especially important in such circumstances.
Start planning now, and be ready for the lawn care season next spring!