Have tools, will travel ... to field

Nobody truly enjoys making repairs in the field. John Epperson may not mind it as much as most. He’s put plenty of thought and ingenuity into making sure he can get to the field with the tools he needs to make repairs in a timely fashion.

Parked inside his shop on his farm near Hanover is his pride and joy — a 1-ton truck equipped as an emergency repair shop for trips to the field. Best of all, he says, is that the truck isn’t committed to just being a repair truck. When he needs to use it for other jobs, he can remove everything on top by sliding out a steel plate. The various tools and equipment that he takes to the field attach to the steel plate, not the truck bed.

“There’s a gooseneck hitch underneath the plate,” he says. “So the truck really can serve a lot of purposes for me. I get the convenience of having a truck for in-field repairs during seasons of the year when I need it, but I can use the truck for other things the rest of the time.”

Everything attaches to the Z\v-inch-thick steel plate. While it’s not light, he has equipment on the farm to help slide it in or remove it without major hassles. It’s designed to make mechanical lifting safe and easy.

Key Points

• Removable tool repair platform makes truck a dual-purpose vehicle.

• Air compressor and other equipment attaches to removable steel plate.

• Dual-purpose solution means truck isn’t tied up all year long.


One of the major tools he needs in the field is a large-capacity air compressor. The Ingersoll-Rand compressor is rated at 24 cubic feet per minute. It features an electric starter. When he’s ready to pull out the bed, all he needs to do is unplug the air compressor.

Since he never knows how close he’ll be able to get to a piece of equipment in the field, he’s equipped the truck with plenty of air hose. A hose reel makes it easy to pull out and then re-coil without getting it tangled up.

He’s designed storage on the truck bed so he can also get all the hand tools and other devices he might need to the field easily. His goal is to go to the field and make the repair, hopefully without needing to return to the shop. If there’s an extra trip, he wants it to be because he needs a part he doesn’t have, not because he needs a tool that’s sitting on a shop bench.

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FIELD MECHANIC: When John Epperson needs to make repairs in the field, he’s got the tools he needs with him on the bed of this 1-ton truck.

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ALL AIRED UP! John Epperson doesn’t have to worry about where he’ll get the air pressure he needs in the field.

This article published in the April, 2010 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.