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All Around The Farm Idea of the Month: May/June 2010

It was almost Christmas, and Tim Couser still didn't have a gift for his dad.

"Just that day we'd changed fluids in three tractors and one truck. That's when the luxury floor creeper was invented," he recalls.

Couser went shopping, came home, and put together the double-wide, extra-comfort creeper in about 2 hours.

And his dad loves it. "It sure beats what he usually uses, which is a piece of cardboard on the floor," laughs Couser.

He first extended the frame of one of the ACDelco creepers by cutting it in half with a reciprocating saw. Then he used an old seed corn signpost cut into four equal pieces to make the frame long enough to accommodate both pads.

"The post worked great because it already had holes drilled every couple inches," says Couser. He used 5∕16-inch bolts to attach the pieces to the creeper frame. Installed on the bottom side of the frame rails, there is a binding effect, requiring only one bolt per joint.

The pads were reattached with the original hardware through the holes in the post pieces so no new holes had to be drilled for that either.

Two fluorescent trouble lights placed one on each side, tucked in beside the pad, face upward. "It's nice not having to reposition a burning hot trouble light all the time," he says.

A three-way plug leaves one plug open in case the job calls for an electric tool, so no extra extension cord is required.

Magnetized catch pans attached at the bottom corners keep hand tools and fasteners in easy reach, up off the dirty shop floor.

Couser, 23, says he spent about $100 total on his idea. They like the added comfort, the convenience of the built-in lighting, and the ease in keeping important nuts and bolts together.

"The extra-wide padding is nice, and your shoulders don't end up resting on a steel frame," says Couser.

  • Family farm: Tim Couser's parents, Bill and Nancy, have 3,000 head at Couser Cattle Company in Nevada, Iowa. They also grow seed corn and commercial grains on several thousand acres.      
  • Education: Couser is a recent graduate of Iowa State University in agriculture studies. One of his internships led to employment at John Deere Ottumwa Works in the dealer service department.
  • Other projects: "I just built a set of stompers (metal plates designed to press crop down) for our sprayer to remove the male row of seed corn," he says. He also built a combination bale spear and trailer hitch.
  • Hobbies: "I fish and shoot trap (clay pigeons). But I like spending most of my free time helping out on the farm," he says.

It was almost Christmas, and Tim Couser still didn't have a gift for his dad.

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