Modified excavator gets paralysed operator back in the cabin

The solution was to mount an electric lift and replace pedals with hand controls (Courtesy of Hyundai Construction Equipment)
After Swedish machine operator Patrik Ketti was paralysed from the chest down in an accident in 2011, he was advised to find work as a receptionist.

Used to working in forestry, outside and in rough terrain, Ketti found the idea hilarious.

“I’m probably not socially adapted, or comfortable, with reception work,” he said.

Now he’s able to resume the work he loves after a Swedish Hyundai dealer, Orsa Maskin, accepted the challenge of adapting the 24-tonne Hyundai HX235 LCR crawler excavator Ketti bought with a lift to get him into the cabin and hand-operated controls instead of pedals.

“This was a question we had never been asked before,” said Magnus Bruce, product manager at Orsa Maskin, “however, we were very keen to help Patrik and we immediately started thinking about how such an excavator lift could work.”

Bruce said they couldn’t find much existing information on how to make the modifications, so they decided to devise it themselves, hiring a company that could make a 3D design of their ideas.

The solution was to mount an electric lift to give Ketti access to his new machine. The pedals were removed and replaced with Engcon’s control system.

The cabin seat was equipped with a four-point belt to keep Ketti secure when the machine tilts on rough ground, and sprinklers were installed in the cab because it would take Ketti extra time to get out in the event of fire.

“Orsa Maskin really helped me to get back on (and off!) the road and back in my cab doing the job I love,” Ketti said. “I think there must be more operators in similar circumstances to me who would want to keep driving – and they could – if they knew solutions like this were possible.”

He added: “One of the most important things, when you are paralysed, is to have a good seat. There is otherwise a risk of pressure injury when you are unable to feel. Everything about my new Hyundai machine works very well – I am very pleased.

“This just shows that everything is possible, where there is a will, there is a way.”

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