Like a lot of agricultural machinery, horse drawn implements have been designed by engineers and are often not adapted to the real needs of farmers. However, the old horse drawn tools we bring out of the brambles and restore often remain the best tools available to us.
One of the main inconveniences of these tools is their lack of ergonomic fit. When they’re not rotted or broken, the handles of old walk behind ploughs and cultivators are often too low, hardly ever adjustable in dimension (in width, height and length) or direction (except for a couple of vineyard ploughs), and are not collapsible (in order to store or transport more easily).
Ideas for ergonomic handles:
A reversible “brabanette” plough with its original handlebar
A reversible plough with an adjustable handlebar
Following a collaboration with the organisation Hippotese, this adjustable handlebar has been designed to replace the handles on old horse-drawn implements. The new handlebar increases the comfort and ergonomic fit of these old tools whilst maintaining, if not improving, their efficiency.
A: Rotational offset of a few degrees (for vineyard work)
B: Quick height adjustment
C: Rotation of vertical bar
D: Height of handlebar
E: Lateral offset of handlebar
F: Rotation of main horizontal bar
G: Rotation of handle position
Above is the first version of the design presented during the 6th Technical day on Animal Draught Power for Vegetable Production, organised by Hippotese on 18th May 2013.
The handlebar on the first prototype was taken from an old bicycle. The handle, break cable and casing have been replaced by a rigid bead with a chain for better strength.
Documents to download
- Building tutorial for the adjustable handlebar
A partnership between Hippotese & Atelier Paysan
The entirety of this article, including descriptions, photos and technical drawings, are available for all to use under a Creative Commons licence. They can be distributed and modified as long as the user mentions their origins (Atelier Paysan) and ensures that all related tools and documents are also under Creative Commons.