His boss modified it to let him continue working

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  1. >According to a 2014 report from AT.no, Knutsen works for a small firm in Norway called Jakhelln Construction. The company’s slogan is “We make it possible,” and CEO Nicolai Jakhelln told the publication that the company has had quite a bit of success bringing on disabled persons. Jakhelln said Knutsen was recommended to his company by a local operator training company, Granlund Resource AS Brandbu.
    >Modified Hitachi ZX210LC-5 with lift Tim Knutsen 3
    >Knutsen, who uses a wheelchair, initially worked in a 5-tonne excavator, but after seeing how capable he was as an operator and how difficult it was for him to get in and out of that first machine, Jakhelln decided it was time for a new machine.
    >The firm worked with Hitachi dealer Nasta AS to spec out a custom Hitachi ZX210LC-5 for Knutsen. According to an article from Nasta’s annual magazine, the excavator is equipped with a hydraulic cab riser with two articulating booms, similar to a material handler. The booms can raise the cab as high as 11.5 feet, but can also bring it down to the ground, allowing much easier entry for Knutsen.


  2. That’s an awesome boss. I can’t even imagine how much that modification would cost.. 40-50k maybe?

  3. When you treat your employees right you get so much more than the little bit od extra you have to spend.

  4. Dude! 1. That is seriously awesome. 2. What a fr fr good employer. Sees a good dude and figures out how to help him work better and safer.

  5. Boss today. Son last week. Uncle the time before. Who ever did it is definitely cool but it’s not OP.

  6. So, a few things,
    1. Advances in engineering can put some folks with mobility impairments into jobs that they wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity for. Awesome. This company deserves all the tax breaks society has to offer. If I was Hitachi or Caterpillar, or John Deere, I would be making machines that offer mobility assistance like this. Sell them at the same price as regular tractors. The press alone would be worth a few hydraulic rams and pumps.
    I know this is subject to debate, but, it could keep people working longer. If you are an owner operator of an excavating company, and you are getting too old to jump up and down off the machine, you might be forced to sell your business, and risk losing what you love to do. Or hell, a family farm, where grandpa really likes running the combine harvester, but can’t climb in. It also reduces the opportunities for injuries, as I imagine jumping in and out of machines is probably one of the leading causes of occupational hazard to that profession. (No data to back this up, but jumping off a 3′ high track onto pavement, probably isn’t so good on the knees.)

    2. In making a machine accommodate this operator, they also made a more versatile, precision machine. If that cab lifts and swings into place the way I think it does, the intermediate positions can optimize visibility along the vertical plane. That means when he is working a pit/ditch, underneath, he can see more of the work and rely less on a spotter. Might free up a worker. There are forestry and material handling machines that I know of that already offer variable cab heights for visibility.
    3. That guy will take care of that machine. He won’t be doing anything sketchy, going too far off camber, etc. because the stakes of damage are higher.
    a. The company probably doesn’t have another machine set up for him. Could accidentally give himself a layoff.
    b. If he rides the hydraulics too hard, he could end up stuck inside his machine waiting for a tech to come haul him out.
    c. The company showed they actually care, so he is more likely to be conscientious with their tractors.

  7. This is called a reasonable accommodation, or maybe beyond reasonable. If you or someone you know has a disability and want to learn more. Google AskJAN and the name of the disability and check out the results.

  8. Am I stupid or would it be like 1000x easier to build a device that lifts him into the machine? Then you could use that device for any piece of equipment, plus it would probably be cheaper

  9. That had to be expensive. There had to be some changes to the controls as well, as you usually use both your hands and feet to operate an excavator. Good on ‘em

  10. A skilled excavator operator is worth their weight in gold. It’s also a job that that typically has you strapped to a chair only moving your arms so no reason someone without working legs can’t do it. Well worth the investment to not lose the man’s skills.

  11. There’s so many things right about this. The boss is willing to go the extra mile for a valued employee. The employee wants to continue working instead of very easily joining the disabled Community receiving government checks

  12. There is a company called Exodus that makes (or possibly made) material handlers that were like this in their base configuration.