WHEN Patrik Ketti was left paralysed from the chest down as a result of a terrible accident, he feared his forestry machine operating days were behind him. But thanks to an innovative approach, he's now back "off road". 

That's all thanks to the work of his local Hyundai dealer, Orsa Maskin, and sales director Magnus Bruce, who found a way to mount a lift on a 24-tonne HX235 LCR crawler excavator.

"This was a question we had never been asked before," said Magnus. "However, we were very keen to help Patrik and we immediately started thinking about how such an excavator lift could work.”

Forestry Journal:

Patrik, who'd been offered a job as a receptionist by an employment service during his recovery, had accessed financial support in order to adapt an excavator machine to suit his disability.

But, it didn't take long for Magnus and the team to realise they were taking on a challenge unlike any other.

“Searching for similar projects online, we found that there was very little, if any, information on such a project," he added. "So, we decided to sketch and design a solution ourselves. We hired a company that realised our ideas in a 3D format.

"This CAD design step was instrumental in visualising our ideas and identifying potential problem areas early on. We were able to adapt and alter to suit as the project moved forward."

Orsa Maskin designed and built an electric lift to help Patrik access his new machine. 

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The pedals were removed from the cab and were replaced with Engcon's control system.

The cabin seat was also equipped with a four-point belt so when the machine is tilted, which is common when working on uneven ground, Patrik remains safely secured. 

External connections and other aspects of the machine were also adapted for easier access and also to make attachment changes simple.

Forestry Journal:

In addition, sprinklers have been installed inside the cab of the new Hyundai – because should there be a fire, it would take Patrik some time to exit the machine.

“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," said Patrik, who was hurt in 2011. "Everything about my new Hyundai machine works very well – I am very pleased.

"Orsa Maskin really helped me to get back on (and off!) the road and back in my cab doing the job I love.

"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.”

Patrik added: "This just shows that everything is possible. Where there is a will, there is a way.”