Agency for Community Empowerment (AFCE Uganda)
When you’re far from the nearest toolbox, shed, or truck, there are several dependable tools that can save growers from making a costly trip to the hardware store while on the job.
There’s no telling what sort of leak or blockage might disrupt work flow when it comes to tractors, irrigation, and other farming machinery. If you’re a grower or farm laborer aiming to build the most helpful toolset for an unpredictable job, here are seven of the most dependable — yet underrated — tools you should carry at all times.
Hand pruners and snips
These may seem like an obvious choice for most toolsets, but you’d be surprised how often they’re overlooked. Hand pruners and snips can be incredibly helpful to have immediately on hand for a wide variety of reasons: wieldy branches blocking your work, shorting out a fence, crowding out important plants, or otherwise interfering with your labor. They can also help you make quick work of harvesting certain product, too, especially if that product becomes tough to handle by hand alone.
Gorilla tape and glue
The Gorilla brand of adhesives is well-reputed for providing some of the toughest tapes and glues in the business, even for machinery and outdoor jobs. If you have Gorilla on hand, you can quickly fix various breaks and leaks. Even a temporary repair can allow you to finish your work, saving the more time-consuming and potentially expensive repairs for later. On that note, Gorilla’s products are a must-have for your business in general: not just for your toolbox, but for your packhouse and machine house, too!
Hitch pins and lock pins
You’ll want to have an abundance of these tiny, irreplaceable, and incredibly impactful pieces in your toolset at all times, especially when working with machinery and tractors. Be sure to find sizes that match your various equipment, such as tractors, power tools, implements, and more.
Why? If you’ve labored outdoors for any considerable period of time, you’ll know the headache of losing or dropping hitch pins or lock pins in outdoor settings (such as in grass or on top of the camouflaged earth) and having little time to search for them. If you have extra pins on hand, you can slip them right back into place and safely get back to work operating your machinery.
Never underestimate the power and efficiency of a clean tool. If you are headed far afield with tools like hoes, shovels, machetes, or even certain tractor or other machinery implements, you can greatly speed up your work by developing a method to quickly clean these tools of mud and dirt. There’s no better way to clean dirt and debris off steel tools than with a wire brush. You can fit one into your pack or toolbelt, and if dirtied tools are part of your daily work schedule, a wire brush is a must-have.
It’s the bane of any grower: heading out for one task, then noticing a leak or split in irrigation along the way. The loss of water pressure can be enough to make you rearrange an entire day’s schedule to fix the leak, to prevent damage to your product.
To ease the pain of this repair, have hose menders, clamps, and repair patches on your person at all times, along with the proper tools to fasten or implement them, such as screwdrivers or adhesives. This way, a quick irrigation fix won’t take up an entire day’s work. You can repair a leak quickly, on the fly, without having to return to a toolshed to get the right parts.
In the same spirit as hitch pins and lock pins, drill bits are another easy-to-lose piece that can jam up an entire day if misplaced. Whether you’re using twist drills, square bits, flatheads, Phillips, or something else with your driver, definitely have at least more than one of each bit on your toolbelt or toolkit anywhere you go. You never know when having an extra one could save you time— and save your day.
Full crescent wrench set or ratchet set
This is another obvious piece to have in your toolset, although it can be one of the least space-efficient tools to include in a small space like a pack or a belt. All the same, it can be a huge help to have the proper wrench sizes readily available in a pinch, in case something breaks down or needs upgrading.
Alternately, if you have only a small number of wrench sizes on you— whether crescent or ratchet set— there’s always the chance you’ll need to take a break, return to the toolshed or packhouse, and find the right head to continue the job. Having a way to have them all on your person (even if not in their original package) can not only a timesaver, but a money saver, too.
What unexpected or underrated tools have saved you time while working at your growing operation?
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