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Ergonomics Evaluation of Selected Wheel Hoe for Design Improvement in Handle Alignment

Division of Agricultural Engineering, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi -110 012, India
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(Received : September 9, 2017: Accepted : November 17, 2017)


Experiment was conducted to ergonomics evaluation of selected wheel hoe for design improvement in handle alignment near to neutral forearm posture. Modified tool (handle 350 with vertically downward) was evaluated with existing wheel hoe (handle 600 with vertically downward) in terms of ergonomic parameters and work output. The working heart rate of the subjects using existing wheel hoe ranged from 116 to 124 beats/min, while that of modified wheel hoe 97 to 102 beats/m. Correspondingly oxygen consumption of the subjects was found 1.24 to 1.32 l/min and 0.84 to 0.95 l/min, while energy consumption was from 25.89 to 27.55 kJ/min and 17.51 to 19.81 kJ/min for existing wheel and modified wheel hoe, respectively. The weeding efficiency of existing wheel hoe was 79.93% which changed to 81.61% after modification, while field capacity was 0.015 and 0.017 ha/h, respectively. It was found that the working heart rate, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure of subjects were reduced by 19 beats/min, by 0.32 l/min and 6.71 kJ/min, respectively, using modified tool over existing. With the reduction in the heart rate, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure work load was shifted from “moderate heavy” to “light”.

Key words : Wheel hoe, physiological parameters, handle alignment