By: Becca Banks

This post is in response to one of our young donors who asked during a visit: “Why do you need so many things to drive?” For Dylan and all you gearheads out there, let me introduce you to our small army of multi-purpose vehicles.

The PRC occupies 30+ acres of land, and we rely on a variety of vehicles to help us transport materials, equipment, animals and people around the property, around town and even around the country!

Let’s start with the off-road machines:

The Green Machine (GM for short) is the ultimate utility vehicle. With rugged, sturdy tires and four-wheel drive capability, it can get us through mud, snow and even over the creek when the water’s down! Although the front is similar to a golf cart—truck style seating with arm bars and a plastic windshield—the metal bed of the machine has high sides, hydraulic dump capability, and a flip-down tailgate to transport – or dump – nearly anything. We use it to haul straw and clippings to our compost heap, to transport large toys, and even to get to the top of our driveway when it becomes treacherous in the snowy winter months.

Next up is the golf cart that our caregivers use every day to deliver food, water, blankets and other supplies to the monkeys and apes. Depending on what time of the day you spot it, our cart could be loaded down with lettuce, seeds, monkey chow, freshly chopped produce or cups of lunch and dinner. Fitted with a full-length roof, our cart keeps the supplies, as well as the caregivers, nice and dry.

One of the more unusual members of our fleet is the ToolCat. Interchangeable implements on the lift-and-tilt front frame allow us to move cages with forks, gravel and mulch with a bucket, brush with a grapple attachment, and snow off the driveway with a rotary broom. Four wheel steering capability allows us to get in and out of tight spaces where nothing else can fit. We are so grateful to Clay Miller for donating this indispensible machine to us! Having this on hand makes us wonder how we ever did without it.

Last, but certainly not least, is our produce van. It is essential in transporting supplies to the center and even assisting with animal transport during rescues. Each morning, we take the van to three local Kroger Grocery stores to collect bins of donated produce. Occasionally, it returns to us with over 40 bins loaded with amazing fruits and vegetables for the primates! We also use it to transport bales of straw, bags of pine shavings, monkey chow and many other donated products. This vehicle bears our PRC logo, so look for it around town and give us a honk of support!