1985 - Volume #9, Issue #4, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Rock Digger Mounts On Tractor Loader
"Because it's mounted on a loader it can pull much larger rocks out of the ground than 3-pt. mounted rock diggers. Hydraulic cylinders on the digger let you tip the forks under the rock and you can lift on the loader as you pull on the rock," says Norton, noting that he's been able to pull out rocks up to 4 ft. in dia. using an 85 hp. tractor.
Norton uses the digger on his Versatile 160 tractor which features reversible controls and a rear-mounted tractor loader. It mounts in place of the bucket using the same pins and cylinders with no modification to the loader. The frame of the digger is made from 8-in. wide steel beam and the fork is made from 1¢-in. steel plate. The tips of the fork are hard-surfaced.
"The forks penetrate the ground down to 24 in. You simply position the fork down under the far side of the rock, tipping them back under, if possible, and then lift the loader as you back up. If the rock won't come right out, the forks slip off over the top of it. There's much less stress on the equipment than trying to push rocks out," says Norton.
Norton says the amazing thing about his rock digger is how little soil it disturbs. "For most large rocks all you've got left is the hole it comes out of. And it's very fast. Soon after I built the first one it took me two days to haul away all the rocks I dug out in about 7 hours."
To this point Norton has only built the digger to fit Versatile 150 and 160 tractors as well as the larger Versatile 256 and 276 tractors. He plans to fit other loaders if demand develops. The smaller digger sells for $995 and the larger $1,295 (Canadian).
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, R.S. Norton, Cinnabar Farms, Box 23, Rocanville, Sask. S0A 3L0 (ph 306 645-4441).
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