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"Giant Wheel" Rotary Ditcher Still Going Strong
Several years ago FARM SHOW first featured this "giant wheel" rotary ditcher designed and built by Junior Liebrecht of Continental, Ohio (Vol. 19, No. 1). The machine has recently been totally re-engineered and converted from a 3-pt. mounted unit to a pull-type and it's being marketed by Watershed Management Co., a partnership based in Mt. Sterling, Ohio, that includes Carl Hamman and John Miller along with Liebrecht.
  The partnership is offering franchise and lease agreements to farmers and ranchers throughout the U.S. "This is an excellent opportunity to start a new business providing extra income," says Hamman. "We provide training, support and topographical mapping capability. The topographic maps allow us to determine whether surface drainage is feasible and to calculate the most efficient route, depth, and grade for proper drainage and erosion control. We can design a complete surface drainage system to effectively drain low areas and prevent crop loss."
  The pto-operated ditcher consists of an 8-ft. dia. steel wheel fitted with 8 bolt-on digger buckets and a replaceable steel wear band inside the wheel housing. Soil is scooped up and then carried 180 degrees to the top of the wheel, then thrown out of a hood at the top. A hydraulic cylinder is used to direct the hood's deflector up or down or forward or backward to direct the flow. A pair of hydraulic-controlled blades, one on each side of the ditcher, can be adjusted up or down to control the side slope of the ditch.
  According to Hamman, the new ditcher works like the original one but is more reliable and needs less maintenance. With the side blades down, the unit can make a 10-ft. wide, 1-ft. deep ditch in a single pass. If deeper ditches are required the operator simply makes more passes. The big wheel spins at 170 rpm's and the eight buckets can throw soil as far as 150 ft. to the side or it can deposit soil right next to the ditch. A laser is used to guide the ditcher to the proper depth. Grades as slight as 3 in. of fall per 1,000 ft. can be maintained. The ditcher can move about 8 yards of soil per minute. Soil can be spread evenly across the discharge area or, with the use of a special hood, be loaded into a truck. By changing the pitch and angle of the discharge spout the operator can use the ditcher to make terraces.
  "Some advantages of the ditcher are no soil compaction, no clods or slabs, and the cost per foot is much less than earth movers. It also works great for repairing existing grass waterways," notes Hamman.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Hamman, 10460 S.R. 56 SE, Mt. Sterling, Ohio 43143 (ph 740 852-5607 or 217 427-9833).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4