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Big Tire Drag Spreads And Levels Gopher Mounds, Manure
"It works better than a conventional harrow and cost almost nothing to put together," says Mark Hurlimann about the drag he made to knock down gopher and squirrel mounds and spread cow pies in pastures and hayfields on his ranch near Etna, California.
Hurlimann's 24-ft. wide drag is made of two 29-in. wide used loader tires - each about 6 ft. high - that he got free just for hauling them away from a local tire dealership. (That's easier said than done, as these tires weigh about a ton each.)
He sliced the old tires in half with a chain saw, giving him four 6-ft. diameter circles. Then he drilled a single hole through the sidewall of each tire half, just back from the tread a few inches. He fastened an eyebolt into each hole. A short clevis attaches to the eye of the bolt and then fastens to a 20-ft. length of 4-in. dia., schedule 40 pipe.
To pull the drag, he attaches a length of 1/2-in. cable to both ends of the pipe. In the middle of the cable, he made a loop. He uses a clevis through the loop to hook the drag to his tractor's drawbar.
"The half tire sections are spaced out along the pipe. Fastening them on in just one place with eye bolts and clevises lets them flex independently of the pipe and of each other so they follow the contour of the field. Since they weigh about 1,000 lbs. each, the split tire halves do a good job of leveling and spreading," Hurlimann says.
Since the drag is about 24 ft. wide, it won't go through most of Hurlimann's gates. "That's not a problem, though," he continues. "I just unhook the cable from one end of the pipe and then I can pull it through sideways."
Hurlimann made his drag several years ago and it's been used each spring on all of his pastures and most of his hayfields, too. "We use it before the grass gets high in the pastures," he says. "Because of the weight of the tires, you can't pull it with a little chore tractor. I use an 85 hp tractor with four-wheel-drive. That's probably more power than I need, but the four-wheel-drive is sometimes necessary in soft fields."
In addition to the drag he made for himself, Hurlimann helped a neighbor make a similar one, using slightly smaller tires.
"The drag cost very little," he continues. "My only out of pocket costs were for new pipe, eye bolts, and clevises."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Hurlimann, 5301 Eastside Rd., Etna, Cal. 96027 (ph 530 467-3317; E-mail: hurli4@sisqtel.net).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5