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Propane Tank "Runway Roller"
Ed Grafke, Sigourney, Iowa, owns a small airport that has a pair of turf runways that measure 2,600 and 1,500 ft. long. After a few years the runways got rough, so to make them level again he built his own heavy duty roller out of an old 500-gal. propane tank.
  The roller measures 7 ft. long and 38 in. in diameter. A 1 1/8-in. dia. tool steel shaft runs all the way through the center of the tank and is connected to a frame made from 6-in. channel iron. Both ends of the rod that goes through the tank fit inside short lengths of larger pipe, which set on bearings.
  Grafke uses his Farmall H tractor to pull the roller, which he painted Farmall red, orange, and accented with yellow stripes.
  "It works well and cost very little to build," says Grafke. "It turns easily and follows the tractor so well I can roll along in fourth gear. I chose this type of propane tank because it had flat stubby ends which made it more compact than a tank with hemispherical ends. I fill the tank as full as I can get it, which gives me about 4,500 lbs. water weight and another approximately 800 lbs. for the tank and frame. When building the roller, I removed all the fittings from the tank and welded them shut, then installed a fitting on the outside perimeter of the tank so it can be filled almost completely full of water."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ed Grafke, Ruby Field, Inc., 21595 West Co. Rd. V-5g, Sigourney, Iowa 52591 (ph 641 622-2852 or 641 660-1674).

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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1