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Culvert Cleaner Works Like A Bottle Brush
An idea for a new way to clean silt out of road culverts was born the day Les Van Ornum, Hortonville, Wisconsin, grabbed a baby bottle brush to clean a coffee mug.
  "It was one of those travel mugs, made with a big base on it so it won't tip over," Van Ornum says. "The opening at the top was so small I couldn't get my hand inside to wash it out, so I grabbed the bottle brush. As I cleaned the cup, I got the idea of using the same process on a bigger scale to clean silt out of road culverts."
  Van Ornum set out to design a big hydraulic-powered brush to fit on a skid steer loader. He made a 4-ft. long brush using a steel rod and the same heavy gauge plastic bristles used to make street sweepers. He built a frame that goes in the ditch next to the culvert while the skid steer stays on the road. An orbit motor rotates the brush and slides it into the culvert. Six 6-ft. extensions are added to the brush as needed for a total reach of 40 ft. Additional extensions are available.
  "We've found it's best to use it from the uphill side of the culvert, and cleaning is faster if you have a water supply available to wash the silt out and down the ditch," he says.
  The rotary brush worked so well that Van Ornum applied for a patent on parts of it. His company, Van-Boh Manufacturing, Inc., sells the Culvert Clean-Err for $3,995. It's available with 12, 15, 18-in. brushes, and brush extensions. It will work with any skidsteer loader with an extra hydraulic outlet.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Les Van Ornum, Van-Boh Manufacturing, Hortonville, Wis. 54994 (ph 920 779-9999; E-mail: vanboh@vbe.com; Website: www.vanboh.com).

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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1