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Low-Cost, Portable Topsoil Screener
Don Ickes, Osterburg, Penn., used mostly scrap metal to build a low-cost, portable topsoil screener.
  "It works great for removing rocks from topsoil that I scrape off my land. In the past I stockpiled the soil, but I couldn't sell it for landscaping purposes because there were too many rocks in it," says Ickes.
  The unit measures 9 ft. high, 9 ft. wide and 6 ft. deep and is supported by 6-in. I-beam posts and 3 by 5-in. angle iron. It's open on one side with the other three sides made from fiberglass panels. A skid steer loader is used to dump dirt onto a metal screen set at an angle on top of the unit. Dirt falls through the screen and forms a pile under it, while rocks slide down off the screen and into another pile.
  He uses a skid loader to move the unit.
  "It really works good. I use it on a public airport that I designed specifically for ultralight aircraft," says Ickes. "The airport is carved out of some woods, and I've enlarged it several times. When I do that I often scrape off topsoil that's full of rocks and debris. I built it last summer, and it has already paid for itself in the first couple of topsoil loads that I was able to sell. This year I plan to process about 300 tons of topsoil with rocks in it. My total cost to build it was about $300.  
  "Even though the screen has 3/4-in. dia. holes in it, it won't remove rocks more than a half inch in diameter. That's because the screen is set at an angle, which effectively reduces the size of the holes."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Ickes, Rt. 1, Box 300A, Bowser Road, Osterburg, Penn. 16667 ph 814 276-3353; dickes@Bedford.net).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #1