2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2, Page #35[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Silage Blower Makes Low-Cost Ditcher
The Montrose, Ill., man farms mostly flat ground which can be slow to drain in certain spots. He uses the rig primarily to clean out existing ditches, usually during the fall.
"It's pretty simple. Basically, all I did was cut the bottom out of a silage blower that I already had," says Pitcher.
After cutting off about one fourth of the bottom, he used 2 by 6 box steel to make a 3-pt. mounting bracket so he can carry it on back of a tractor.
The original paddles were welded to the flywheel and couldn't be replaced. To solve the problem he used 1/2-in. thick steel to build new, replaceable paddles. Then he drilled holes in the original paddles and bolted the new ones onto them. A skid plate on back doubles as a depth gauge.
"We use an International Harvester 7120 180 hp 2-WD tractor to pull it and go 2 to 3 in. deep per pass in low gear. It leaves a ditch with nice tapered sidewalls that we can plant right through. The blower discharges soil out at least 100 ft.," says Pitcher. "If we need more depth we just make more passes.
"The blower has a shear bolt which will break before any damage is done if the digger hits a rock. We only use it a day or two a year, which is why we couldn't justify a commercial unit. They sell for $5,000 to $6,000, whereas we spent less than $500.
"I bought a new pto shaft, which was my biggest cost. I got the biggest pto I could because even though we go slow with the ditcher, it moves a lot of dirt so it pulls hard."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, L.D. Pitcher, 20706 N. 500th St., Montrose, Ill. 62445 (ph 217 924-4247).
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