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Stand On Rock Picker Less Tiring for Workers
"It allows kids to work longer without getting tired," says Allan Scott, Sargeant, Minn., about his 40-ft. "stand-on" rock picker equipped with five picker stations mounted behind a 30-in. wide wooden platform.
Workers stand on steps about 1 ft. off the ground and hold onto handlebars as the rock picker moves forward. The steps are spaced about 8 ft. apart so each worker covers three 30-in. rows. They pile rocks on the platform which is "backstopped" by a 10-in. high front plank. Once the platform is full of rocks, the steps swing up against the handle-bars and the driver hydraulically tips the platform to dump the rocks.
"I had been hiring kids to walk alongside a wagon, but after a few hours they got tired from walking in the loose soil and often went right by rocks without picking them up," says Scott. "By standing instead of walking, they can work 8 or 9 hours a day without getting too tired. Another problem was that kids would sometimes run off to pick up rocks several rows away instead of staying in their designated area. Now every rider stays in his three-row area and they have a good view of rocks ahead of them so they don't miss many. The driver goes about 2 mph but a little faster in fields with fewer rocks. In a half mile long field we dump a load of rocks every round and we don't have to unload rocks manually like we did with the wagon."
A 4-ft. long, 2-ft. wide "stretcher" is stored on the tongue and used for lifting large rocks that are too heavy for one per-son. There's also room on the tongue for lunch buckets, stereo speaker, and flags used to mark rocks that are too big to roll onto the stretcher.
Scott built the frame from 5-in. channel iron and bolted sheets of 3/4 in. plywood onto it. The platform consists of three sections - a 20-ft. middle section and two 104t. wings which are folded hydraulically for transport by a pair of 3 by 24-in. cylinders. A 3 by 8-in. cylinder tips the platform up to dump rocks. The unit rides on four 15-in. tires. The 12-in. sq. steps are made from plywood supported by angle iron. Each step mounts on a length of 2 by 2-in. steel tubing.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Allan Scott, Rt. 1, Box 83, Sargeant, Minn. 55973 (ph 507 584-6803).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #4