2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #100[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
"Root Piler" Machine Makes A ComebackA root piler that William W. Janzen invented in 1984 is making a comeback because there’s a new rush to clear farmland in northern Alberta, Canada.
Janzen remembers picking roots by hand when he homesteaded in 1964. He knew there had to be a better way so he eventually created the root piler. He used it to do custom work, piling roots for other landowners. He made a second machine in 1986, which is still in use.
“With all the land being cleared this spring, I could see there was more demand for these machines,” Janzen says. More than 800 quarters will be sold and cleared in MacKenzie County in the next few years.
Janzen’s friend, Jake Driedger has a welding shop and has started building the root pilers, with slight modifications of Janzen’s original design.
“We’ve made it easier to take off parts, and the bearings are easier to change. I added a hydraswing on the hitch for transporting on the road,” Janzen says.
The piler looks similar to a round baler. It has 6 horizontal rollers (or beaters) running at 400 rpm’s that are 4 in. apart with three rows of 3 to 4-in. teeth that spiral from the outside to the middle. The rollers kick the roots forward and the dirt falls back behind the rollers. With the heavy-duty frame built of 3/8-in. wall 8 by 8-in. square tubing, the piler moves everything from 2-in. dia. roots to 12-in. dia. logs up to 8 ft. long.
With shields on the side, the piler takes an 8-ft. swath. The operator drives slowly as the piler rolls roots ahead of it until the pile reaches 3 to 4 ft. high and can’t roll any more. Then he backs up, drives around the pile and continues. A half-mile swath typically takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours and leaves about 20 piles. Once piled, the roots can be dried and burned.
A 90 hp tractor is adequate to pull the piler, Janzen says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, William W. Janzen, Box 234, La Crete, Alta. TOH 2HO Canada (ph 780 928-2500).
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