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Mobile Magnets Collect Scrap Metal
Whether attached to his road grader or hung on a trailer and pulled behind an ATV, tractor or truck, Terry Jacob’s mobile magnets make it easy to pick up problem scrap metal.

    “I’ve got 600 to 700 lbs. of scrap metal, including nails and other small bits of steel, wrenches, roller chain and more, that I’ve picked up from area roads,” says Jacob. “You would be amazed at the amount of metal on a gravel road. I still get as much with each pass as I did when I did it the first time a year and a half ago.”

    Jacob is a semi-retired farmer who does road maintenance for two local south-central Kansas townships and a large drainage district.

    His road grader has a 16-ft. blade with a 12-ft. permanent magnet mounted behind the blade, but separate from it. The magnet hangs from angle iron brackets attached to the grader frame. It can be raised or lowered in 1/2-in. increments, but is normally carried 2 to 3 in. off the roadbed.

    “The magnet stays centered on the road, even when the blade rotates left or right,” explains Jacob.

    The magnet is mounted inside an aluminum trough on electric actuators. Metal collects against the bottom of the trough. A closed circuit camera mounted behind the magnet lets him see how much has collected. Cleaning it off is a matter of activating the actuators to pull them away from the trough.

    “The metal dumps to the ground, and I use a hand magnet about 3 ft. long to pick up the scrap and dump it into a 5-gal. bucket,” says Jacob.

    He has demonstrated his grader magnet to other townships and offered to build the unit for $4,500. “I get lots of positive feedback, but operators don’t want to mess with it,” he says.

    Jacob also has a pull-type magnet that could be used around construction sites, landfills or farm yards. His prototype is a 10-ft. wide unit with two 5-ft. magnets on a folding frame. It can be pulled behind an ATV or other small vehicle. It is designed to be used at up to 5 to 6 mph with the magnets within inches of the ground.

    The wheels swivel freely, making it easy to collapse the 10-ft. wide frame to 4 ft. wide by 10 ft. long to pass through a gate or narrow bridge or for storage. Simply unpin the magnet cross frame from the tongue and pull forward. Though not designed for trailing at road speed, it is easily loaded on a trailer or truck bed.

    “One wheel can be locked for transit or for use on a hillside or ditch bank,” says Jacob. “The prototype is non-electric with an aluminum dump mechanism, like the grader. However, it is on a mechanical linkage, not actuators. Just pull a lever, and it dumps the metal.”

    Jacob expects the final price to be around $3,500 for the 10-ft. wide version. He says the magnets come in 4, 5 and 7-ft. increments and are available with electric actuators.

    You can see a video of the folding magnet cart at www.farmshow.com.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, TDJ MagAttach, Terry Jacob, 9317 S.W. 72nd, Sedgwick, Kan. 67135 (ph 316 393-7731; ruth1110@kanokla.net).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3