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Home-Built Roller Smoothes Fields
Washington handyman Alan “Hoss” Heilman used scrap metal from his junk pile, two asphalt roller drums, a couple of truck axles, and 6 months of spare time to build a dandy homemade field roller for his brother-in-law. Heilman says he looked at several manufactured rollers to see how they were made and figured he could build one himself for a lot less than the cost of buying one.
    “I started with two scrapped and gutted drums that came from a DD110 self-propelled asphalt roller,” Heilman says. “The drums were 7 ft. long and about 4 ft. in diameter. I cut one end out of each of the drums, used a backhoe to stand one piece on end, then set the other one on top and welded them together. I knew the weight of the drum was probably enough to smooth most fields, but to make sure, I put in a 4-in. cam lock coupler on one end of the drum so it can be filled with water. ”
    To pull and transport the roller Heilman built a metal frame out of channel iron. The frame is connected to each end of the drum on a center hub that Heilman made from parts of an old truck axle. He extended the framework about 12 to 13 ft. in front of the roller into a V for the hitch. The frame also extends behind the roller, where it mounts to a second old truck axle whose wheels carry the roller when it’s not on the ground. Support beams go from the axle up and over the roller and connect to a hinged lift. That device raises and lowers the roller with two 4-in. hydraulic cylinders.
    “The finished roller is about 15 ft. wide and just over 20 ft. long,” Heilman says. “I made the straight part of the hitch long enough so the pulling tractor can turn without its rear wheels hitting the angled part of the hitch frame.” Heilman doesn’t know how much the roller weighs, but he tested it on a field near his place and it easily pushed softball-sized rocks into the ground. “I think it’ll work out real well to take care of dirt clods and small rocks,” Heilman says. “If he needs more weight he can always add water to the drum.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Alan Heilman, P.O. Box 446, Ephrata, Wash.

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3