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Rock Picker Gets Big And Small Rocks
Lester Pritchard only picked rocks in his son’s field for 20 min. before he started looking for a better way. When he didn’t find it, he started working on his own design.

    “I bought a rock bucket and put a reel on it to flip rocks into the bucket,” says Pritchard, who now sells the rock picker. “It took me 3 1/2 years of trial and error, but I got it. I found out it’s not just a matter of putting a reel on a bucket.”

    The problem was getting the taper right on the teeth. When he started, the teeth had a 45-degree taper, which worked about 50 percent of the time. Eventually the taper got down to 28 degrees, and Pritchard also shifted the pivot point of the reel back about 5 in.

    Once his son’s neighbors saw how well the skid steer-mounted rock picker worked, they wanted their own. “I figured I was too old to start manufacturing rock pickers,” says Pritchard, now 80. “However, another son suggested I get it patented, and I found someone to make them for us.”

    The L.P. Reel Rock Picker weighs 1,220 lbs. It is made from 1/2-in. steel wall tubing, sidewalls and teeth. The reel is a 1 3/4-in. steel shaft mounted on greaseable bearings and driven by a hydraulic orbit motor and #80 roller chain. A pressure relief system protects the motor.

    “We have a grill that can be installed to handle rocks down to 2 in. in diameter,” says Pritchard. “However, you can end up picking up more dirt instead of it falling through the larger grate.”

    Pritchard may not do the building, but he does a lot of sales, making deliveries personally in central and northern Minnesota. He also does field demonstrations, showing up with a skid steer, Reel Rock Picker, and even his own rocks. When he makes a delivery, he brings his Bobcat to demonstrate.

    Pritchard prices the Reel Rock Picker at $4,495 in areas where he can sell direct and deliver the units himself. A distributor handles sales in other areas.

    “Readers can contact me directly, and if they are outside my area, I’ll give their name to our distributor,” says Pritchard. “If they ask, I’ll be glad to send them a copy of a 3 1/2-min. DVD on how the Picker works.”

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Detroit Equipment, Box 247, Glyndon, Minn. 56547 (ph 701 630-3596).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #3