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Skid Loader Scarifier “Shaves” Icy Farmyards
As Jeff Ryan slid uncontrollably down an icy hill this winter on his Cresco, Iowa, farm while moving a big round bale with his loader tractor, he knew he had to find a way to deal with thick ice after winter storms.
    Ryan called a friend who worked for the county to ask if any old grader blades were available that he could use to make a scarifier. Turns out his friend, Brad Stevenson, had already had the same idea, notching teeth into the cutting edge with a plasma cutter, but hadn’t had a chance to try it.
    Ryan volunteered his skidloader for testing the 6-ft. wide blade and wrote about it in his online blog for Farm Industry News.
    “The scarifier was pretty effective,” he wrote. “I scratched around Brad’s yard and was impressed with how a fairly simple tool like that could change a yard from a sheet of glare ice to more normal driving conditions. I took the new tool home and gave it a workout. We decided we should change a couple things to beef up the design.”
    Ryan contacted fabricator Dick Wise at Wise Welding and Fabrication. “I’ve thought about making one for a couple of years so Ryan’s call was timely,” Wise says.
    He scratch-built a quick-attach with a 3-ft. extension for better visibility for the driver. He bolted on an 8-ft. grader blade and sharpened the points he cut to dig into the ice better.
    Ryan tested the prototype and was impressed.     “Dick didn’t mess around,” he wrote. “He went all out and built a sturdy tool from the word go. There was a lot of heavy steel in it and plenty of bracing, because you never know what you might encounter when you’re flying along making your own shaved ice.”
    Ryan notes he liked the wide blade because it scarred up the ice to give his tires traction on a 75-in. wide skidloader. The wider blade length can create problems on crowned or uneven ground, however.    Wise’s model turned out so well he sold two and started taking orders ($1,450 for scarifiers with new 6-ft. grader blades that are powdercoated and painted). One went to a college, where the scarifier can be used on sidewalks and areas where students walk.
    “It can double as a landscaping tool for back-dragging dirt,” Wise notes.
    He adds that hooks on the sides can be used to secure cement blocks for more weight. The scarifier works well on medium- to-large skidloaders.
    Ryan adds that he was surprised that he could travel up to 12 mph when “shaving ice.” He only slowed down on rough spots and when he backdragged in front of a garage door.
    “This is the kind of tool you only use one or two times a year, but it makes a huge difference with traction. It’s worth its weight in gold when you do need it,” Wise concludes.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dick Wise, Wise Welding and Fabrication, 3275 Paint Creek Rd., Decorah, Iowa 52101 (ph 563 419-3570; dawise@acegroup.cc).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #2