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Rough Rollers Level Lawns
Roy Albertson levels his lawn with angle iron studded rollers. He says the 4-in. long sections of angle iron push down mole tunnels and other rough spots, leaving the lawn as smooth as blacktop.
I wanted a smoother lawn, but many people told me that smooth rollers can actually hurt the lawn, packing the soil so tight that rain just runs off. Any recently applied fertilizer or seeds wash off with it.
The angle iron sections that Alberstson welded to his rollers keep them from compressing the soil like a smooth roller would. Instead, each sharp angle presses into any raised area, pushing it down to equalize the surface.
He built his first roller as an experiment to see if the rough roller worked. He welded rows of 1 by 1-in. angle iron sections to a 30-in. long, 13-in. dia. water tank. Each row is 5 1/2 in. from high point to high point, with 5 1/2-in. spaces between sections in the row.
I used 1 1/2-in. square steel tubing for the frame, says Albertson. I drilled holes in the ends of the tank and slipped a steel rod through the tank and the ends of the frame for an axle. I didnt use a bearing; just oiling it occasionally has been enough.
While the 30-in. roller worked as Albertson hoped, his tractors wheelbase was slightly wider. In soft soil conditions, the tractor left wheel indentations to each side of the roller.
I made a second and wider roller, says Albertson. It is 62 in. long and 15 in. in diameter. I used 1 1/4-in. angle iron sections and closed up the spacing to 4 1/2 in.
He did the frame much the same, running a center brace in it and also using pillow block bearings with grease fittings to attach the axle.
Albertson notes that any round tank would work. He suggests measuring the circumference and then dividing it by different numbers to find an even spacing, and applying the same strategy to the length.
Filled with sand, the first roller weighs 400 lbs. Albertson uses water in the second roller, giving it a 500-lb. weight.
I drain the water out in the fall, bringing it back to its 200-lb. empty weight, he says. When its empty, I can move it around easily.
I have 65 trees on my lawn, so the shorter roller is handy around them, he notes. I can bring the wheels close to the base of the tree, knowing the roller wont rub against the bark.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roy Albertson, 731 Hwy. 3, Armstrong, Mo. 65230.

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3