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Rock-Picking Bucket Works Fast
Frustrated with using a 6-ft. wide skeleton bucket to pick rocks, Ted Kasper came up with his own rock picker design. The spade shape lets him zero in on a rock, while the angled tines sift out dirt and pebbles.
“With really big rocks, you can dig in from 2 sides to loosen it up and then get under it,” says Kasper. “I can pick up a 3 to 4-ft. dia. rock with it.”
The professional landscaper previously developed a multi-purpose dirt bucket that he called the Dirt Master. It too was spade shaped, but with a notched tip. He found the notches keep pressure focused between the arms of the skid steer.
“I made it for transplanting trees,” says Kasper. “The sharpened sides and front cut through sod and packed dirt and go into dirt like a spade, not a square shovel. I found I could move dirt faster with it than with a traditional bucket.”
Kasper also found he could pick rocks with it faster than with a skeleton bucket and with less dirt. His first thought was to cut slots in the Dirt Master bucket for even better rock picking, but he went with the bar design. Instead of a notched tip, the center section is extended a couple of inches to keep the bucket centered.
The 4-ft. long, 1-in. square steel bars are reinforced by steel bands and butt welded to the 4-ft. wide, 22-in. high back plate. The back plate serves double duty. Once a large rock has been removed, Kasper can simply reverse direction and drag dirt with the plate to backfill the hole.
The spade shape with the bars spaced at 2 1/2-in. intervals creates an angled effect. This prevents rocks from getting stuck between them as Kasper found happened with skeleton buckets.
“The open bars let you see what you are digging out and picking up,” says Kasper.
He made the first Rock Master about 15 years ago for his own use. Friends urged him to make them to sell. Over the past 4 years he has sold around 60 Rock Masters, mostly in his local county.
“Sales have been mostly word of mouth,” says Kasper. “People see a neighbor use it and decide to get one for themselves.”
His first customer liked it so much, he called up his brothers and nephews and told them he would guarantee their satisfaction. If they didn’t like it, he would give them back their money and give them a case of beer.
“I sold 5 the first week,” says Kasper. “One customer said he could pick rocks 6 times faster than he could with a skeleton bucket.”
The 550-lb. Rock Master is currently priced at $2,000. The 24-in. high by 45-in. wide and 48-in. deep Dirt Master is priced at $1,600. Both are powder-coated and fit most standard skid loaders. Their 4-ft. widths let them fit in the back of a pickup bed.
“The back plates ensure they don’t rock in transit,” says Kasper. “You can easily flip them off the back of the bed when you get to the work site.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rock Master, 32487 143rd St., Pierz, Minn. 56364 (ph 320 630-2712; kasperrockmaster@gmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5