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Made-It-Myself Picker Rakes In The Rocks
Three revolving-angle iron bars or bats rake rocks into Richard Imhoff’s rock-picking basket. The skid steer-mounted picker with its spinning reel is like no other.
    “It gathers the rocks in without the dirt and other trash you get with most rock pickers,” says Imhoff. “The bats come within an inch and a half of the front of the slotted bucket. They grab anything larger than that. If a rock is too big, I raise the reel and dig it out with the bucket.”
    Imhoff started with a commercial rock-picking bucket and grapple forks. A friend with a welding shop had picked up several discontinued beach cleaners designed to gather trash on sand beaches. Imhoff recognized they had elements that would improve clearing rocks from fields.
    The beach cleaners had 5-ft. wide, 4-ft. diameter wheels with rubber fingers on them like a chicken plucker. As they rotated around, the fingers gathered the trash and scraped it into a container.
    “I cut one apart and remounted everything using the bearings and shafts to match my 68-in. bucket,” says Imhoff. “I used the hubs from the wheels to make the 24-in. diameter reel with its angle iron bats. The hydraulic motor that drives it came off a Deere bean platform.”
    Imhoff set the picker grapple forks aside and mounted the raking reel in its place. Hydraulic cylinders raise it out of the way if digging out a large rock. While it worked to gather in most rocks, if they were just slightly too large, the reel could jam.
    “I cut bigger slots for the cylinder pins,” says Imhoff. “When the reel hits a bigger rock, it’s free-floating and can ride up and over it.”
    Imhoff’s rock raking picker has worked so well he hardly uses a bigger pull-type picker. Part of that is the responsiveness of the skid steer and part is the way the reel rakes in the rocks.
    “If someone made something like this for sale, it would put other rock pickers out of business,” says Imhoff.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Imhoff, 1826 231st St., Ruthton, Minn. (ph 507-820-0259; rrandjj@yahool.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1