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Giant Roller Pushes Rocks Underground
Gudmund Skretting doesn't pick rocks anymore on his Enchant, Alberta, farm. Instead, he built a giant land roller that pushes rocks back into the ground where they're out of the way.
The rock pusher has a giant-sized roller 41 ft. in dia. and 16 ft. long. It holds 1,300-1,400 gal. of water, a payload of 5 to 6 tons.
"Since we've used the roller we have had almost no damage to sickles and guards on haying equipment. In good conditions in the spring, even large rocks can be pushed in so they're level with the top of the ground," says Skretting.
The roller itself was made from a big piece of gas line pipe made of 1/2 in. thick metal and measuring 4 ft. in dia. It has 1/2 in. end plates, and three 1/2-in. baffle plates inside. A 3-in. dia. by 4-ft. stub shaft can be removed for repair. The shaft attaches to 3-in. flush-mount bearings that can be removed and replaced by taking the ends off the frame.
The frame of the roller was made from frames of three wrecked rod weeders and assorted scrap metal. It consists of 4 1/2 in. square tubing and 3 1/2-in. by 4 1/2-in. tubing. The frame had to be built extra strong with bridging and bracing to be strong enough to turn corners. The side plates of the frame are 1/2-in. thick with 3-in. iron strips welded to the edges for reinforcing. The wheels were salvaged from the wrecked rod weeders and the hydraulics from a tree trimmer. Skretting used small cylinders on the frame so that it could not be lifted accidentally when the roller is full of water, which would damage the frame.
He designed the roller himself and built it with the help of his sons during the winter of 1981. He spent two years collecting material for it before he began building.
"You can easily add water to the drum or subtract it, depending on conditions," he says. "It has been used extensively on hay ground to bury rocks and to help level land. It has also been used to level and bury rocks on local air strips and on empty pea ground. We compacted a floor of a silage pit that was made from crude oil and gravel ."
Skretting says the roller has pushed rocks into the ground that were as big as 16 in. in dia. Average rock size, however, is 4 to 5 in. in dia. He uses the roller every spring, pulling it with a 120 hp. tractor. He's rolled more than 5,000 acres with no problems. Total cost to build it, including labor and materials, was right at $1,700.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gudmund Skretting, Box 1846, Enchant, Alberta T0K 0V0 (ph 403 739-2140).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #1