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Cement Filled Roller Buries Rocks, Smooths Hay Fields
"We used to replace sickle sections or guards twice a day while swathing but since we started rolling fields we replace only a few sections a season," says Pete Johnson, Ballantine, Mont, who built a cement-filled roller to push rocks under-ground in hay fields and to break up dirt chunks in plowed fields.
Johnson first bought a 3-ft. dia. steel pipe, 12-ft. long with 3/8-in. thickness. "We centered a 2 1/4-in. shaft through the center using 3/4-in. rebar. We made two 5/16-in. flat plate ends and welded one of the ends into place. Then we set the pipe up on end and filled it with about 3 yards of concrete using a special funnel I attached to a tractor front-end loader. When the concrete had almost set I scraped off about 5/16-in. of concrete, enough so that I could set the end in the pipe up tight against the concrete.
"After the concrete set for three days we lowered the roller to the ground and cut off the ends of the shaft sticking out each end of the roller to the right length to accommodate a 2 1/4-in. flange block bearing for each end. I cut and drilled a 1-in. thick steel plate, bolted the bearings to it, and fastened the assembly to the roller with shaft and eccentric lock collars on the bearings. The 4 in. sq. tubing used to frame the roller is then bolted to the bearing assemblies.
"All corners on the main frame were gusseted with 1/4-in. plate and front corners were gusseted top and bottom. I built the tongue out of 4-in. square tubing that was braced with 4-in. flat bar made into an I-beam and skip welded. The tongue was braced twice to withstand the strain of the 9-ton roller on turns. I made the hitch so that it would pivot up and down and also to twist, which was a project in itself.
"It works better than we thought it would to push rocks under and break up hay crowns. And if you catch soil moisture just right it does the best job of breaking up soil chunks in plowed fields that I've ever seen. Unlike tractor tires, it doesn't compact the field because weight is so evenly distributed.
"We originally considered filling the roller with water but it wouldn't have had nearly enough weight. After using this concrete-filled roller for 6 years and pulling it with everything from an 820 Deere to a 4-WD White tractor, I don't think a water-filled roller would have done the job."
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Pete Johnson, Rt. 1, Ballantine, Mont. 59006 (ph 406 967-6204).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5