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Home-Built Tractor Tiler Lays Small (1-1/2 In) Tile
Small, 1-in. dia. drainage tile does as good a job as 4-in. dia. tile, according to Canadian farmer Clarence Persall who's been testing the easier-to-install tile with a home-built tiler on his farm near Waterford, Ontario.
"The idea of using small diameter tile came from Europe. Since there were no commercial machines available to install it, we built our own," says Persall. He worked with ag engineer Don Hilborn, a government researcher in Cayuga, Ontario, to tile a number of fields.
Persall, together with his brother Doug and son Brad, spaced the 1-in. dia plastic tile on 15-ft. centers in 500-ft. long runs at approximately 16 to 24 in. in depth. They say the flow rate after a rain is 1 to 1 gal. per min. in the second year of installation. "That's equal to or more gallons per minute than we get with 4-in. tile at a depth of 24 to 36 in. Our tests were in clay loam soil," says Clarence.
The Persall's run small diameter tile between existing runs of larger tile where they still have wet spots. On newly tiled fields, they first lay main lines with large diameter tile and then run small dia. tile between.
"A field can be tiled every 15 ft. with small tile for the same cost as conventional tile at 50 ft.," says Clarence.
The small dia. runs are connected to the larger tile by digging down to the tile and cutting an opening with a hole saw. Then the Persall's simply use their home-built tiler to lay the small tile at speeds of mph with a relatively small 2-WD Ford 5000 tractor. "That's the biggest advantage. You don't need a huge machine and it goes in fast and easy. We run the tractor at 1,000 rpm's in 1st gear," says Persall.
Depth of the 3-pt. mounted shoe is controlled by a top-mounted hydraulic ram, not by the tractor 3-pt. Persall says this allows the shoe to slide to the bottom of the cut. To keep the shoe on proper grade, they use three methods. On difficult runs, they use a transom and "watch stick" fastened to the tiler itself. There is also a level mounted on the shoe shank that can be viewed from the tractor through a rear-view mirror. For runs that follow the grade of the land, dangling lengths of chain can help maintain depth. On larger jobs, a laser control system could be used.
The shoe and shank are built from one piece of steel cut out of 1-in. thick steel plate. The boom was built from heavy tubing and steel plate. It could easily be built stronger for bigger tractors, according to Persall.
For more information on test results and copies of plans for the tiler, send $5.00 for postage and copying charges to: FARM SHOW Followup, Clarence Persall, Roanoke Farm, Rt. 1, Waterford, Ontario, Canada N0E 1Y0 (ph 519 443-5469).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #3