School shop made culvert roller packer

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School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby customcattle » Wed May 04, 2016 9:46 am

So I have been needing a roller packer to prepare a couple of small fields (10 acres and under) to plant alfalfa, and also to use when working up my roping arena at home. I have priced them and just couldn't justify the cost for the use that I will be getting out of it. I know I'm not the first one to do it, but I wanted to show y'all the roller packer me and my students (I'm an Ag Teacher too) put together this last week using some 2-3/8" drill stem pipe and a 12'x12" culvert. It turned out pretty slick. We filled the two 6' chunks of culvert with sand so each wound up weighting about 400 pounds.


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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby M-5 » Wed May 04, 2016 10:16 am

very cool , Ive had the same Idea of using culvert pipe.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby Nesikep » Wed May 04, 2016 10:28 am

Depending on what you're rolling, it isn't nearly big enough... I don't think it's nearly heavy enough, and if you ever get into loose soil with it, it'll start piling up rather than packing it...
We built a 10' roller out of what seems to be a big propane tank, about 4' diameter, 3/4" wall and 2 1/2" shaft through it... Weighs about 3000 lbs empty, and can be filled with water, putting its weight closer to 8000 lbs.. Great thing about it is even if it gets into loose soil, it doesn't push dirt ahead of it, it pushes it down.
I'll see if I can find a picture, or I'll take one
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby customcattle » Wed May 04, 2016 10:42 am

Nesikep wrote:Depending on what you're rolling, it isn't nearly big enough... I don't think it's nearly heavy enough, and if you ever get into loose soil with it, it'll start piling up rather than packing it...
We built a 10' roller out of what seems to be a big propane tank, about 4' diameter, 3/4" wall and 2 1/2" shaft through it... Weighs about 3000 lbs empty, and can be filled with water, putting its weight closer to 8000 lbs.. Great thing about it is even if it gets into loose soil, it doesn't push dirt ahead of it, it pushes it down.
I'll see if I can find a picture, or I'll take one


I just went off the size of a manufactured roller packer and the wheels them are about 12" diameter. Also used it last night and worked real well. While I do appreciate your criticism, for my particular applications it will work just fine.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby slick4591 » Wed May 04, 2016 12:20 pm

Looks like a winner to me.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby Philip-TX » Wed May 04, 2016 12:22 pm

Nesikep wrote:Depending on what you're rolling, it isn't nearly big enough... I don't think it's nearly heavy enough, and if you ever get into loose soil with it, it'll start piling up rather than packing it...
We built a 10' roller out of what seems to be a big propane tank, about 4' diameter, 3/4" wall and 2 1/2" shaft through it... Weighs about 3000 lbs empty, and can be filled with water, putting its weight closer to 8000 lbs.. Great thing about it is even if it gets into loose soil, it doesn't push dirt ahead of it, it pushes it down.
I'll see if I can find a picture, or I'll take one


I'd think the diameter of the roller has more to do with it than weight.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby customcattle » Wed May 04, 2016 12:29 pm

M-5 wrote:very cool , Ive had the same Idea of using culvert pipe.


Thank you. It seems to work well. We have a PlasmaCam at the school that I was able to use to make the inside braces in order to get my shaft perfectly centered, and the end caps perfectly round, so that helped with it.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby Nesikep » Wed May 04, 2016 3:49 pm

As long as it works for what you need, my criticisms of it don't matter, I just know it wouldn't do what I need it to do.

I designed a front bumper for my truck and a friend of mine has a PlasmaCam as well, made the difference between an impossible job and a pretty easy one.. I still have the software on my computer to design with and test (I do my drafting in Autocad).

Philip-TX, you're totally right, diameter of the roller is what makes the difference between pushing things forward and pushing things down, and in loose soil, it's critical.
The good part about culvert pipe is the ridges it leaves
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby bball » Wed May 04, 2016 4:04 pm

How much would you say you have invested in materials? I can't find a decent cultipacker around these parts for under a grand, and like you, just can't justify that expense for as infrequently as it would be used. Nice work.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed May 04, 2016 4:53 pm

nice... bball they sell a ton here from 200-800 at farm sales depending on the size and shape...
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby Aaron » Wed May 04, 2016 4:59 pm

With rock around here, you don't even attempt with any roller less than 24" and a good roller is 40+ inches. Takes football size rocks and makes them magically disappear.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby customcattle » Wed May 04, 2016 5:08 pm

bball wrote:How much would you say you have invested in materials? I can't find a decent cultipacker around these parts for under a grand, and like you, just can't justify that expense for as infrequently as it would be used. Nice work.


I tried to find used culvert, but couldn't find any.
Culvert was $150 drill stem was $50 then I probably have another 35 in other miscellaneous metal.
I didn't think $235 was too bad.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby Nesikep » Wed May 04, 2016 8:01 pm

Aaron wrote:With rock around here, you don't even attempt with any roller less than 24" and a good roller is 40+ inches. Takes football size rocks and makes them magically disappear.

One of the main uses for mine!.. especially in some fields.. brought a couple dumptruck loads of rocks out of it already, and have more to do...
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby Brute 23 » Wed May 04, 2016 9:03 pm

That's neat.
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Re: School shop made culvert roller packer

Postby customcattle » Wed May 04, 2016 9:59 pm

So I was able to get it out and do more than in the arena tonight with it pulling it behind the disk and it worked like a dream. Seems like it will be an ideal seed bed for alfalfa.
On the subject of rocks, the biggest and only rocks around here are from the gravel in the driveway. It worked wonders breaking up the dirt clods in the arena and the 4 acres It worked tonight.
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