BRANDON — Sharp stalks from corn, canola and sunflowers can do a lot of damage to rubber tracks and tires, especially when the rubber is new.
Rubber is most susceptible to cuts in the first 18 months while curing. However, deep cuts can occur even once the rubber has hardened, says John Wilke, Canadian dealer for the Minnesota-built Stalk Stomper.
The Stalk Stomper is like a short wide ski with an aggressive leading edge, much like old wooden toboggans. It’s made of heavy steel with a quarter inch UHMW poly liner bonded to the bottom surface that contacts the stalks.
When mounted to the front of combines and tractors, the spring loaded Stomper runs along at ground level, knocking down stalks in front of the lead tires.
“It doesn’t actually break the stalks. It mainly pushes them down to make them lean over so the tire or track just rolls on over,” said Wilke.
“We only put them on the lead tires. On combines and tractors, it’s usually the front tires that get cut. They have a big list of different designs and setups to cover all the combinations of combines and tractors with tracks, singles, duals and triples.”
On tractors, the Stompers mount to a four-inch square steel beam that lifts hydraulically. The hydraulics can be tied to the implement circuit so that the Stomper lifts at the same time as the implement. They can also have an independent control.
On combines, the Stompers mount to a two-inch square beam attached to the header. They go up and down with the header hydraulics.
The company has also developed an option it calls the Automatic Lift Switch, which automatically raises the Stompers when the tractor or combine is put in reverse.
The kits require no welding or drilling. The quick disconnect allows the device to be removed by just one person.
Prices for combine Stomper kits are less than for tractor kits because tractors require more mounting hardware and hydraulics.
Combine kits are $500 to $550 per protected tire. Tractor kits with all hardware and hydraulics are $3,600 to $7,000, depending on the combination of track and tire sizes.
For more information, contact Wilke at 306-586-5711 or visit www.wilkesales.com or www.maywes.com.