Clean packer wheels | Spinning rotary mud scraper lets you drill seed at correct depth
BRANDON — Mud on a packer wheel destroys depth control and often pulls seeds out of the trench.
It can clog up packers so badly that they start to skid over the seed row, making ruts and dragging cover soil from the seed trench.
Both scenarios wreak havoc on the crop’s potential, and both can be traced to stationary, flat mud scrapers that wear quickly and ruin packer tires.
Mark Devloo, inventor of the self-propelled Devloo Roto Mud Scraper, thinks he has a better idea. Devloo farms at Somerset, Man., and is no stranger to muddy seeding conditions.
“There’s a big need for a better mud scraper. Flat scrapers just don’t do the job they’re supposed to. Mud builds up and they cause too much trouble,” said Devloo.
“Guys pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for an air drill, and they ignore the fact that their seeding depth is totally ruined because of mud on the packers.”
He said stationary scrapers plug up enough to stop the wheels from turning. If the packer does keep turning, it becomes a big sticky rolling mud ball that pulls seed out of the trench.
Both situations leave the farmer with a field that will fall far below its potential yield and force the tractor to burn extra fuel.
Packers also serve as the depth control measure on many drills. More mud on the wheel increases the packer diameter and results in seeds placed shallower than desired or worse yet, on the surface.
Clean packer wheels let the drill do a better job of seed placement, re-duces maintenance costs and lessen drill drag in the soil.
Devloo said mud on the wheel clearly makes a joke out of the term “precision farming.”
His Roto Mud Scraper peels mud off by rotating itself.
A steel cone spins on a shaft and its large diameter end runs close to the packer wheel’s surface. Mud coming around on the packer wheel causes the cone to spin, cutting off the mud.
“We tried all different kinds of scraper designs on our own farm, and nothing really worked the way we wanted until we hit upon this rotating cone idea,” he said.
“Once we built a few of these and tried them in the field, we knew we were finally on to something big. The rotating cone has this mud-cutting edge around the circumference at the big end. If there’s no mud, they don’t spin. They just sit there and look pretty.
The scraper doesn’t rely on outside power sources, he added.
Devloo said the scrapers have five times more mud-contacting edge than fixed flat scrapers. Because it spins, the cutting edge is continually contacting and cutting off new mud coming up the wheel toward it.
He recommended setting the cutting edge a quarter of an inch from the packer wheel’s surface to avoid tire wear. The system also allows for higher packer tire pressures.
Devloo installed some of his first prototype rotary scrapers on his drill three years ago.
Last year, he made a limited number of Roto Scrapers available for other farmers to try. They were field tested on a JD 730-1900, K-Hart, Seed Hawk, Seed Master, EzeeOn, JD 1820 with gang packers and a Harriston potato planter.
Results were good and he went into production last year.
The cones are laser cut from 1023 carbon steel and then powder coated. They are also available in stainless steel. The bearing is a 6203, which has been used in Case IH machines for decades.
The scrapers come in two sizes: a seven inch diameter cone for packers up to four inches wide and a 9.5 inch cone for packers wider than four inches.
A U-bolt is used to install the scrapers on most drills. On some drills, such as the Seed Hawk, it’s a matter of loosening a bolt, sliding the Roto Scraper into position and tightening the bolt again.
Devloo said each scraper costs $79 to $84.
For more information, contact Devloo at 888-744-2077 or visit www.rotomudscrapers.com.