LANGHAM, Sask. — People are drawn to rock crushing demonstrations like a tongue is irresistibly drawn to the sharp edge of a cracked tooth. You can’t help being fascinated watching 20-inch rocks smashed into pebbles.
The Seppi M rock crushing demonstration was one of the strongest attractions at this year’s Ag in Motion show near Saskatoon.
The concept of smashing nuisance rocks into little pieces rather than picking them is still new to Western Canada.
The crushing process is expensive and it’s slow, but when it’s over, it truly is over. You’ll never see those rocks again.
As for logs and roots, they’re instantly ripped into small bits of organic matter to feed your soil.
Yes, it was a violent show, but nobody turned to walk away until the tractor shut down.
Seppi M brought two shredders to Ag in Motion. The Maxisoil 350 with a very wide 11.5 foot bucket is the largest mobile stone crusher in the world, according to Kirk Love-grove, Seppi M rep for Western Canada Mulching & Crushing Equipment in Saskatoon.
He said the 350 is usually set to crush rocks down to about 1.5 inches when they leave the machine.
The 350 is engineered for 300 to 450 horsepower tractors and is classified as a forestry tiller. It crushes stones up to 20 inches in diameter, digging them up from a depth of 14 inches. It does the same with roots and stumps. Above ground scrub brush is quickly devoured by carbide tipped hammers.
An optional water injection system can be installed to help bind and stabilize the soil being processed through the machine.
Maximum working speed is two km-h, but most stone and timber crushing machines actually spend their time at a creep. The 350 uses a category three or four rear-mounted three-point hitch.
The machine that Lovegrove demonstrated at the show was the smaller Supersoil 225 with a working width of eight feet and a capability to crush rocks up to 18 inches in diameter.
It grinds roots and rocks down to a depth of one foot.
The 225 is engineered for tractors in the 25 to 390 h.p. range. It uses a category three rear-mount three-point hitch. It weighs about 11,000 pounds, depending on options. Maximum working speed is two km-h in light conditions.
However, rocks crushers all typically work at a creep or may be stationary for several seconds when they encounter a particularly tough bunch of stones.
“The time you get on the hammers depends on the conditions you’re working in. If it’s mainly brush clearing with a little bit of rock, the hammers will last 500 to 600 hours,” Lovegrove said.
“The Supersoil 225 can’t be expected to do the work of the Maxisoil, but you can use it as a one-pass bush clearing machine. You put the bucket into the poplar or willows above ground and drop the rotor down to ground level and start moving.
“The company that owns these machines does a lot of custom work, and some of the farmers who buy these machines are doing custom work to recover their investment.”
Prices on the Seppi M crushers on display at AIM were $250,000 to $400,000.