V-ring design offers field roller improvement

TatraBears from the Czech Republic contributes its own twist to the standard drum roller design with unique changes

Drum and Cambridge rollers are some of the most commonly used agricultural field rollers in the world, but other interesting roller options are out there if producers look further afield.

TatraBears, a farm equipment manufacturer from the Czech Republic, has come up with an interesting addition to the global roller market.

The company has developed a drum roller with V-shaped rings that captures some of the primary benefits provided by both Cambridge and standard drum rollers while also coming up with a few unique benefits of its own.

Drum rollers are often characterized by their simplicity. They are large and made up of few moving pieces, which makes them both durable and relatively simple to maintain. This makes them prime candidates for levelling fields and driving rocks into the ground because these tasks often require an implement that can handle rough treatment.

TatraBears’ offering shares similar physical characteristics to the drum roller in terms of its focus on using larger solid segments with few moving pieces and taking advantage of the maintenance and durability-based drum roller benefits. Fairly uncomplicated roller profiles with a limited number of moving pieces naturally make both rollers champions of remaining operational through some of the most hostile field conditions.

The TatraBears roller segments are short and abundant, allowing them to follow the contours of the field and apply relatively even amounts of pressure to the soil’s surface. These also create channels to hold water and contain drifting soil. | TatraBears photo

Cambridge rollers excel partially because of their ability to apply consistent pressure across field surfaces. Even in the face of highly uneven terrain, their shorter segments give them the ability to closely follow the contours of the land, which is something that long-segmented drum rollers can struggle with.

The TatraBears V-ring rollers are configured with a similar idea in mind. The individual segments are short and abundant, giving them the freedom to flow more naturally over the contours of the land and apply relatively even amounts of pressure to the soil surface.

The TatraBears grooved roller offers all of the features of other roller designs, including water ballasting, plus reduced soil erosion due to the ridging process. | TatraBears photo

As well, Cambridge roller segments often consist of many individual wheel and gear rings. These rings leave lines and divots on the soil surface, which allow for effective erosion prevention and moisture retention in areas where soil has been freshly disturbed.

The V-ring design on the TatraBears roller similarly leaves helpful patterns on the soil surface, creating grooves that both insulate much of a field from damaging erosion and capture moisture that may otherwise flow off a perfectly flattened soil surface.

The V-ring drum roller as other benefits as well.

TatraBears says that a main feature of its roller is that it incorporates the benefits of a V-ring profile without leaving gaps between the individual V-rings.

The segments of many rollers that leave unique patterns on soil surfaces are not entirely solid. Instead, they consist of a series of independent wheels, gears and other devices. If gaps exist or eventually develop between the individual pieces through the natural wear and tear of an implement, it can lead to uneven pressure application on the soil, which can create various issues for crops, including uneven emergence.

Tine mud-scrapers are unique to the grooved roller system. Wing pressure is managed through large hydraulic rams from the centre and middle sections. | TatraBears photo

The risk of uneven pressure being applied by a TatraBears roller is minimal because the individual V-rings are attached to a drum roller, making up solid segments without physical gaps between the rings.

As well, the roller puts both vertical and horizontal pressure on the soil. The V-rings press down on soil while also pressing it together from the sides. This action forms an exceptionally firm soil surface and is the main mechanism that limits soil erosion and prevents moisture already existing within the soil from easily escaping.

Several convenient adjustments can also be made to the roller that make it a versatile machine.

For example, the rollers can be built using varying thicknesses that can decrease or enhance the potential durability of the roller to suit varying needs.

The rollers can also be filled with water to increase their weight and allow for different pressure levels to be applied on soil surfaces, depending on the ballast level.

Drum and Cambridge rollers can add significant benefits to a farm operation when used correctly. However, each roller type provides benefits that do not always overlap, which can lead to difficult decisions when it comes to choosing the machine that is best suited for a particular farm.

TatraBears is hoping to circumvent that difficult decision for growers with its V-ring drum roller because it seems capable of providing many of the benefits provided by both drum and Cambridge rollers while bringing a host of unique benefits to the table itself.

For more information, contact Juraj Skolka at juraj.skolka@tatrabears.com.

Jasper Bles farms in Alberta and, in collaboration with other innovative young producers, reports on machinery and technology on the website farmin.ca. He can be reached at blesagmedia@gmail.com.

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