Rocks: don’t pick them, pulverize them

FARGO. N.D. — Rocks in your fields will eventually turn to dust someday anyway, so why not hasten the process by a few million years.

If you want those nuisance field stones out of your hair and out of your combine once and for all, the best option might be to leave them in the field and pulverize them into a fine dust.

Granted, it will take some horsepower, and the rock grinder isn’t a cheap machine to buy, but in the end it might be the best solution, says Allen Tennis.

“The STCH literally turns stones into soil. It turns a 20 inch rock into a fine powdery dust that you can blow out of the palm of your hand,” says Tennis, a representative for Advanced Shredding Technologies in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

“You crush them down to any size you want, just by regulating your ground speed.”

Tennis displayed the STCH and the lighter SFM at the recent Big Iron Farm Show in Fargo, N.D. He said both machines are capable of working at the surface or below ground, depending on what the operator wants to accomplish.

They both require 250 to 300 horsepower just to operate the crusher, so a 400 h.p. tractor is ideal. They need a tractor with a CVT or IVT transmission to let the operator start slowly.

They mount on the back of the tractor with a three-point hitch and are power take-off driven. A creeper gear is recommended for both machines.

They both cover a 100-inch-wide swath and can be set up for road building.

“The SFM is more of a forestry machine,” Tennis said. “It takes down standing timber or bush. It’s great for clearing bush for a new field or hayland. It mulches up the whole tree, root ball, stump and all.

With this unit, you back up to the tree to knock it over and grind it up. And it pulverizes rocks up to 12 inches in diameter.

“The STCH also mounts on the back, but it’s not for going backward or knocking over trees. You just drive forward with the STCH. This is the unit that turns 20 inch diameter rocks to dust.”

Both models are available in smaller sizes with power requirements as low as 180 h.p. and working widths as low as 72 inches.

Tennis said crushers are a good fit for an operator doing custom land clearing.

They are designed and built by the FAE Advanced Shredding Technologies company in Italy.

The list price is US$105,000.

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