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I didn't want to highjack the other guys thread about skid steers. So as I am combining this fall I need to do some rock picking. We have a degelman rock picker but it dosen't work real well in zero till, so we pick lots by hand. So with lots of time in the combine to think I figure why not use a skid steer with a rock fork on the front. Has anyone tried this and how did it work? What kind of machine did you use? TIA
 

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The biggest problem with a skid steer in that situation would be visibility, you're so low to the ground and your line of sight is restricted in every direction, unless you already know exactly where each rock is, you're gonna have trouble finding them.

When you say your rock picker don't work in no till, what is the problem? Is it because of the ridges you're getting lots of dirt and straw each time you pick a rock? A fork on a front end loader wont be any different. I pick lots of rock for a neighbor who is all no till and have found it works best in the spring after canola, he always heavy harrows so straw is broke up and don't pulg the grate causing the reel to pull in lots of dirt like it does in wheat stubble.

He also has one of those rock forks on a tractor and uses that to pick some of the bigger ones if I am busy and can't come, and becasue of sight issues when scooping the rock always ends up with a wheelbarrow full of dirt with each rock. I have seen others use the fork as well and no way it can do as clean of job as with a picker, least mine, but then mine is PTO...ground driven pickers I've been told are useless in stubble:eek:
 

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What about this guy? Love the jingle... lol
Ya that is a cute tune:D But seriously I guess it would beat picking them by hand, but I'll stick to my white behemoth with it's Degelman decals on it;) But then I have rocks bigger than Robo and skid steer packing him put together so perhaps my view is biased:p:D
 

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I didn't want to highjack the other guys thread about skid steers. So as I am combining this fall I need to do some rock picking. We have a degelman rock picker but it dosen't work real well in zero till, so we pick lots by hand. So with lots of time in the combine to think I figure why not use a skid steer with a rock fork on the front. Has anyone tried this and how did it work? What kind of machine did you use? TIA
I also no till and my degelman rock picker picks lots of straw and packs the rock into the ground or launches it over the back 3 times in a row. So then I get off the tractor to pick it by hand. It is hard to even find the rocks with 10 to 12" stubble. So now I mark the rocks with a handheld gps and pick them by hand with my side by side pulling a dump trailer. Big ones I go pick with the loader tractor. The number of rocks I pick are getting less every year. I couldn't see driving my skid steer out for a couple rocks at 7 mph in a quarter section. With less passes over the field and less dirt moving while seeding, I have way less rocks than I used to. I guess it depends how many rocks you have to pick. This year I marked less than 100 rocks or spots( sometimes there is a number of rocks at one place) on 1200 acres seeded. It also makes it easy to check how the crop is coming up as i pick after seeding.
 

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The biggest problem with a skid steer in that situation would be visibility, you're so low to the ground and your line of sight is restricted in every direction, unless you already know exactly where each rock is, you're gonna have trouble finding them.


One thing I have used and it works well and saves time, is get the guy operating a combine or drills, or whatever works when u are doing a field pass is to flag em using a handheld gps, we have 2 so 1 stays with the guy marking and the gps with the flagged rocks goes with the guy who is picking, flag marks will get u about 25 feet away from the rock. Works slick, just that the guy marking rocks has to remember to mark em as he sees em. Usually we switch gps's each day.
 

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for picking rocks in heavy trash conditions nothing beats an old fork type picker. lets you shake out the dirt. still break out my old Melcam once in a while
 

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Well, we split the time between the Rhino (great for smaller stuff and after tillage/planting picking), an old pull type rock picker at times, and the skiddy with the bucket when things get serious.
 

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we have spots that a skid steer with a rock bucket is the only answer. its close to where we dump for the rock pile. you can see fine. but if you dont have a 2 speed tracked machine traveling far over a field for the scattered big ones is very counter productive. then i take the ol' loader tractor and dig the rock out, smooth the dirt back up and roll the rock into the bucket.
 

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madcow,
Not finding one with a 2-speed is my only regret with the skiddy we bought. Never though I'd want it as much as I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies guys it's been helpful. I was thinking of renting one for a week and trying it out before I bought one. I never considered a skid steer before but the more I think about it, it may be handy to have one around the yard. Might get one at auction for the right price. Does anyone have any thoughts on what to look for in a used one. Back to the combine. TIA
 
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