Roller (agricultural tool)
- Roller (agricultural tool)
The roller is an agricultural tool used for flattening land or breaking up large clumps of soil, especially after ploughing. Typically, rollers are pulled by tractors or, prior to mechanisation, a team of animals such as horses or oxen.
Flatter land makes subsequent weed control and harvesting easier, and rolling can help to reduce moisture loss from cultivated soil. On grassland, rolling levels the land for mowing and compacts the soil surface.
For many uses a heavy roller is used, and rollers may be weighted in different ways. Heavy rollers may consist of one or more cylinders made of thick steel, a thinner steel cylinder filled with concrete, or a cylinder filled with water. A water-filled roller has the advantage that the water may be drained out for lighter use or for transport. In frost-prone areas a water filled roller must be drained for winter storage to avoid breakage due to the expansion for water as it turns to ice.
On tilled soil a one-piece roller has the disadvantage that when turning corners the outer end of the roller has to rotate much faster than the inner end, forcing one or both ends to skid. A one-piece roller turned on soft ground will skid up a heap of soil at the outer radius, leaving heaps, which is counter-productive. Rollers are often made in two or three sections to reduce this problem, and the Cambridge roller overcomes it altogether by mounting many small segments onto one axle so that they can each rotate at local ground-speed.
The surface of rollers may be smooth, or it may be textured to help break up soil or to groove the final surface to reduce scouring from rain. Each segment of a Cambridge roller has a rib around its edge for this purpose.
Rollers may be ganged, or combined with other equipment such as mowers.
* Harrow (tool)
* [http://www.degelman.com/landrollers.html Degelman Land Roller]
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