Friday, 01 March 2024 14:55

Stone collection made easier

Written by  Mark Daniel
The Stoneless offers the flexibility to allow users to collect stones between other jobs. The Stoneless offers the flexibility to allow users to collect stones between other jobs.

Usually a task given to higher horsepower tractors, stone picking looks like its moved down the horsepower charts, to anyone with an ATV or UTV, with the Stoneless trailed stone collector.

Dane Søren Kristensen spent many years removing stones by hand from paddocks on his family´s 400ha farm. “It was a tiring job that had to be done every year.”

After searching for an easier solution he decided that over the years the stone picker market had lacked development and in most cases was centred around larger tractors.

 This led to the creative Dane setting out to devise a solution to make it a much easier and less power-hungry job. His first prototype was ready for testing in 2018, and the first commercially available machines were running in Denmark during 2019.

Manufactured from galvanised steel with a tare weight of 400kg, carried on four flotation tyres to reduce crop damage, the Stoneless is a simply-made and robust machine that offers the flexibility to allow users to collect stones between other jobs.

Working offset behind the ATV or UTV, with a recommended minimum of 500cc, operation is controlled via a handlebar mounted box. When a stone, from 6cm to a maximum of 50cm, is approached, the operator lowers a hydraulically operated digger plate that can also be used to tease stones out of the ground.

A rotor then holds the stone against it, before both rotor and digger plate are raised and the stone drawn into the 500kg capacity hopper. If the stone is too large to transfer to the hopper, the grab action can be used to move them off the paddock.

Depending on the numbers of stones in a paddock, it is said to be possible to clear stones from up to 5-10 ha/hr. When the hopper is fully loaded, the hopper tips rearwards allowing it to tip at the headland or into a loader bucket.

To date, more than 300 units have been sold in Denmark over the past four years, with plans now in place to export machines to other countries. Mr Kristensen suggests his machine has great potential, commenting, “there is a need for a solution that addresses the challenges of finding qualified labour, but also makes stone collection an easy activity that you can always find time for.”

www.stoneless.dk

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