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  1. #1
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    742
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    Hey all,

    I'm toying with buying a root digger for lifting my potatoes with my 715. Has anyone had any experience with the one offered by Joel at Earth tools? I measured up my 715 vs. my hills and will need to buy taller tires, but I was thinking about doing that anyway for when I mount the blade. Considering what it does, it's kind of a steep purchase at 260 for the digger and 335 for the tires.

    Thanks for any input.

    Bill in WI
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, BCS 735 w/ Acme diesel, Agrizeta tracks, 30" tiller, Berta double rotary plow, Berta 33" 2 stage snow blower, 18 inch combined ridger, Caravaggi BIO90 chipper, Bellon 32"rough cut mower, Caravaggi stump grinder, BCS 59" duplex mower, Pallidino 20" flail mower, Ravenna trailer, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger,

    John Deere B, 60, 4430 open station, 4430 SGB, 4840, 317 skid steer, and all the implements to work 'em

  2. #2
    Bronze Member Highsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    84
    Location
    Kingsbury, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota L2350DT, BCS 853

    Default Re: Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    If you were going to get the tires anyway, then it is only the root digger you are adding. So it is not nearly as expensive. How is that for a rationalization?

    My wife and I wondered about the root digger also as we will plant potatoes. But I remember using a pitchfork to just pop them up when I was a kid. I would like to know how much of a time savings the root digger provides compared to the pitchfork in case our potato production ever gets big enough to be that time demanding.
    Best Regards,
    Highsmith

  3. #3
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    742
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    Hey Highsmith,

    Thanks for your input. I'm not necessarily getting the tires, but I'm considering it. I'd really like to find a used 735, 737, 830, 850, 852, 853. If I find one, buying the tires for the 715 would be a waste since the bigger machine would have them. Maybe next year I'll own a bigger one and then consider the root digger. This year, I'll stick with using the 5 tine manure fork I used last year. I'd still appreciate some input on how well it works if anyone has used one.

    Bill in WI
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, BCS 735 w/ Acme diesel, Agrizeta tracks, 30" tiller, Berta double rotary plow, Berta 33" 2 stage snow blower, 18 inch combined ridger, Caravaggi BIO90 chipper, Bellon 32"rough cut mower, Caravaggi stump grinder, BCS 59" duplex mower, Pallidino 20" flail mower, Ravenna trailer, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger,

    John Deere B, 60, 4430 open station, 4430 SGB, 4840, 317 skid steer, and all the implements to work 'em

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    86
    Location
    The NC High Country
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    I like my root digger from Earthtools. I had used it last year with my 850 with (stock) 5x10x20" wheels/tires and it sped-up the potato harvest considerably. I also missed fewer potatoes than I used to with the digging fork, resulting in fewer volunteers this year. Casualties were higher when using the fork too (i.e.- acccidentally speared) though even with the foot of the root-digger aimed as down as possible, I still sliced a (very) few potatoes.

    This year, I have a second BCS (found a killer deal on a used 830 a few months back...), which Joel recently equipped with a diesel and the 5x12x22" wheels/tires, plus wide-extensions too to clear the 11hp Lombardini. I will try that with the digger this fall, and expect it to work even better, being yet higher, wider, and more stable.

    Joel may very well have the (slightly) use wheelsets from my 830 (4x10x18") that I traded toward the 5x12x22" wheels/tires during the upgrade. I'm not sure what he would sell them for (or if they have already sold), but it's worth asking.

    Despite all this praise for the "root-digger" I will not trust it to my garlic crop yet. Them I like digging with fork and hands, as garlic is practically a sacrament with me, and even 1% damage would be unacceptable.

    -otus
    Kubota L-39 TLB
    BCS 850 Walking Tractors
    '96 F-250 Super Duty 7.3l PSD

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    11
    Location
    Prairie View, TEXAS
    Tractor
    JD 790;

    Default Re: Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    Will these work for sweet potatoes?

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    86
    Location
    The NC High Country
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcd830 View Post
    Will these work for sweet potatoes?
    I've never grown sweet potatoes, so I can't say for sure, but I would guess that it would do fine at digging them.

    Since I'm posting about this again, allow me to add a few updates:

    1) The root digger is quite adjustable, with various settings for offset, angle of 'attack' (i.e. - into the soil) and also angle of the plow itself. But for me, there is only one setting: as deeply as I can set it, and dead-centered. Any other setting does not get down under my potatoes (I hill them up pretty high). Does any one else here have a good use for the offset, angled, and/or shallower settings? If not, this attachment could be manufactured quite a bit more cheaply by eliminating those adjustments and welding-up a fixed root-digger set to go long & deep (obligatory "that's what she said" joke here).

    2) My newer diesel BCS 850 with the 6x12xwhatever wheels (the largest Earthtools sells, I think) and one set of wheel spacers is a BEAST. The better ground clearance and wider stance make the thing more resistant to tipping than my other (stock, gas) BCS 850. Also, the diesel engine seems much less picky about being run at odd angles than my gas engine does (again, I hill-up potatoes really high).

    3) The root digger and BCS combo definitely speeds up harvest, and also certainly reduces accidental spearings/slicings compared to digging by fork. But I'm not at all sure that it's less work. Man-handling the plow, angle of machine, etc. is a WORKOUT. I just recently dug two ~50' beds of potatoes that I couldn't dig last Fall due to it being so wet back then. The potatoes look and taste great, but I was pretty tuckered out after the ~2 hours I spent root-digging. Of course, being a sluggard all winter probably factored into this...

    -otus
    Kubota L-39 TLB
    BCS 850 Walking Tractors
    '96 F-250 Super Duty 7.3l PSD

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    11
    Location
    Prairie View, TEXAS
    Tractor
    JD 790;

    Default Re: Anyone have a root digger from Earth tools?

    Thanks,
    It seems like an awful lot of trouble though. I wanted one of those nifty diggers that Spedo sells but with the amount of potatoes and sweet potatoes I grow and the expense factored in I think I'll just get a middle buster/ potato plow for the JD 790 and call it a day. BTW Joel from Earthtools said the root digger would probably break the ends off some of the more deeply rooted sweet potatoes.
    Justin

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