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  1. #1

    Default Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Hello,
    I am making a lawn roller out of an old water tank. It will end up being 16" in diameter and roughly 52" long. I was going to fill it with concrete. The volume is 6 cubic ft, concrete density is 150lbs/cubic ft, so the roller will weigh over 900lbs. Is 900lbs too much for a lawn roller? I will be using the roller to flatten mole hills, rolling the gravel driveway, and deer food plot seedbed preparation. What do you think? Is it too much weight? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    The one I made is 24" x 60" and is filled with water. Weight is about 1200lbs when filled. This works great and is not too heavy at all. (attached photo) I use it only once or twice a year and the yard is much smoother since I started doing it. Pushs all the rocks that seem to pop up from the frost back to where they came from! I think you will find it too light for driveway work instead of too heavy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -5-113532-roller-jpg  

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    May 2001
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    QC, Canada
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    B7500HSD

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Like Von, I would fill it with water. Fill it up, use it, empty it, put it away. That way it's not a bear to move in the off-season.

  4. #4
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    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Machinist handbook has concrete at 137#/cu ft, but portland cement is 193#/cu ft, will you use quickrete or real concrete? quickrete will weigh similar to portland cement I would think.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    I was going to use Quikrete (9-10 80 lb bags) which is 2/3 cubic ft. 6/.66667 = 9bags =720lbs + the weight of the steel tank and frame.

    Moving the roller around in the off season isn't an issue, I'll park it on a block of wood, cover it with a tarp behind the PoleBarn. Filling & emptying water is too much work.......and if you forget to drain the roller before winter, by by roller!

  6. #6
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    michigan thumb
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    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    yeah, I agree this isnt a tool worth keeping in the barn, once ya use it back it into the weeds until next time. Sounds like your ground pressure will be close enough to commercially made rollers and who really knows what the magic number is? I know a guy who used a double drummed steam roller without the steam for customers lawns. Factors like soil type and moisture
    may have the most influence on ability to flatten out those spring bumps

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Missouri
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    BX2200 / FORD JUBILEE

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Bubba,
    I agree that it is not too much weight for the lawn, my roller weighs in at just under 1200lbs and have used it on a new gravel drive but does not do much on existing gravel. It was my fathers roller and used to be filled with water and is now filled with concrete, It is very hard to move by trailer, I let anyone borrow it with one catch.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img] They have to move it themselves!
    Rich...

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Canton, Texas
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    Deere 5520 MFWD

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    It would seem to me that it would be alot easier to roll if it were full of water, as the water adds no rolling inertia since it freely flows in the cylinder. Isn't this why we fill our tires with water, and it is actually easier on the tractor than using a similar amount of wheel weight? I know that when dragging it behind the tractor this might not matter, but for the sake of hooking it up, and for not bullying a smaller tractor around, it seems to me that the water would be better. Perhaps some of the more engineering-minded members can clarify this one for us

  9. #9
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    B7500HSD

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Von,

    I had to replace my water tank last year and it's still sitting in the basement. I want to make a roller out of it. How did you set up the axle on yours? I was just going to weld some bar stock to the ends. Did you use bearings to attach to the tow frame or just metal on metal with a pile of grease?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Thanks for all the great feedback! I feel a little better that my homemade roller won't be a waste of time. I got all the square steel tubing, pillow block bearings, water tanks for about $3. The concrete will be the largest investment. Not to bad when you consider a 48" steel roller costs over $180.......and they aren't built half as good as a homemade unit!!!

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