After Piet Schutte of the farm Moabsvelden, near Delmas in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa got a contract on tender to roll up old telephone lines for his own use, he decided to build a wire roller to save labour and time. His wire roller can also dig holes for corner posts.
He built a frame from angle iron and mounted two gearboxes on it. Both gearboxes are driven by the tractor’s power take-off (PTO). The upper gearbox is connected to an axle by means of a chain, which in turn is connected to a wheel rim.
“The rim is cut in two and is held together by bolts. The wire is then fed through a slot to the bottom of the rim where it is attached. The PTO causes the rim to turn which rolls up the wire.”
Once the wire is rolled up, the end is secured to the roll, the bolts are loosened, and the rim is split open. The wire is then neatly rolled up and it can be easily removed. The rim can then be reassembled and the bolts tightened, ready to roll up the next length of wire. The gearboxes were the only parts that needed to be purchased. The implement cost around R11 000 (K7800) to make.
Piet says the wire roller can roll up 1.5–2km of wire per hour. The wire roller can also be attached to the tractor’s hydraulic lift which makes it easily transportable.
The second gearbox under the wire roller drives an auger. The auger is used to drill holes for planting corner posts. “After the posts are planted, the wire roller is used to put up wire. The axle on which the wheel rim is mounted has a pin that can be removed to allow the rim to turn freely,” says Piet.
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