Soil sifters clean fields by removing rocks, roots, and small brush debris from the soil and depositing the debris in windrows. The sifter cleans soil to a depth of 12 inches by combing rocks and roots from the soil with a 7-foot-wide digging cylinder. Soil and debris are lifted onto a rotating transfer cylinder and then onto a steel-mesh conveyor belt. Soil falls to the ground as debris is carried up the belt and into a rear storage hopper. The unit is pulled by a rubber-tired tractor of at least 140 horsepower and the sifter mechanism is powered by the tractor’s 1000-rpm power-take-off. Two hydraulic circuits are required: one for depth control and one for hopper dumping.
Sifters are available as either rock or root machines. Prior to operating the sifter, the ground must be loosened with a chisel or root plow. The sifter treatment leaves the soil in a level and well-pulverized condition suitable for seeding. Brush piles are free of soil and easily burned. An attachment is available to convey debris to a mobile hopper pulled by a second tractor. The sifter is not adapted to excessively rocky soil or soil that is too wet or too dry.