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Basic lawn roller question

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#1 MrFixit1599 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 01:14 AM

Ok, so I bought a steel 4 foot wide lawn roller to pull behind my Bolens 1050 off of Craiglist today.  What do you recommend for filling it.  I have read sand or water, or various mixtures.  I live in Wisconsin, so anything water based would have to be drained in the fall before it froze.  Adding sand to it sounds like a pain considering the fill hole is rather small.


Just deal with it and fill with water or is there some better option that I haven't heard or read?

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#2 Bill 76 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 02:13 AM

I 'am only about 40 miles from you and the only thing I ever put in my roller is water and drain it in the fall.Sand would take forever to put in and ten times  longer to get it out.    Water is cheap and its easier to vary how much weight you need.

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#3 Cat385B ONLINE  


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Posted March 22, 2016 - 04:40 AM

Water all the way.
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#4 glgrumpy ONLINE  


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Posted March 22, 2016 - 06:57 AM

Use water in my new one from last year.  REAL question is Why do we roll the yards in first place??  I don't see much of any difference in mine and it is a big one filled up. Worst part is you need a pretty big tractor to pull it w/out spinning and wrecking yard in spots and up hills too which I have in front. I use my big PK to pull mine, the little Deere wont do it on the hills. 

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#5 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 07:50 AM

Water.  I roll mine to smooth out the winter little humps and bumps that develop ever winter.  Some place I don't notice any difference, other I do so it is a 50/50 proposition.  At least I feel like I did something and get more seat time.

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#6 DennyIN ONLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 07:56 AM

I fill mine with water in the spring and drain it in the fall. When I am done with it in the fall I paint the outside before putting it away and put a couple of gallons of aniifreeze in it and slosh it all around to help keep it from rusting from the inside.  

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#7 devans OFFLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 08:25 AM

If you want to fill it and forget it and don't mind spending the money, look into rim guard. It's mostly used in tractor tires instead of calcium chloride and won't rust out the metal.

#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 08:55 AM

I just use water but, don't fill it. The roller full might be too much weight. Play with the fill amount to see what you can pull. I worry more about rolling the driveway than the lawn but, it would be a nicer lawn if I rolled it more. I bought a roller last year but the little B&S engine needs work. Good Luck, Rick

#9 lyall OFFLINE  



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Posted March 22, 2016 - 08:58 AM

water is the way to go.

I bought  a roller that has sand in it.  I took 3 men to get it on my pickup, very heavy.

After owning it several year it has rusted through in spots. 

Some day I will have to fix it or replace it.

#10 toppop52 ONLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 03:30 PM

I fill mine too the top with water, never had any trouble pulling or spinning wheels, I've even pulled with the zero turn.

#11 Gtractor OFFLINE  


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Posted March 22, 2016 - 04:17 PM

Melt some solid gold bars down to thin sticks to where they will fit through the small fill hole.   Gold is VERY heavy.  Two or three hundred pounds should do the trick.   


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#12 Leonard VanCamp ONLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 06:25 PM

Melt some solid gold bars down to thin sticks to where they will fit through the small fill hole.   Gold is VERY heavy.  Two or three hundred pounds should do the trick.   

You get enough fishing and wheel weights you could fill it with lead, might want to check into getting a small dozer to pull it too!

#13 MrFixit1599 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 22, 2016 - 09:41 PM

Thanks for all the replies.  Rusting out from the inside was one of my concerns, but #1, if it does get a few small leaks who cares. I guess I can water the lawn while I roll it.  #2, I have a welder and I work in different steel shops every day, so patching it if I want to shouldn't be a problem.  #3, I think the Gold option is the best way to go.  Who would ever think that a lawn roller is worth $100k or so.  No more gold bars under the mattress for me, they all go in the yard roller

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#14 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted March 23, 2016 - 06:57 AM

Dad & I used sun dried sand.

When we had it 90% full, we put in about two gallon of used motor oil. Not worried about rusting thru from the inside at least.

If it ever fails, I'll put the sand a little at a time in our fire pit to remove the oil and then use it as traction sand on the drive as needed.

#15 pidjones ONLINE  

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Posted March 23, 2016 - 10:33 AM

I've only rented one for sowing grass so far. Before I took it back, I drained the water out over the new sown grass, and since it was so far from the house, the only watering it got before the next rain. An added bonus to using water!