2005 Annual Report

Grassland Section

Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue
Dickinson, ND 58601

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a soil probe puller: its fabrication and use

Llewellyn L. Manske, Jeffrey J. Kubik, and John A. Urban
North Dakota State University
Dickinson Research Extension Center

The Probe Pull-N-Jenny is not a jack; it is a simple elevated-fulcrum-and-lever puller that can be used to easily extract soil probes during the collection of soil water samples.

Soil water content can be accurately measured by the gravimetric method using a Viehmeyer soil tube. The technique collects samples of soil at selected increments with a 5-foot probe that is driven into the soil with a specially designed 15-pound hammer. Pounding the probe into the soil requires some physical effort. Extraction of the probe, however, is more strenuous because of the need to pound upward, with the blows of the hammer striking the underside of the lugs located on each side of the probe head. The task of soil probe extraction can be comparatively effortless with the use of the Pull-N-Jenny to pull the probe from the soil.

The Pull-N-Jenny has three main components: the adjustable mono-leg, the handle-lever with a grab hook (figure 1), and the lug cradle apparatus with sling chain (figures 2 and 3). The two-part tube steel leg is supported on a steel plate shoe, and one section of the leg can move up and down within the larger lower tube to permit adjustments in the height of the fulcrum pivot point

located at the top of the leg (figure 4). The handle-lever rotates on the pivot and has a grab hook attached at the shorter end (figure 5). With the attachment of different links of the sling chain into the grab hook, the distance between the handle-lever and the lug cradle can be changed. The lug cradle apparatus fits specifically around the soil probe head and makes contact with the underside of the lugs located on each side of the soil probe head (figure 3). The points of lift on the soil probe are the lugs.

Extraction of a soil probe from the soil requires moving the Pull-N-Jenny near the soil probe and placing the lug cradle under the lugs on the probe head (figure 6). Pushing down on the longer side of the handle-lever transfers a lifting force onto the lugs, and pulls the soil probe up (figure 7).


The authors are grateful to Miller Machine and Welding for fabrication of the steel main components. The authors are grateful to Amy M. Kraus for assistance in preparation of this manuscript and to Sheri Schneider for assistance in production of this manuscript.


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