To roll or not to roll, that is the question.
- You'll need a steam
roller delivered. You can't haul 3 tons your self. And you'll need access
to the field to drive the machine out to the dirt.
- Best for baseball:
1.5 ton to 3 ton rollers. The smaller one can also be used to roll the
infield turf to get out the lumps and bumps.
- Best for softball:
3 ton to 5 ton rollers. Softball fields are usually firmer with a higher
clay content than a baseball field.
- A lawn roller is
good for settling new sod or when putting in new seed. It can also be
rolled over the infield turf to level the lumps, but it is not nearly
as effective as a steam roller.
- Do you have an
adult to drive the steam roller?
at the college level demands a very firm and
level field - both the turf and the skin or dirt area
I've used and am satisfied with:
United Rentals and A Tool Shed.
Tips & Hints
- These are not toys,
but they are fun to drive. Use hearing protectors.
- Always be aware
of what's around you especially when working near a backstop. The roll
bar over your head could hit the fencing.
- Be careful on slopes
such as your bullpen mounds. Roll so you go up and down, not so you
are at a slant sideways.
- Steam rollers include
a vibrating option as well as just rolling something heavy over the
ground. This option is quite effective, but noisy and makes it a little
bit harder to make turns.
- Speaking of turns,
these make a wide turn. You need lots of room for big sweeping turns.
- If you roll the
grass edge to eliminate the smaller lip buildup, be sure to mark the
sprinklers and not hit them. If the sprinklers are at least two inches
below the surface, it is usually safe to roll right over them with no
If you think an aerator can mangle a sprinkler, you should see what
a roller can do to it.
- Don't be afraid
to do this. It's easy. And if your grass area is not damp, you can really
tune up the turf area by rolling it. Test this first on a small area
to be sure you're not sinking in.
- Check the depth
of your base pegs. If they are above the dirt level (which is bad in
the first place) don't roll over them.
- Most satisfying
rolling job is done when you can drag the field, lightly hose down the
dirt, let it set for the top crust to dry a bit, then roll it. Slowly
drag two more times. Walla! Perfect infield skin.
Mistakes to avoid
one mistake - rolling dirt or skin that is too moist. Some
of the clay or dirt will cake to the roller and then every rotation
of the drum will leave a big hole or dent in the ground instead of rolling
it flat. So, look behind yourself occasionally to see how it is going.
If some accumulates, stop, clean it off, and go over the bad areas.
two mistake - getting stuck. On the field. The smaller rollers
have very minimal clearance between the roller and the chassis. If dirt,
clay, or other junk has accumulated there, the roller might start to
run slower and slower and then freeze up and come to a complete stop.
So, how do you get a 3 ton roller off the field that got stuck? You
either push it yourself or get a 5 ton roller to push it off.
- Lesson learned
from the above: if the steam roller starts going slow even at full throttle,
get off the field and check if clay or something like road tar has accumulated
and is jamming. Use a flat screw drive to clean it out and continue
rolled regularly - you
should try it on yours
the first base line
it was done with a
3 ton steam roller
added tons of
new material and
tilled it in, you should
roll it to help it settle
with a 5 ton roller
the 5 ton version