A Scarifier is a piece of equipment designed to break up the surface of roads to facilitate the repair proccess. Several different makes of patented designes existed with both mounted (usually on a steam roller) and trailed versions designed for towing by a tractor.

Mounted ScarifierEdit

Allen scarifier no 483 on Fowler no 13141 at Astwood Bank 08 - P6150161

An Allen built Scarifier mounted on a Fowler roller, Note the large hand wheel for setting the depth of working

Scarifier (base) - IMG 7237

A scarifier removed for maintenance shows the sliding carriage with the 'Picks' projecting

These were built by several of the roller manufacturers and other firms. The design usually had one to three 'picks' which could be lowered to suit the work in hand. The whole assembly being lowered by a hand wheel to set the depth. Most were mounted behind the rear roller on the offside of th roller, but a few designs could be set to work aanwere across the full width of the roller.


Trailed scarifierEdit

Thackray-Barford Scarifier at Masham 09 - IMG 0096

A trailed Thakray-Barford patent scarifier

These heavy duty devices had a heavy cast carriage mounted on wheels and designed for towing by a steam engine. There were several designs produced with 'improved action' over the years.


  • Barford of Grantham built the Thackray-Barford version (shown above) to the Patented design of a Mr. Thackray of Thirsk.[1]
  • Bomford & Evershed - Machinery manufacturers and contractors designed their own scarifier.
  • Morrison Patent scarifiers were fitted to some steam rollers.
  • Price - Patent scarifiers, built under license by the engine makers who fitted then


A number of examples are still attached to rollers, but a number have been removed to reduce the weight and aid the loading as they can foul the ground on steeper loading ramps.

A few trailed ones are known to exist with one example being in the Leeds Industrial Museum but not on general display & un-restored. There is a complete Tar Spreading Roller kit with a Thackray-Barford scarifier which was exhibited at the Masham Steam Rally in 2009 by a Yorkshire owner. Others have been seen in countries such as India & Africa.

Known scarifiersEdit

See alsoEdit

References / sourcesEdit

  1. Info board displayed at Masham Steam Rally 2009

External linksEdit

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