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O f the earth

‘It is the Earth that, like a kind mother, receives

us at our birth, and sustains us when horn. It is this alone, of all the

elements around us, that is never found an enemy to man. The body of waters deluge him with rains, oppress him with hail, and drown him

with inundations; the air rushes in storms, prepares the tempest, or lights up the volcano; but the Earth, gentle and indulgent, ever subservient to the wants of man, spreads his walks with flowers, and his table with plenty; returns with interest every good committed to her care; and though she produces the poison, she still supplies the antidote; though constantly teased more to furnish the luxuries of man than his necessities, yet, even to the last, she continues her kind indulgence, and when life is over, she piously hides his remains in her bosom.’ Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. ii

From Evelyn’s ‘Silva’

ERRATA Page 29. Sub Headings ‘Skim Coulter’ should read Disc Coulter Sub Heading ‘Disc Coulter’ should read skim Codter Page 45. Digger Body DMD 5ZK should read DMC 5ZK Standard Share DM2w (14 in.) should read (12 in.) Width of Furrow should read ’12m. to 14 h.’ for Trailed Ploughs Page 47. Mounted T S 45 should read TS 54


INDEX Foreword Intrhuction



Types of Ploughing Work Systematic Ploughing . Irregular Fields Obstructions Round and Round Ploughing One-way Ploughing

. .

Page 1

3 4 5-6 7


Section 2 : Mounted Ploughs Plough and the Tractor Linkage . How to Couple Plough and Tractor Mounted Plough Adjustments .

8 9 10-11 11 12-15 16-17 21 18-19 20 22-23 24-26 27 28-29

Bection 3: Mounted Reversible Ploughs . Method of Operation . Planning the Main Ploughing . Adjustments on a Reversible Plough

30-31 32 32 33


Section 1 : Tractor Ploughing Marking the Headlands . . Marking the Openings (1) Opening for Arable Land (2) Alternative Opening for Arable Land (3) Grassland - The Alternative Opening Finishing Off Ploughing Headlands .





Section 4 : Trailed Ploughs Drawbar Adjustments for Wheel Tractors Drawbar Adjustments for Track Tractors . Vertical Adjustments Pitch Adjustment Rear Wheel Land Carrying Wheel .




Section 5: Maintenance. Hints on Checking Plough Alignment


Plough Bodies in common use Share and Barpoint Types of Ploughs with Work Dimensions Mounted Ploughs Trailed Ploughs .

In publishing this booklet, due acknowledgement is made to: THE CONTROLLER, H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE, LONDON -for permission to reproduce some of the data from the text of the publication ‘Tractor Ploughing’. FARMER & STOCKBRCEDER PUBLICATIONS LTD, LONDON -for permission to reproduce photographs which are the copyright of ‘Power Farmer’ and ‘Farmer & Stockbreeder’. TEMPLE PRESS LTD, L O N D ON -for allowing reproduction of copyright photographs which first appeared in their magazine ‘Farm Mechanisation’.


34-35 36 37 37 38 39 39 40-41 40-42 4346 4’ 47



the art of the ploughman has been one

of primary importance, and the plough has remained the basic tool of agriculture. While the era of mechanization has done much to ease the task of the ploughman, his art remains - an art of experience. Good ploughing comes only with practice, but there are certain work sequences that can be learnt and a number of plough adjustments which must be understood before their effect can be appreciated. Many qualities go to the making of a good ploughman but, above all, he must know his plough, and his first consideration should be the choice of a suitable unit for his job. This booklet has been published as a guide for those who seek the best results, and the methods and techniques described have been proved in practice, and may already be familiar. In a publication of this size, it is not possible to cover every detail, but it is hoped that the contents will be found both interesting and helpful to all those engaged in the Art of Husbandry.

T Y I L OF PLOU6HlNG To achieve good ploughing it is most important to consider carefully the type of body which will be most suitable for the type of work required and the conditions prevailing.

---.*,,. * ,


i:;..:, .. .



'l'his type of body has a fairly long mouldboard with a gent!c turn and a slightly convex curw which produces an unbroken furrow slice. On grassland it makcs the neatest job t u t thc rcrulting surface may nccd rather rnorc of after-curtiration to pioducc tilth

This type has a shorter and deeper mouldboard with a steeper curve and a slightly concave surface. The work done by this type of body usually needs far less after-cultivationy owing to the more broken type of work produced, than the general purpose.

This mouldboard is short and abrupt with a definite concave surface. The furrow slice produced is broken. This body is particularly suited for deep ploughing.

I i



Fig. 1

It is essential when ploughing a field to work to a system. This avoids wasting time in awkward short turns or in idle travel at the headlands. I n Fig. 1 a diagram is given to help the operator to see how the complete job is dealt with. Each operation is separately described in the following section. Ploughs, other than reversible, turn the land to the right, and to cut down idle travel to the minimum, ploughing obviously has to be done in both directions. Consequently, the work is divided into lands, by setting up ridges at equal distances apart and working round them using two methods of working which are known as ‘gathering’ and ‘casting’.

Gathering. Whenever a plough works round a strip of plougged lagd it is said to be gathering (Fig. 2.) The tractor and plough turn to the.right each time the headland is reiched.



Casting.,Whenever a plough works round a strip of unploughed land it is said to be casting (Fig. 3). The tractoS turns to‘the left each time the headland is reached.

Fig 3

Ploughing by casting or gathering too large an area, however, is normally uneconomical. Therefore, a method can be used which never allows the tractor to run idle for more than a three-quarter land width along the headland and never has to turn in a space narrower than a quarter land width. To achieve this the operator starts by casting in the first three-quarter land, until a quarter land width is left in the middle. On the last run up the sideland side of the field a shallow furrow should be left by the rear body, as this is where the finish will come. Fig 4




Continue ploughing by gathering round the first ridge, checking the last strip in between the two pieces already ploughed, in at least three places to see whether the sides are parallel. Work this strip down, altering the width of cut if necessary to get both sides parallel until a finish is made. A piece between the second and first ridge should now be left, which can be dealt with in a similar manner.

/ In order to finish a regular field exactly, two pieces of land must be worked until they are equal. This is done by casting in the last land but one in the normal way until a quarter land width is left, and then cast between the last ridge and the sideland until it is equal to the other unploughed piece. These strips are worked out by gathering round the ploughed land between them, and the field is then completed by ploughing the headlands.


Fig. 5

IRREGULAR FIE1DS I t is very easy to fall into the mistake of leaving awkward pieces to plough at the end, which entails running over and disturbing the ploughed land. With a little thought in the first instance this need not occur. As in the case of regular fields a headland is marked out, following the boundary as accurately as possible, without producing awkward bends for the tractors to negotiate when finishing off the headland. Any small irregularities should be filled in after the headland mark has been made. The direction of ploughing is very important, and should be chosen, as far as possible, parallel to the longest and straightest side of the field. The first ridge being at least three-quarters of a land width from the headland at all points. I t will obviously be more in places but these should be ploughed out as in Fig. 7 to get down to the one-quarter land width, before gathering this strip to make the finish. I n some cases the shape of the field may be such that the best course is to mark the first ridge away from the boundaries, and across the widest part. The other ridges should then be set out from this, *ALL . and each side worked out separately, bearing in mind that odd triangular shapes should be filled in, while there is room to manoeuvre. If the direction of ploughing is the same as previously ploughed, the openings should be made in the old finishes, and the finishes in the old openings.


Small obstructions can be simply dealt with in the normal course of ploughing and the diagram on the right (Fig. 8) will clearly illustrate an easy method. The driver should plough in the normal way until such an obstruction is reached, and continue ploughing with the obstruction on his left by running on the ploughed land until the open furrow is in line with the centre of the obstacle. At this point he should begin to run on the other side, ploughing past the obstacle. Large obstructions of regular shape such as buildings or stacks are best dealt with by arranging a ridge to run in line with the centre of the obstruction. Ploughing can then continue up to the obstruction, the plough being lifted just before this is reached, and dropped again as soon as the outfit is clear (Fig. 9 ~ ) When . the ploughed area is as wide as the obstruction, the small headland at either end should be ploughed (Fig. 9B). Ploughing can then proceed normally on either side of the obstruction (Fig. 9c). Irregular obstructions, such as ponds, are best dealt with by marking a headland all round them; this is ploughed when the surrounding ploughing is completed.





Fig. 8


ROUND AND This method which keeps to a minimum the ridges and furrows made when ploughing in lands, keeps the land level, which is so helpful for row crop work and combine harvesting. It has the disadvantage, however, of being difficult in irregular shaped fields which require detailed measuring before starting. The start can be made either at the centre or the outside of the field.

Starting at the Centre Fig. A is the more satisfactory, and this can best be marked out by two people. One who walks round the boundary holding one end of a cord of suitable length, while the other drives the tractor to which is attached the other end of the cord which enables the driver to keep at a constant distance from the man walking. At the same time a piece is skimmed out by the rear furrow, and by working round this mark the next time and cutting a further mark in towards the centre, a plot of land of convenient size which will be equidistant from all sides can be marked. The length of the cord will most probably have to be altered when approaching the centre to do this. This plot can be ploughed out by gathering round a ridge set down the centre. The rest of the field can now be ploughed by working round and round, lifting the plough at the corners and making a loop turn to come back into the work. When it is no longer possible to turn at the corners, the equal strip which is left all round the field can be ploughed in the ordinary headland manner. Starting at the Outside Fig. B is a simpler method, but it is not possible to plough round the corners as this would result in either the tractor running on the ploughing or leaving large open furrows. A trailed plough should be lifted out of work just long enough to allow the tractor to get round the corner before dropping the plough squarely into work on the new side. This naturally will leave a strip of land which runs towards the centre and will have to be worked out at the end. With a mounted plough, however, this can be raised as soon as the tractor front whee!s reach the ploughing. The tractor can be driven out into the unploughed land, reversed into the corner, and driven forward, leaving all the land turned over. 8

ONE = WA Y PLOUGHING This system, using a ‘reversible’ type plough, is the most economical of all, and the simplest, It is unnecessary to set up openings or make finishes which are necessary when ploughing in lands, and although round and round ploughing does obviate ‘openings’ and ‘finishes’, there are still the corners or centres which must be ploughed separately. The system of One-way Ploughing is, therefore, the complete answer for the provision of a level surface. A start is made at one side of the field and by working up and down the furrows the field can be completed, leaving even ground all the way across, unmarred by ridges and open furrows, as shown in the diagram C on this page. Further information can be ^“^UMENDED METHOD found in Section 3, which is ING A T HEADLANDS devoted entirely to this type of plough.


J c


MARKIN6 THE HEADLANDS Headlands should be marked by a light furrow parallel to the boundary of the field to serve as a guide for lowering and lifting the plough at the ends of each furrow. This should be at least eight yards for a two- or three-furrow plough and one yard more for each additional furrow. A headland of this width allows easy turning without risk of damaging the plough and also enables the tractor to turn sauarelv into work.

MARKING THE OPENINGS The next step is to mark each opening by ploughing a shallow furrow approximately half the required depth of the main ploughing, using only the rear body and with the disc coulter lowered. These should be at equal distances apart, dead straight and parallel. Mark them parallel to the longest and straightest side of the field unless there are any of the following reasons against it.

(a) The openings may have to be put in the

bottom of deep open finishes left from previous ploughings, in order to keep the field level. (b) Any steep slopes should be ploughed straight up and down the slope, where possible. ;) I n wet fields finishes may help drainage if they run towards a ditch. (d) It may be better to cross the previous

ploughing, especially the second time after grass.

First Run - Arable Opening Three guide markers will be required and in some circumstances where undulating land obscures the view, more markers will be necessary. The first marker is placed at the beginning of the furrow, and a large easily visible sighting stick is placed vertically on the far headland. The third marker should be placed in line with these two and about twenty paces away from that on the far headland. Each time the starting point of a furrow is marked, the stick to mark the finish of the next ridge should be placed. The first ridge should be set up three-quarters of a land width from the headland.


With the marking out completed, the next step varies with the type of plough being used and whether it is turning in arable or grassland.

Second Run - Arabla Opaning The rear body should again cut a shallow furrow, but this time a little deeper than the marking furrow and travelling in the opposite direction. Cut the full share width to leave room for the earth which is turned back on the next two runs.





Third Run - A1

re Opening

The illustration shows the position of the front wheel and the plough for the next run. Raise the rear disc coulter to its correct working position. Tilt the plough so that it is turning back the shallow marking furrow plus a little additional depth with the front body, and the rear is ploughing about three-quarters of the required depth of work. Drive the tractor down the furrow to lay the ‘sandwich’ turned by the front body into the middle of the ‘double split’.



I 4

Fourth Run - Arable Opening


For the next k n the setting remains the same, and the tractor is driven so that the next furrows are turned to meet the last furrows and form an even ridge without the two slices overlapping. The opening is now completed.



' - Y


As an alternative to the double-split opening dexribed in the previous pages; another method can be used which enables the second and fourth run to be carried out in one operation. This can only be used when three furrows and upwards are being drawn. First Run - Arable Opening The first run is similar to the previoi method with the exception that two thi furrow slices are laid together by the la! two plough bodies to form a markin furrow.

Second Run - (top left) Arable Open Make this by travelling in the opposjt direction, straddling the marking furroi and steering to keep the centre line of tb tractor ten or twelve inches to the left the furrow wall, depending on the wic of cut of the particu!ar plough. The front body completes the split turning out a second furrow slice, t second body runs doing very little wc in the open furrow, and the third boj turns in the sandwich made by ploughi the first marking furrow and a furth slice. The depth control lever will have to set so that the rear body is turning t sandwich back at about three-quarters the normal ploughing depth. The fro body is lowered by adjusting the levelli lever so that it is turning a thin sli away from the marking furrow.


BACK T H E F I R S T FU A N D U S E F R O N T B O D Y T O T U R N /fi\ A W A Y A S E C O ND O P E N I N G F U RR O W -_->

The hallmark of good ploughing is a first-class finish. An open furrow must unavoidably be left. If it is too wide and deep it will require excessive after-cultivation to fill it in. If the open furrow is too small it will leave a hard strip across the field. It is very important to bring each land to a finish with straight and parallel sides. When each unploughed strip is a quarter land width, step across it in at least three places to see that it is equal. As each land is reduced, correct any inaccuracy by adjusting the plough to make the front body cut wider or narrower as required. As the unploughed strip gets down towards the width of the tractor, watch the near side front wheel and keep it running parallel with the furrow wall on that side. 18

Reduce the width of the unploughed land to one furrow width less than that of the plough (B in diagram on page 18). The last few runs should get slightly shallower so that a large open furrow will not be made. The finish is completed by using the front body or bodies with the rear one running in the shallow furrow left on the last run down made in the opposite direction before reducing the quarter land to a finish (see the chapter on systematic ploughing), turning an 'earth' furrow about two or three inches deep. (C in diagram on page 18.) This furrow narrows the finish and also provides the rear body with an anchor to counteract excessive mouldboard pressure on the front body (or bodies) when turning the last furrow slice. KEEP YOUR




--._ I



The direction of headland ploughing should be varied from year to year to avoid building up high ridges or making large open furrows. It is sometimes necessary with trailed ploughs to fill in sharp corners with short furrows to round off the work and make steering easier. Mounted ploughs, however, can be raised and the tractor reversed to enter each awkward area. When ploughing towards the centre of the field (above), care should be taken on the first round to ensure that the plough is not cutting too deeply and not throwing a high ridge at the ends of the main work.

When the headland furrows are turned outwards, the boundary is followed round until the main body of the ploughing is reached. With accurate marking out in the first place, a neat join will result.



The double-opening, which has previously been described, is not recommended for grassland a n d t h e one illustrated on this page is the simplest of several methods of making openings in grassland.


i n e opemng IS maae in two runs. On the first the rear body turns a furrow slice slightly less than a normal depth on top of a thin band of turf laid by the preceding body.

The Second Run On the return run, the offside rear tractor wheel is used to compress the narrow band of turf, so that the front body can lay a thicker slice over it and at the same time match the rest of the work.


MOUNTED PLOUGHS The mounted plough has become increasingly popular in recent years and has distinct advantages over its trailed counterpart. Easy handliig, manoeuvrability, and speedy transport from field to field are the outstanding features of this type of plough which comprises a strong light frame to which are attached very few wearing parts, to reduce maintenance and running costs. The modern comprehensive range of mounted ploughs includes the usual two- three- or four-furrow general-purpose or semi-digging models. Special ploughs are also available which include one- or two-furrow deep-digging models with increased interbody and under-beam clearance, to facilitate the burying of excessive surface vegetation.

I 23


The majority of light and medium wheeled tractors are fitted with adjustable linkage of the type shown on left. The size of the hole for the hitch pin varies with different makes, but the categories of the linkage in universal use usually fall into two groups.



Diameter of Pins (in.)

Category 1 Category 2


(in.) Links

Before coupling plough and tractor, wheel widths must be checked. The table given will assist in obtaining the correct settings. Check landside layt rod


I1 -36 11 -38 12 - 38 13 - 30 14 - 30


11 -36 11 -38 12 - 38 13 - 30 14 - 30

56 56 56 60 60


This table to be used as a guide only. Check measurements with instruction book.

Check distance between wheels and lower links

With this in order, the linkage itself can now be considered and one check which can be made easily at this stage is to ensure that the lift rods are rigid, with the pins in the holes and not in the slots in the barrels. If the length of the landside lift rod is known (as on the Fordson Major it is 22 inches between the centres), then this should be set while it is accessible. The position of the cross-shaft on the plough is governed by soil conditions and the required depth of work. Altcrnative positions above or below the frame are mostly provided to suit these varying conditions


and the different heights of tractor linkages. Normally ploughs are built with the cross-shaft under the frame but where extra deep ploughing or clearance is desired, it should be fitted above the frame. Should it be necessary to alter the position of the cross-shaft, then a check must be made to ensure that the threaded part of the width adjusting screw is equally proportioned above and beIow the connecting arm when the cranks of the cross-shaft are in the vertical position. The actual coupling up is dealt with on page 27, and a further check of the linkage adjustments should be made when the plough is in work. When running properly the distance between the lower links and each wheel should be equal without interference from either of the check chains. From the tractor driver's seat it is a good guide to watch the position of the upper link. This should be in line with or parallel to the line of draught, although a slight pointing to the furrow will have no adverse effect on the quality of ploughing. If the tractor wheels are set correctly, the correct width is usually obtained by adjusting the cross-shaft so that the furrow side crank is pointing vertically downwards and the landside crank upwards for normal work. However, variations do occur and it is often necessary to correct these by rotating the cross-shaft by means of the width adjusting screw. This method should only be used for variations up to one inch, as undue pressure will be caused on the land side or the mouldboard if the plough is angled too much either way, thereby increasing the draught. Variations of one inch or more should be corrected by moving the crossshaft sideways across the frame until the linkage is in the correct position, i.e. equal distance between each lower link and wheel.


Check position of width adjusting screw.

The length of the upper link is important, as this controls the pitch of the plough. If the link is too short the plough will tend to dig into the ground, wearing shares rapidly and making a bad job of the work. A long link will have the tendency to allow the plough to ride out of work, by running on the heel. When the upper link is set correctly the heel of the rear landside just marks the furrow bottom.

The distance between the wheels and links should be equal.


In a number of cases alternative positions are provided for attaching the uppe,

For nuLLLrcu used.

I u w = ~UL LLLC L W U p u a ~ u n a suppuru IOI

lower links to the plough.

me upper ana lower lmks should be

In hard ground affordinggood traction, but where difficultyis experienced in maintaining depth after setting the plough correctly, use the upper of the two positions provided.

In exceptionally soft conditions when wheel spin may be experienced but ~ ~ L ~ ~ L C L I L Ceenetration LLI is good, the top position for the upper link and bottom position for the lower links should be used. With a large angle between the links, weight is transferred from the plough to the tractor. Practise is the only way in which a ploughman can really understand the full use of all these adjustments. He should not be afraid to make alterations to improve work, but he should beware of making too many at the same time as this will conceal the improvements in the hitching of his plough.


HOW TO COUPLE PLOUGH AND TRACTOR If the tractor linkage and wheels are correctly set as shown on pages 24-26, the plough can now he hitched to the tractor and much rime and labour will be saved. The correct sequence should he as follows. First see that the tractor linkage is ready for the plough. The lift rods must be in the 'rigid' position with the locating pins in the hole and not in the slot of the barrel. I t is advisable to move the swinging drawbar of the tractor before it is hacked squarely up to the plough for coupling the three linkage points. Without dismounting, the upper tractor link may he positioned in the plough headstock. Apply the tractor brake and dismount to attach the landside lower link and adjust the position of the cross-shaft by the width adjusting screw so that the end of the cross-shaft crank registers with the hall joint of the tractor lower link. Next, fit the furrow-side lower link to the cross-shaft of the plough, adjusting its height, jf.necessary, by means of the levelling box. The posiuon of the cross-shaft may have to be adjusted to bring the end of the crank in line with the ball joint. Fasten the upper link to the headstock by the pin supplied, using the hole most suited to conditions, and adjust the link, if necessary, by rotating the centre piece with a t o m y bar. Cotter pins are supplied to fasten the links securely in place and it is necessary to lock these to prevent them from working out. The check chains of the tractor should he adjusted so that they are slack when the plough is in work and short enough to prevent it from fouling the tractor wheels when in the raised position. Allow as much swing as possible within these limits.



This is controlledbythe hydrauliclift lever onthe tractor. AND WHEEL DEPTH



i h e depth of plougmng is controlled by the depth adjusting screw which controls the position of the depth wheel. If the handle is turned in a clockwise direction it increases the depth of work and vice versa.



The cutting width of most mounted ploughs can be altered by moving the legs inside or outside the beams. See individual instruction books for details. The width of the front furrow is controlled by the hand screw which rotates the cross-shaft in its bearings. Turn the handle in an anti-clockwise direction to increase the width and vice versa to decrease it. This screw should only be moved to correct errors of one inch and under, if the error is more than one inch, the cross-shaft should be moved across the frame, so that the correct width is obtained with the cranks in a vertical position.


By adjusting the screw on the furrow lift rod of the tractor, the transverse level of the plough is altered to change the relative depth of the furrows. By rotating the screw in an anti-clockwise direction it will increase the length of the rod and vice versa. This adjustment is necessary for making openings and finishes. I n straight-forward bouts it is used to maintain equal depth of front and rear furrows. PITCH

The pitch of the complete plough is controlled by the length of the upper link. T o increase the pitch the link should be shortened, and this can be adjusted by inserting a tommy bar and turning the barrel of the screw box.




Disc coulters should be set just deep enough to cut a clean furrow wall. If they are too deep they will ride the plough out of work and cause excessive wear to the coulter bearings. They should also be set so there is little clearance between their cut and the landside of the shin. Under normal conditions set the disc with its centre above the point of the share and allow a clearance of from one inch to one and a half inches between disc and point. Laterally it should be half an inch away from the landside of the share when parallel to the beams. I n hard or stony land it should be set farther back and raised slightly. Most disc coulters can be tilted to or from the land, or in other words given overcut and undercut. A slight amount of undercut (top edge of disc away from land) is often an advantage when ploughing grassland. Coulters should not be tilted unless the work is improved thereby, as the tilting causes increased wear on the coulter bearings and shins. To get the best results, the correct setting will only be found by trial and error, using these notes as a guide.



4 e t



There are two types of skim coulter in general use, namely the independent skim attached directly to the beam of the plough and the skim attachment which forms part of the disc assembly. Most ploughs can be fitted with either and the choice will largely depend upon the conditions under which the plough is working. In a general way it will be found that independent skims work more satisfactorily where loose combined straw, excessive top vegetation or manure have to be ploughed in. The setting of each type is similar and in most cases they should be set just deep enough to ensure that all rubbish is buried. X common fault is setting the skim coulters too deeply. Care should be taken to see that the skim does no more than pare off a sufficient band of soil to achieve this object. The skim should also be set sufficiently forward to enable skimming to fall to the furrow bottom before the furrow begins to move across the face of the mouldboard. If placed too far back the skim will break the furrow up as it is turning and so leave ragged work. When ploughing in an excessive amount of trash it is often advisable to increase the natural clearance of the plough by moving the skims farther back. The skim point should be set as close to the discs as possible without actually touching and should not be set at too abrupt an angle.




Disc is set too far to the left and gives a stepped furrow wall


Disc is set too far to the right and increases draught

MOUNTED REVERSIBLE PLOUGHS A reversible plough has the advantage of being able to turn furrows to the right or left and therefore does not have to work in lands. It is therefore unnecessary to mark out the field and to make openings thus saving much time in idle travel. Once the headland has been marked out, the field can be completed by travelling up and down the furrow and the ploughs will closely follow other operations such as manure spreading and gathering of crops. This system is ideal for contour ploughing on hillsides as the furrows can be turned uphill to combat erosion, and to give at the same time an added margin of safety by having both the upper tractor wheels running in the bottom of the last furrow. The elimination of openings and finishes is particularly important if deep ploughing is carried out. Standard types of ploughs tend to leave high ridges and deep open furrows which make after-cultivation and combining more difficult and costly. Market gardens and small awkward areas are best worked with a reversible plough.


Method o f Operation for Mounted Reversible Ploughs


Before coupling the mounted reversible plough to the tractor, attention should be paid to the correct setting of the linkage and the width between centres of the tractor wheels. The notes in the previous section should be referred to, if in any doubt. The level of the plough is taken from the tractor rear wheels as one or the other runs in the furrow and it is particularly important to ensure that the tyre pressures are equal. Couple up using the method described in the previous section and mark out the headland as desired. If a two-furrow model is in use, tilt the plough and adjust the upper link and depth wheel to cut a shallow furrow with the rear body. The main ploughmg can, if necessary, start right up against the hedge and the field completed by leaving only a strip at each end to finish off. Alternatively, a large open furrow can be filled in by opening out with the double-split method and throwing the resulting ridge into the middle and finishing off by working each side in turn. Leaving a headland right round the field may be found to be the best method, as this cuts down to ihe minimum running the tractor on rhe ploughed land, which is often the case when ploughing the ends only. Begin the main work at the side of the field in the same direction in which the furrows are to be turned. The upper link and the right-hand lifting rod will need adjusting to plough a reasonably shallow first furrow so that a high ridge is not left. As the tractor wheel is not running in a furrow it will be necessary to adjust the lifting rod a few turns to match the work being done. Also in the case of a two-furrow plough the front disc coulter should be lowered to make a good job. 32

At the end of the first run, the plough is reversed by simply operating a lever which actuates the reversing mechanism to bring the opposite handed body into action. The plough will need to he levelled at this stage to plough an even depth and the width of furrows should he matched by using the plough adjustments. The plough instruction manual should he referred to for details of these adjustments. The disc coulter should also be readjusted to work in the most efficient position. The wheel track of the tractor is set to suit the width of land covered by the plough in either the right- or left-handed positions and once the plough has been adjusted to work satisfactorily it is unnecessary to make any change to the couplings.

TRAILED PLOUGHS Discriminating farmers can now choose their ploughs to match up to their tractors and at the same time suit their own particular ploughing requirements. The modern range of Trailed Ploughs includes models suited to almost all types of tractors, and it also includes models of various sizes from the singlefurrow ploughs for deep digging, to six-furrow types which are ideal for use on la ;e areas where mounted ploughs might prove less economical.


DRA WBAR IN RELATION TO WHEE6 TRACTORS Faulty setting increases draught and results in poor ploughing, and with Trailed ploughs the first and most important adjustment to check i s the drawbar setting.

f atepal Adjustment As the offside wheels of a wheel tractor have to run in the furrow, it is necessary to use a lever-controlled adjustable drawbar to obtain lateral adjustment of the plough. The hitch can only be set when the plough is in work, but as a starting point, attach the hitch of the plough to the centre hole in the tractor drawbar and take the measurement between the inside of the rear tractor tyre and the centre hole on the tractor drawbar plate. Measure the same distance from the inside of the plough furrow wheel along the hake bar and pin the main drawbar to this measurement in the most convenient hole. Put the adjusting lever in the centre of its travel and fix the diagonal bar to the furthest end of the hake bar, and pin the other end to the main drawbar to form the largest possible angle. Draw the plough into work, with the rim of the furrow wheel running close to the furrow wall, and making sure that the front furrow is the same width as the others. Halt the tractor and view the drawbar from the driver’s seat. This should appear as shown in the illustration. The main plough drawbar should be hitched as near to the centre line of the tractor as possible and it should be parallel to the furrow wall. The hitch lever should be in the centre of its travel. If this is not so, uncouple the drawbar without altering the relative position of the plough and tractor, and recouple as follows. Attach the front end of the plough drawbar to the central hole of the tractor drawbar plate; attach the rear end to the hole in the hake bar which brings it most nearly parallel to the furrow wall. Put the adjustable lever in the centre of its travel, and attach the end of the diagonal drawbar to the furthest hole on the hake bar so as to form the largest angle possible.

If the plough ‘crabs’ to left or right at its rear, the hitch should be moved over on the plough hake bar in the opposite direction to the crab and pinned in this direction.



If the plough tends to ‘edge’ towards or away from the furrow wall, this can be corrected by operating the adjustable hand lever on the drawbar. (This adjustment is also used to correct minor ploughing faults and for final adjustments when ploughing headlands and sidelands.)





THE DRA WBAR IN RELATION TO TRACK TRACTORS In the case of the track tractor when both tracks run on the unploughed land, the lateral adjustment is obtained by driving the tractor towards or away from the ploughed land. ALL the previously mentioned adjustments apply to Track Tractors but it must he remembered that the tractor drawbar should not he pinned and a plain type drawbar should be fined to the plough. A swinging drawbar eases the steering and prevents side draught being passed to the tractor. At times an extension can be fitted to the drawbar to minimize this side draught. A track layer must run with both tracks on the land, leaving a gap of 8 in. to I 0 in. between the edge of furrow side track and the furrow wall. This is obtained by moving the drawbar along the hake bar until a suitable position is reached, i.e. front f u r o w equal in width and main drawbar running as near parallel to furrow wall as possible, Care should be exercised not to attach this too far over to the landside, as this will cause a tendency to 'crab'.


Vertical Adjustment Vertical adjustment will vary with the required depth of work and the height of the tractor drawbar. In the correct position the drawbar should slope upwards from plough to tractor and allow the near landside to run on the bottom of the furrow without undue pressure on the heel. If the drawbar is hitched too high on the hake plates, the plough will run on the tips of the plough shares, causing unnecessary wear. If the drawbar is hitched too low, the plough will travel on the heel of the landside and will tend to ride out of work.

Correctly hitched



Pitch Adjustmr


To make provision for the variations in the soil and ploughing conditions it is usual to provide separate pitch adjustment to each body. This adjustment inclines the point of the share, which affects its penetration. It is rarely necessary to move this very far, as all bodies are set to a standard measurement, which is taken from under the beam to the underside of the share point, when the plough is first assembled. With the frame square, each body should plough exactly the same furrow. If hard ground is encountered and the plough fails to penetrate satisfactorily, the pitch on each body should be increased to suit, usually a quarter of an inch being quite sufficient, rarely more than half. In wet or soft land when the plough tends to sink into- the ground, slightly decrease the pitch to get good results. It may be found useful at times to give extra pitch to one body if it is following the track of the tractor wheel on soft ground, and thus match the furrow with the others. Generally speaking, the tendency is to put too much pitch into the rear body, causing the plough to run leaning over to the right and the landside to run with its heel off the bottom of the furrow. Another evil caused by this fault is the excessive wear on wings and points. On the other hand, decreasing the pitch of the front body will, if overdone, tend to make the plough lean aver to the left, owing to the heel running hard down on the ground. This will naturally mean the first furrow will not penetrate and will be very shallow, affecting the work considerably.

Rear Wheel It is common practice for trailed ploughs to have a rear wheel and this is used solely to help the plough to turn easily at the headlands and to act as a transport wheel when moving from field to field. Most ploughs have a rear wheel which lifts and lowers automatically in conjunction with the land wheel and this i s angled to run against the furrow wall, thus helping the landside to prevent the plough from ‘crabbing’. Some of the older types have a hand adjustable rear wheel which, when in work, should be set SO that it just touches the bottom of the furrow without taking the weight off the landside.

Land Carrying Wheel Normally a trailed plough, if correctly hitched, runs well, with the depth of work controlled by the land wheel and the levelling of the frame by the furrow wheel. However, it is sometimes necessary with large deep-digging or multi-furrowed ploughs, especially in soft conditions, to have an additional wheel running on the land at the rear end of the plough. This is merely to assist the correct running of the plough, and should not be screwed firmly down and thereby affect the depth of the rear furrow. Just enough pressure should be put on the land carrying wheel to enable it to be turned by hand when the plough is stationary.

MAINTENAWCE HINTS ON CHâ‚ŹCKING PLOUGH ALIGNMENT The following hints are intended as a guide for checking ploughs should they encounter obstructions or any unforeseen eventuality in the course of ploughing. For a reliable check it is advisable to fit new shares and wings where necessary so that there is no variation due to normal wear and tear. The plough must then be placed on a level surface and adjusted so that the beams are level with the floor.

Fig. 2



S'lS. I

$hare hints

If no distortion has taken place, all the share points will touch the ground surface as illustrated in Fig. 1. A long straightedge is placed alongside the rear body so that it touches the share point and the heel of the landside. Measurements are then taken from the inside of the straightedge of the share of the body in front of the rear one. This measurement should be equal to the furrow width measurement on the beams of the plough. Similar measurements can then be taken relative to the other bodies and these will be found t o , be double in the case of two bodies forward, and so on.

A straightedge is then placed diagonally along the share points, to touch each share point. If these are not in line, distortion will be brought to light (Fig. 2). t

Wings Fig. 3 shows the method of checking the distance of the wing tips from the ground surface. This measurement should be the same for all bodies.




. Fig. 3


lnderbl rlearar;

meas1 ...--d be taken (Fig. 4) from the front of the mouldboard, and at a suitable point a mark should be made. Repeat this procedure onalltbemouldboards, in order to check the relative distances (Fig. 5) between each mouldboard. ..

The underbeam clearance should also be checked. This i s the distance from under the plough beam to the point of a new share, and should be as stated on page 47, col. 4.

41 Fig. 5




Should there be a slight variation in the distance between the ends of the mouldboards (Fig. 6) a small packing piece may be inserted between the stay and the mouldboard. Where adjustable mouldboard stays are fitted, these may be shortened or lengthened as required.

The measurement between the leading edges of the shins (Fig. 7) should be approximately the same as the distance between the mouldboards (Fig. 5).

I t Ik

Where tailpieces are fitted to the bodies, the latter should be set at the same height from the ground (Fig. 8).

PLOUGH BODIES The bodies illustrated in the following pages are selected from the range of Ransomes bodies available for use at home and abroad. I

The width and depth measurements are intended as a guide, as it must be appreciated that both these measurements will vary according to soil and other conditions.

General Purpose Body R I D 119BK ~~


I Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Standard Share Lea Shar-

General Purpose Body YL 16511 I

Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Standard Share Stony Land Share Hard Land Share Lea Share Cast Steel Share

8 in. 9 in. YL44

10 in. YL61

10 in, YL6:

YL 57 YL 45 YL 44s

YL 44s

YL 44s


and Mounted Plough:

For use in Great Britain 8 in. 9 in. RNF 117



For Mounted Ploughs For use in

For use

9 in. YL 61 YL 62 YL57 YL45 YL 44s

10 in. YL 62 YL 62 YL57 YL45 YL 44s

;r Brit&

Overseas -8 in. 8 in.

Width of Furrow Standard Share Stony Land Share Hard Land Share Cnst Steel Share

9 in. YL 44 YL 42 YL 57 YL 45 YL 44s

Semi-Digger Body EPIC 39K



'or Trailed Ploughs

For Mounted Ploughs

For use in 'eat Britain

For use Overseas

Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Standard Share Lea Share Chisel-pointed Share

10 in. 12 in. EPIC 2 EPIC 4 EPIC 19

10 in. 12 in. EPIC 726 EPIC 11

Cast Steel Share


EPIC 726s


EPIC Barpoint Body for Mounted Ploughs

Standard Share Barpoint

EPIC-BP 2 BB 36713


Also available with Barpoint

Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Standard Share Lea Share Chisel-pointed Share Yast Steel Share

Also available with w:ng and share

9 in. 10 in. EPIC 2 EPIC 4 EPIC 19

9 in. 10 in. EPIC 726 EPIC 11 -


EPIC 726s

Digger -- Body DM8-5ZK

For Trailed Ploughs For use Overseas Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Standard Share Standard Share

For use Overseas

10 in. 10 in. 12: ' ? n i 12 or 14 in. D M 2w(L4*;;.) DMD 7w D M 3w(14 in.) -

Share with renewable point Poinr




10 in. 12 or 14 in. DMD 5WF DMD 6WF

uMD 8 222


Deep Digger Body UN 25K


For Trailed Ploughs

:or use in Gt Britain and Oversr Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Steel Share Steel Share Cast Share (renewable point) Ditto int

Deep Digger Body UD 27K


For Truiled Ploughs


For Mounted Ploughs

or use in Gt Britain and also O/seas Depth of Furrow Width of Furrow Steel Share Steel Share (renewable point) Point Cast Share (renewable point:



12 in. 12 in. UD 9w

12 in. 12 in. UDM 2w

U D 13s 204

U D M 4s 204

U D 13 204

UDM 9 222


16 in. 12 to 16 in. JUM 9w (12 in.) JUM 8WA (16 in.) U N 5 (12 in.) UN 19 (16 in.) 204

Good Ploughing