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So, I have a plowing question.


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#1 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2018 - 08:05 PM

I watch a lot of ground plowing videos, I love plowin. I watch old tractors and garden tractors mostly. And I plow with my Ferguson tractor and my garden tractors. And have been doin this for five to six years. And I am not an expert at it. I just like plowin.

My question is, why , in most of the garden tractor plowing videos, is the coulter not used. Would the plowing not be easier if the coulter was used ? Most videos that I’ve seen, the coulter is removed or placed in the up position.
Just wondering.

Noel
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#2 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2018 - 08:11 PM

Depends on the type of ground they are plowing.  If it has a trash cover, the coulter is used to cut the trash ahead of the plow.  If the coulter does not cut the trash first it will build up in front of the plow and plug it.  If no or very little trash cover is there the coulter is not needed.  I leave the coulter on all the time.  Don't hurt anything and don't have to mess with putting it back on and adjusting.


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#3 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2018 - 08:43 PM

What about sod though. I saw one video today that was long green grass and they were not using the coulter.

Noel
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#4 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2018 - 09:00 PM

Sod don't usually cause a problem, but it can.  It is stuff like soy bean stocks/stubble, corn stalks, vines from garden crops are real bad.  Usually buy running a coulter will leave a sharper cut edge to the furrow also.  It is not cut and dried to run with on or not to run with one.  I always run with one for the reason stated prior.  Sometimes one will get a plow without a coulter and separately they can be hard to come by. 


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#5 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted February 09, 2018 - 10:08 PM

Not an expert but after a situation with my 12" Brinly last time out I have a theory:

 

When I was following a big tractor where my wheel was in his deep furrow (probably 7") everything worked great.  Later in the day when I was in my own furrow the coulter was simply packing trash against the shin.

 

I plowed for awhile with the coulter up like you've seen in the videos until it occurred to me what was going on: When I wasn't running as deep the coulter wasn't cutting trash - it was just putting a nice bend in it so it was sure to hang on the shin.  I reset my top link to plow deeper, put the coulter back on, and it went back to plowing beautifully.

 

Bottom line is the coulter needed to be buried almost to the hub to cut the trash and the coulter mast isn't long enough to do that unless the plow is running 6" or more deep.  So if you were plowing shallow (tractor under powered or too light) the coulter would only create problems.  I wouldn't be surprised if the 10" plows have the same issue.

 

I think if we were to go back and look at the videos more carefully we'd see that the smaller, lighter tractors aren't using the coulter where the bigger, heavier tractors are more likely to.


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#6 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 08:02 AM

One thing I did not mention, and thanks to MiCarl's post, the coulter needs to be sharp.  It has to cut and like any cutting tool it won't cut if it sin't sharp.


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#7 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 08:38 AM

Yeah, my coulter is sharp.  I suspect it's spent most of its life in the air.

 

Couple other thoughts:

  • I was plowing on pretty firm ground.  I suspect on soft soil the coulter hub would be buried before it cut.
  • I believe the standard on a Brinly coulter is just 3/4 rod with a hole for a roll pin.  Would be easy enough to make a longer standard if needed.

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#8 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 09:46 AM

Do you think that the coulters that are not all one piece around, would turn and cut better. I don't know what that type of coulter is called. It has some of the cutting disk removed in places all a round the disk. I have found some times mine dose not turn as well as it should, which would make it not cut. I think if its to deep it wont turn very well. I think, but not sure, that the coulter is only suppose to be in the ground about 2". 

 

Noel


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#9 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 11:17 AM

Found a picture of one of the Coulter’s I was trying to explain.

Noel

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#10 ShotgunWedding OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 01:47 PM

From my old experience plowing with real plows (plough as we call them), one would never do this without the sharp coulter.  It has to be sharp and free turning It was to always cut the stalks etc but more importantly started the cut-line for the share, ensuring a neater cut and better/easier pull.   Remember, a real plow has 4-12 moldbolds on it, anything to get an easier pull and better cut is an advantage

 

I've also seen some GT videos, a lot of guys have coulter off or up.  I think there are a few things going on:

  • they see others doing it
  • their coulters are dull or on bad bearings that do not turn, get all clogged up and they get frustrated
  • It's one more piece to "tune in", most of guys plow a few hours once a year and tuning a plow is a pain and they lack the experience.  They limit their tune time by forgetting about it and getting seat time.
  • These little brinly's pull easy enough, most don't see difference with or without them.  Plus, they are too busy trying to not smash into the GT in front of them on those crazy conga-line plow days to think much about it.

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#11 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2018 - 02:51 PM

Thank you ShotgunWedding.

Noel
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#12 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted February 11, 2018 - 11:27 AM

Trash, especially in fields where corn was shelled can be so thick that the coulter can't cut it all due to the height of the trash, it accumulates on the shank of the coulter.  This has been the case at my plow days in the past.  The plow many times had a better chance of turning the trash under than the small coulters handling it.


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