Tough Tillage Update

The right small disc can still pack a big punch

Ask a group of farmers what they like to see in their equipment, and you’ll likely to hear two things: versatility and durability.

Sure, we expect to see these qualities in large disc harrows…but what about smaller models? Are there any small discs on the market that pack a big punch?

You bet! AMCO’s 3-point discs are built to be just as tough and flexible as our large harrows. Because of their compact design, our smaller discs can handle any job you throw at them. Because of their durability, they can overcome the toughest operating conditions.

Need proof? Check out our LOF Offset and LTF Double Offset Harrows.

LOF Lift Offset Harrow

Weighing in at 2,392 pounds, the LOF is designed to tackle specialized applications like building and maintaining food plots, logging roads, gardens, turn rows, and firebreaks. It’s also great for seedbed preparation.

LOF

LOF features include:

  • Greaseable ball-type, toggle-mounted Protect-O-Shield® Bearings with zerk and wear guards, guaranteed for two full years.
  • Optional Shock Absorber Bearing Risers to relieve shock when disc blade encounters obstacles.
  • 1½” square, high-carbon, cold-rolled steel axles.
  • 3″ x 4″ x ¼” rectangular tubing on the main frame and 3″ x 5″ x ¼” on the gang frame.
  • Standard heavy-duty scrapers with replaceable high-carbon blades remove soil buildup from cutting blades.
  • Standard 24″ x ¼” cutout blades on 9″ spacing with 2″ step-down blades on right front and right rear.
  • Standard 3-point hitch fits category II or III hitches and is quick-hitch compatible.
  • Gang angles on the front and rear adjust 14° to 18° to adapt to any soil conditions.
  • Optional, bolt-on attachment feathering blade adds smoother finish at faster speeds.

Want to learn more? Check out this video of AMCO Sales & Marketing Representative Charlie Lane breaking down the LOF’s top features.


Getting the job done at any size: The LOF is available in three cutting widths: 7’6″, 8’3″, and 9’0″.


LTF Lift Double Offset Harrow

Built AMCO tough, the LTF makes tillage and seedbed preparation a breeze. And, like the LOF, it can easily handle building and maintaining food plots, logging roads, gardens, turn rows, and firebreaks.

LTF

LTF features include:

  • Exclusive shield protects eight greaseable ball-type, toggle-mounted, triple lip sealed Protect-O-Shield Bearings. The design eliminates blown seals and prevents wrap damage. Guaranteed for two full years.
  • Shock Absorber Bearing Risers absorb shock when disc blades encounter obstacles, flexing to lift blades that have met an obstruction while keeping the other gangs in contact with the soil.
  • 18″ x ¼” cutout blades on small-frame harrows and 22″ x ¼” cutout blades on large-frame harrows.
  • Drilled and threaded bumper washers for easy installation of optional feathering blades.
  • Small-frame models fit category I hitches. Large-frame models and the Pine Plantation model fit category II or III quick hitches.
  • Gang angles adjust from 14° to 18° to adapt to any soil conditions.
  • 1½” square, high-carbon, cold-rolled steel axles.
  • Standard heavy-duty scrapers with replaceable high-carbon blades remove soil buildup from cutting blades.
  • Optional feathering blades catch soil thrown by blades on the front gang before it falls in adjacent rows, resulting in a smooth finish and allowing faster operation.
  • A rugged, tubular, welded, steel-reinforced frame with a durable, powder-coated finish.
  • Two auxiliary bars provide additional support for the gang frames.

Watch the video below to see the LTF in action.

No matter their size, AMCO’s discs are built with one thing in mind: getting the job done. To learn more about the LTF, LOF, and the rest of the AMCO 3-point disc lineup, contact an AMCO tough tillage expert today.

 

G2 Wheel Offset Harrow breaks ground in construction

G2-fullframeAs AMCO’s most massive tool, the G2 Wheel Offset Harrow is famous for its primary tillage performance in tough conditions. But did you know the same features that make the G2 a force to be reckoned with during planting also make it an asset in the construction industry?

“In construction, equipment has to stand up to repeated heavy-duty use, impacts, moisture, sunlight, and weather,” said AMCO Marketing Manager Michael Atwood. “The G2 has gained a reputation as a rugged harrow that can handle these demands.”

The G2 is specifically designed to take on challenging jobs, like working ground that has never been broken before or operating in heavily wooded conditions. Dual spring stabilizers keep the G2 level in changing ground conditions and help the harrow absorb rough terrain.

Weighing in at an impressive 10,179-18,342 lbs., the G2 is equipped with 36″ x ½” cutout blades. It offers a maximum cutting depth of 18 inches and cutting widths of up 20 feet. This gives the G2 power to get down to the root system and move significantly more dirt than other products on the market, making it the ideal harrow for clearing away vegetation.

To handle the 379-550 lbs. of force per blade exerted by the G2, AMCO partnered with a local manufacturer to design an oversized hydraulic cylinder with a special clevis that lifts the harrow into transport position on dual wheels.

“The G2’s scraper is another major advantage,” said Atwood. “It’s a welded system with a curved moldboard, which keeps the blade free of debris when you’re cutting through trash, mixing, aerating, and leveling soil.”

In addition to the scraper, the G2 has several other features that protect it from rough terrain, weather, and harsh impacts. The harrow’s powder-coat finish is more than twice as durable as a wet-paint finish, protecting it from scrapes, abrasions, and flaking. The G2 is also equipped with 2¾” triple-lip sealed Protect-O-Shield® bearings, which eliminate blown seals and prevent wrap damage. Safety features include a transporting lockout, safety chains, a slow-moving placard, and light kits.

“The G2 Wheel Offset Harrow gets the job done,” said Atwood. “It’s an asset on any construction site, whether you’re breaking up road beds, clearing underbrush, or breaking new ground.”

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the G2, contact our tough tillage experts today.

Did you know?  Three different tongue settings enable left and right offset positions on the G2.

tongue-settings

Say goodbye to blown seals with AMCO Protect-O-Shield Bearings

When you’re out in the field, nothing slows you down like having to replace a bearing clogged with dirt, stubble, and debris. To keep you moving, AMCO fortifies the following equipment with our industry-leading Protect-O-Shield® Bearings:

Protect-O-Shield Bearings are extremely durable; their design virtually eliminates blown seals and wrap damage. For starters, the triple-lip seals lock in grease to keep the bearings properly lubricated. The bearing also holds the seal securely in place during lubrication, preventing pressure from the grease gun from causing a blowout.

But the real secret is our protective shield, which provides an extra layer of defense against dirt and debris. The protective shield covers both sides of the bearing. Any material your equipment kicks up while moving through the field is blocked from damaging or getting stuck in your bearings, allowing you to cover more acres and spend less time replacing clogged or damaged bearings.

“The Protect-O-Shield Bearing is designed to be over-greased to purge out dirt and debris, which will help increase the life of the bearing,” said AMCO Marketing Manager Michael Atwood.

AMCO Protect-O-Shield Bearings are guaranteed for two full years. They should be re-lubricated with appropriate conforming grease after each use and at the end of the season. During lubrication, the bearing should purge new grease and then be rotated to ensure the cavity is completely filled.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our Protect-O-Shield Bearings, contact our tough tillage experts today.

Did you know? This summer, AMCO introduced our new spokesperson, Joe Ricky! J.R. is a longtime AMCO customer and host of the video series “Words of Wisdom With Joe Ricky.” In this series, which is posted in the Videos section of our Facebook page, J.R. gives his advice and perspective on using AMCO equipment. Check out his take on our Protect-O-Shield Bearings!

5 key factors for getting the perfect tillage depth

Disc cutting depth has a major impact on overall crop yield. Cutting too shallow may lead to weak root systems, varying soil temperatures, and uneven emergence. Cutting too deeply puts unnecessary strain on equipment.

But setting and maintaining the ideal cutting depth is a delicate balance. To help you master it, AMCO has created this list of five key factors you need to consider while setting up and operating your disc.

Blade diameter

LOF-Front-Rear-GangWhen setting your disc’s tillage depth, the first thing to consider is blade diameter. Over the years, AMCO’s tough tillage experts have found that the ideal cutting depth in normal operating conditions is approximately 25% of the blade diameter. For example, for a 32″ blade, the cutting depth is about 8″. But for a 26″ blade, the cutting depth is about 6.5″.

Once you’ve calculated optimal tillage depth, set your disc to that depth using the depth controls.

Weight per blade

While it may be tempting to jump right into the field after setting the tillage depth, other factors must be taken into consideration. For example, the more weight a blade carries, the deeper it will cut—no matter the diameter.

Weight per blade is calculated by dividing the weight of the disc by the number of blades. Make a short test pass in an area similar to where you’ll be tilling and measure the depth of the blade furrow. If the furrow is deeper than one quarter of the blade diameter, there is too much weight on the blade. Relieve the pressure by reducing the tillage depth using the depth controls. If it’s too shallow, increase the pressure by increasing the tillage depth.

Blade angle

Like weight per blade, blade angle effects tillage depth. Specifically, setting the blades at a sharp angle increases blade penetration, while a shallow angle decreases penetration.

As you make adjustments to factor in weight per blade, also consider adjusting the blade angle. Keep making adjustments and performing test passes until the disc furrow measures one quarter of the blade diameter.

LOF-Gang-Angle-Corner

Blade angle can have a significant impact on tillage depth. Whether you are using AMCO’s LOF Lift Offset Harrow (pictured) or another unit, make sure to check the angle of your blades and make adjustments as needed using the gang angle.

Speed

Even if your disc is locked in to all the right settings, field and operating conditions can impact your disc’s cutting depth. For example, operating a disc too fast or too slow prevents it from penetrating the soil at the correct depth. The disc won’t be able to effectively break up and toss the soil, which leads to shallow cuts.

In most conditions, the optimal operating speed is approximately 4–6 miles per hour. In sandier soils, discs can be operated up to 8 miles per hour. If you are unsure what the right speed is for your soil conditions, make a few test passes at different speeds and measure the furrow depth.

Soil conditions

Like speed, soil conditions can have a major effect on tillage depth. In sandy soil, the disc may sink and cause the blades to cut too deeply. Tough, chunky “gumbo” soil might keep your disc from getting the correct penetration. If that’s the case, extra passes might be required.

As you make test passes during the set-up phase, you should get a good feel for the soil condition you’ll be working in, and you can make the proper adjustments. Just make sure to keep an eye out for changing soil conditions as you till–if you sense a change, check the depth of your furrows and make adjustments if necessary.

 

Getting your disc to cut at the correct depth often requires set-up time, but it’s well worth it when you achieve good yields and a return on your investment. To learn more about setting and operating your disc at the right tillage depth, contact our tough tillage experts today.

 

Did you know? A disc will incorporate residue into the ground roughly as deep as half the cutting depth. To break dirt clods most effectively, your second pass through the field should not be on the same angle as the first pass. Instead, enter the field anywhere from 30° to 90° off the angle of the first pass; this will help reduce streaks in the residue and provide a smoother soil finish.

 

Build the perfect levee in five steps

levee-plow

This month, rice-planting season is in full swing across the United States.

Rice is unique because of the irrigated conditions it’s grown in. For your rice to thrive, you need a well-built levee that produces just the right controlled flooding environment. To help you maximize the success of your rice crop, AMCO has created this guide to building quality levees with our revolutionary levee plow lineup, which includes the hydraulically controlled LF6 and LJ6 and manually controlled MLF6 and MLJ6.

STEP ONE: HITCH AND PREPARE FOR TRANSPORT

Before using your AMCO Levee Plow, double-check that all nuts and bolts are properly tightened and all cotter pins are spread. Make sure the plow has been lubricated.

AMCO Levee Plows are designed to fit category II and III three-point hitches and quick couplers. To hitch the plow to your tractor, simply pin it to the appropriate holes using the spacers provided.

The levee plow comes with standard adjustable parking stands. For transport or field work, the stands should be raised and pinned. For unhitching and storage, the stands should always be lowered to prevent tip-overs.

Caution – After parking the levee plow, always check to make sure it can’t be accidentally overturned.

STEP TWO: ADJUST GANG ANGLES

levee-plow-adjustable-gang

Move gangs forward or back to control the cutting angle.

The gangs may be set at any angle from 18-28 degrees. Under normal operating conditions, the gangs should be set somewhere between these two extremes for the best results. A greater cutting angle will move the soil further and improve penetration. A lesser angle will reduce the number of large clods and the amount of “balling up” the plow may experience in wet conditions. To decrease the gang angle, remove the angle-adjusting pins, located underneath the ends of the main frame. Then, shift the gangs forward and replace the pins at the desired setting. Before cutting, make sure both gangs are pinned off at the same location. To increase the gang angle, move the gangs toward the rear and re-pin.

STEP THREE: ADJUST CUTTING WIDTH

Use the ratchet jack on the side links to adjust the plow’s overall cutting width. For 8-blade plows, use the lower mounting lugs; for 10-blade plows, use the upper mounting lugs.

STEP FOUR: ADJUST GANG TILT

On the MLF6 and MLJ6, the gang tilt is adjusted manually. The LF6 and LJ6 are equipped with on-the-go tilt adjustment, so both hydraulic gangs can be simultaneously tilted from the tractor seat. This feature also allows the operator to reduce the overall number of passes, saving time and fuel. A tilt indicator that displays hydraulic cylinder stroke is located on the right-hand gang of the LF6 and LJ6, letting you know how much the gangs are tilted.

Levee-plow-multipliable-blades

Different blade configurations are available to achieve desired levee type.

STEP FIVE: CONSTRUCT THE LEVEE

The number of passes required to build a levee depends on the soil condition and the desired depth. Under normal operating conditions, as a general rule, a levee can be constructed in three passes. While there are many methods of constructing a levee, below we have laid out the basic steps of the most common method.

When constructing your levee:

  • Limit the depth of the cut on the first pass to avoid plowing up large clods. To prevent water seepage, the core of the levee should be made up of fine soil particles.
  • If possible, allow time for the soil to dry between passes. Large clods are more readily pulverized in dry soil, which in turn makes the seedbed less porous and a better environment for growing rice.
  • During the first pass, the two middle blades will do most of the work. Limiting gang tilt and primarily using the middle blades on subsequent passes will build a steep-sloped levee with a shallow borrow furrow on the sides.

Tip – A “borrow furrow” is formed when nearby soil is used, or “borrowed”, to build the levee. A borrow furrow can help with draining the rice field. If that is not desirable for your operation, use the optional feathering blade kit to reduce the effects of a steep borrow furrow.

  • Pack the center of the levee with one or two passes of the tractor wheels to provide an impervious core before making the final pass.
  • Firm and shape the levee during the final pass.

Building a high-quality levee helps ensure a successful rice crop. If you have any questions about levee building or about AMCO’s Levee Plow lineup, contact our tough tillage experts today.

Did you know? Both our Manual and Hydraulic Levee Plows are designed with reversible gangs, giving them the ability to both build up and tear down levees.

levee-plow-soil-guide

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