Harrows and Packers

 
 
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 277 Flexi-coil System 90 Harrow Packer Drawbar (21.3 m)
304 Blanchard Hydra-Lift Harrow Packer Drawbar Seed Boots
343 Ber-Vac Rolling Harrows
401 Miller Rotary Flex Weeders
471 Victory Hydraulic Oscillating Harrows
572 Flexi-coil System 95 Harrow Packer Drawbar
662 Phoenix Rotary Harrow
664 Bourgault WTP 36-40 Wing Type Packer

Summary of Flexi-coil System 90 Harrow Packer Drawbar (21.3 m) (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.15 MB)

Overall functional performance of the Flexi-coil System 90 harrow packer drawbar was very good.

The tine harrows performed well under most conditions encountered when adjusted to spread trash and to level the soil surface. Plugging of the harrows occurred when operating in heavy trash conditions at steep harrow tine angles. The harrows levelled rough surfaces well, broke loose soil lumps, and trailed well on sharp turns.

The packers performed well in all field conditions and trailed well during sharp turn. The packing force was suitable for creating a firm seedbed.

The Flexi-coil System 90 was very stable and maneuvered well in field position. Turning maneuverability was reduced by packer interference at the boom hinge points when turning in transport position. The Flexi-coil was very convenient to put into field position but often required the operator to dismount and lift the wing cable pivot arm when placing the unit into transport position. Excessive load on the transport tires made travelling in transport position at high speeds unsafe. Hitching to the Flexi-coil System 90 was safe and convenient in both field and transport position if the jack and jack stands provided were used.

Adjustment of the harrow tine angle was convenient and could be performed without tools.

A tractor with a maximum power-take-off rating of 110 kW (148 hp) was required to operate the 21.3 m (70 ft) unit.

Assembly, safety, lubrication and maintenance instructions, as well as a complete parts list, were supplied. No operating instructions were included.

A slow moving vehicle sign was not provided.

Some minor mechanical problems encountered included wing cable attaching brackets sliding along the boom and harrow tine interference with the wing tires.

Summary of Blanchard Hydra-Lift Harrow Packer Drawbar Seed Boots (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.15 MB)

Overall Performance: Performance of the Blanchard Hydralift harrow packer drawbar was very good.

Soil Finishing: The tine harrows performed well under most conditions encountered when adjusted to spread trash and to level the soil surface. Minimal plugging of the harrows occurred when operating in heavy trash conditions at steep harrow tine angles. The harrows levelled rough surfaces well, broke loose soil lumps, and trailed well on sharp turns.

Packing: The packers performed well in all field conditions and trailed well during sharp turns. The packing force of 86 Il/ft (1218 N/m) was suitable for creating a firm seedbed in all conditions encountered during the test.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: The Blanchard Hydra-lift was very stable and maneuvered well in field and transport position. The Blanchard was very convenient to put into field position but often required the operator to dismount and untangle the harrow chains from the harrow support arms to allow the harrows to rest on the soil surface. Hitching to the Blanchard Hydra-lift was safe and convenient in both field and transport position if the jack and jack stand provided were used. Care had to be taken when using the jack in transport because of the minimal clearance between the jack handle and harrow tine bars. Adjustment of the harrow tine angle was inconvenient and time consuming because of the need to remove bolts from each of the 12 harrow sections.

Power Requirements: A tractor with a maximum power-take-off rating of 135 hp (101 kW) was required to operate the 60 ft (18.3 m) unit.

Operator Safety: Caution was required to ensure that the rear hitch jack was in position when unhooking from a tractor to avoid the hitch lifting up and causing possible operator injury. The wing draw cables were difficult to see in field position. A slow moving vehicle sign was not provided.

Operator's Manual: Assembly, lubrication, maintenance and some operating instructions were included in the operator's manual. A complete parts list was not included.

Mechanical Problems: Several mechanical problems occurred during the evaluation. The wing draw cable attaching brackets slid along the boom, two hydraulic cylinders were faulty and all the grease fittings on the packers were damaged and replaced twice during the test.

Summary of Ber-Vac Rolling Harrows (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.12 MB)

Quality of Work: The Ber-Vac Rolling Harrows left an even field surface in light trash conditions. In heavy trash and moist soil conditions, the harrows failed to level the surface ridges left by the cultivator shanks. The harrows were not effective in distributing trash. Plugging never occurred. Maximum packing force of the rolling harrows was 90 lb/ft (1310 N/m), similar to light coil packers. Packing was less in furrows left by the rear row of cultivator shanks. Weed kill was good in dry soil and light trash conditions.

Ease of Installation: Two people could easily install the Ber-Vac Rolling Harrows. No installation instructions were provided. Shims were required for mounting the brackets on odd sized frames. Harrow sizes and adjustments were adequate to permit mounting the harrows without interfering with cultivator components.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: The Ber-Vac Rolling Harrows transported well when mounted on a cultivator. Hitch weight may become negative on some implements with the added weight of the rolling harrows. Harrow force adjustment was easy when the special tool supplied was used. Rocks caught within the rollers at high spring force settings.

Power Requirements: The Ber-Vac Rolling Harrows required 0.5 hp/ft (1.2 kW/m) of tractor power to maintain operation at 6 mph (9.7 km/h). This was less than conventional tine harrows.

Safety: Extreme caution was required when adjusting spring tension.

Operator Manual: No operator manual was supplied with the rolling harrows.

Mechanical History: Two mechanical problems occurred during the test. The mounting plates and roller bars bent in rocky conditions.

Summary of Miller Rotary Flex Weeders (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.17 MB)

Quality of Work: The Miller Rotary Weeders left an even field surface in most field conditions resulting in a very good soil finish, The weeders could be adjusted to penetrate to the tillage depth to provide very good soil mixing for chemical incorporation, except in heavy trash. The ability of the weeders to spread trash was poor, to moderate to heavy trash, the weeders would wrap and plug when adjusted for more aggressive tillage. Packing was good. Packing force was 42 lb/ft (610 N/m) which is less than light coil packers. The weeders could be adjusted to provide good weed kill or to anchor the straw and trash to reduce erosion.

Ease of Installation: Ease of installation was good. Two people were required to install the Miller Weeders, No installation instructions were supplied. Weeder sizes and adjustments were adequate to permit mounting the weeders without interfering with cultivator components.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: Ease of transporting the Miller Weeders was fair. Height adjustment was inadequate to prevent the Miller Weeders from contacting road surfaces when transporting. Hitch weight may become negative on some implements with the added weight of the weeders. Ease of adjusting the weeders was fair as it usually required two men to adjust the weeder angle. Rocks frequently jammed between the weeder teeth and frame, stopping rotation. Ease of servicing the weeders was very good.

Power Requirements: The Miller Weeder required 0.5 hp/ft (1.2 kW/m) of tractor power to maintain a speed of 6 mph (9.7 km/h). This was slightly less than mounted tine harrows. More power was required at higher weeder angles.

Safety: Caution was required when working on or near the weeders due to the sharp points on the weeder teeth.

Operator's Manual: No operator's manual was supplied with the weeders.

Mechanical History: Many teeth broke on the original weeders when operating in fields with only a few rocks. These original weeders were unsuitable and were replaced by the manufacturer. Teeth on the replacement weeders were frequently bent when operating in fields with many large rocks.

Summary of Victory Hydraulic Oscillating Harrows (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.15 MB)

Quality of Work: The Victory hydraulic oscillating harrows produced a very good soil finish in most field conditions. The Victory harrows were more aggressive and had greater penetration than tine harrows and provided slightly better soil mixing. Chemical incorporation was fair. The harrows were very good for spreading large amounts of dry straw and trash but plugged in heavy damp straw. Weed kill was fair. The harrows uprooted and exposed weeds loosened by a cultivator.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: Ease of transporting was very good. A truck could tow the harrows at low speeds. The Victory harrows were convenient to put into field position. However, the operator had to pivot the wing wheels into transport by hand. Ease of hitching to the harrows was very good in both transport and field position. Maneuverability was very good in field and transport positions. Ease of adjusting and servicing the harrows was very good.

Power Requirements: The Victory harrows required a 75 hp (56 kW) tractor capable of supplying 11 gpm (0.86 L/s) hydraulic flow at 2000 psi (13.8 MPa).

Safety: A transport lock for the hydraulic lift cylinder and a slow moving vehicle sign were not supplied.

Operator's Manual: The operator's manual was good. It provided instructions on initial assembly, operation, maintenance, and safety. It also included a parts list.

Mechanical History: Excessive heat built up in the hydraulic motor circuit.

Summary of Flexi-coil System 95 Harrow Packer Drawbar (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.13 MB)

Quality of Work: The performance of the System 95 was very good under most conditions encountered when adjusted to spread trash and to level the soil surface. Performance of the harrows was very good. Plugging of the harrows occurred when operating in heavy trash conditions at steep harrow tine angles. The harrows levelled rough surfaces well, broke loose soil lumps, and trailed well on sharp turns.

The packers performance was very good in all field conditions. The packers trailed well during sharp turns. The packing force was suitable for creating a firm seedbed.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: The transport stability and maneuverability of the Flexi-coil System 95 was very good. The unit was easily folded or unfolded. Hitching to the Flexi-coil System 95 was very good and convenient in both field and transport position if the jack stands provided were properly used.

Adjustment of the harrow tine angle was very good and could be performed without tools.

Power Requirements: A tractor with a maximum power-take-off rating of 116 hp (86 kW) was required to operate the 60 ft (18.3 m) unit.

Operator Safety: Caution was required to ensure that the hitch jack stands were in place before unhooking from a tractor. The jack stands prevented the hitch from lifting up and causing possible injury to the operator.

Operator's Manual: The operator's manual was very good and included assembly, safety, lubrication and maintenance instructions, as well as a complete parts list.

Mechanical History: Few mechanical problems occurred during the evaluation. The right wing transport wheel blew during transport, and one packer separated from the packer drawbar.

Summary of Phoenix Rotary Harrow (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.14 MB)

Quality of Work: The ability of the Phoenix rotary harrow for levelling the field surface was very good. Most of the trash was exposed in fallow conditions. In stubble, the surface was usually left level with some stubble uprooted when using the more aggressive harrow angles. Shallow incorporation of granular chemical was very good and the rotary harrow was capable of shallow incorporation in both summedHallow or stubble conditions. Proper trash management prior to chemical application was required for adequate chemical incorporation. Two passes at the maximum possible angle should be used to ensure best incorporation and mixing.

Straw spreading was fair. Piles or wads of straw left on the field surface were usually fluffed up and not spread. Trash retention of the harrow was very good. There was no reduction in trash coverage on the field surface due to the tillage action of the harrows. Trash clearance by the Phoenix rotary harrow was very good. However, green weeds or tough crop wrapped tightly at the three trailing tine beadng locations. Stone protection was good. Harrow tines that were bent were easily straightened with the supplied wrench. Weed killing ability of the Phoenix was good in loose and previously tilled soil where the harrow was effective in exposing weeds.

Stability of the rotary harrow was good. The centre rear section lifted off the ground while working over knolls, and forced the machine sideways while working through gullies.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: Ease of transporting was fair. The harrow towed well at normal transport speeds. However, placing the unit into transport was time consuming and difficult at times. Ease of hitching was very good. However, the hitch pin fit too tightly to allow free vertical movement. Ease of maneuvering the rotary harrow in the field was very good. Sharp turns were done with the tines out of the ground. Ease of adjustment was very good. Permanent marks on the hitch pole and chains for harrow angle would make the adjustment more convenient. Tensioning the linked tines was easy with the supplied wrench. Ease of servicing was very good. All grease fittings were accessible in field or transport position.

Rate of Work: The harrow was operated at speeds ranging from 5 to 7.5 mph (8 to 12 km/h). The work rate also depended on the harrow angle used. Work rates varied from 19 to 35 ac/h (7.7 to 15.4 ha/h), for the harrow angles and speeds the harrow was operated at.

Power Requirements: A tractor with a maximum power-take-off rating of 100 hp (75 kW) will have sufficient power to operate the Phoenix rotary harrow model HT140 on level ground.

Operator Safety: Normal safety precautions are required while operating the rotary harrow. However, there was no lock provided for the centre rear section when raised for transport, or the wing section tines when raised in field position. Also, there was no hitch safety chain, or slow moving vehicle sign or bracket provided.

Operator's Manual: The operator's manual was good. However, no information was provided for safety.

Mechanical History: The hitch link failed while operating in hilly conditions due to the tight hitch pin. Twenty harrow tines were straightened using the supplied wrench.

Summary of Bourgault WTP 36-40 Wing Type Packer (Evaluation Report - PDF File - 0.14 MB)

Quality of Work: Soil finishing of the wing type packer was very good in all field conditions encountered. The track eliminators were effective in eliminating the tracks left by the air seeder in light trash conditions. The track eliminators left trash clumps on the soil surface in heavy trash conditions.

The packers performance was very good in all field conditions. The 100 lb/ft (1459 N/m) per width packing force was adequate in forming a firm seedbed for good crop emergence. During turns packer alignment was maintained. Sideways skewing was not a problem in all field conditions encountered.

Ease of Operation and Adjustment: Maintenance of the wing type packer was very good with easy access to all lubrication points. Ease of hitching the unit was good. When extending the hitch poor alignment of the extension brackets required the brackets to be loosened before hitching was possible. A rear jack was used to prevent the hitch from raising when unhitching the unit.

The wing type packer was placed into transport position in ten minutes. The sequencing valve reduced the remote hydraulic requirements to one set. Maneuverability of the wing type packer was very good. The telescoping hitch provided clearance between the unit and a cultivator when turning. When pulled as a separate unit sharp turns were possible without the hitch contacting the tractor's tires.

Power Requirements: Average and maximum power-take-off horsepower requirements to pull the wing type packer in tilled loam soil were 23.7 hp (17.7 kW) and 38.2 hp (28.5 kW).

Operator Safety: The packer was safe to operate providing normal safety precautions were observed. Transport wing lock pins and transport lock blocks were provided.

Operator's Manual: The operator's manual was good containing useful information on operation and maintenance. Assembly and parts list manuals not provided.

Mechanical History: No mechanical problems were encountered during the test.

 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Lawrence Papworth.
This document is maintained by Marlene Friesen.
This information published to the web on February 14, 2002.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 28, 2014.