MATCH PLOUGHS ARE A LITTLE MORE SPECIAL…
A plough is a plough, is a
plough, right? Not when it
is a match plough says
Dowdeswells Pete Waters.
Geoff Ashcroft finds out why
LOOKS can be deceptive, even when it comes to ploughs.
While the working principle remains the same, and to the untrained eye, ploughs do look similar, there are significant differences between the models used for commercial cultivation work and the smaller machines used in ploughing matches.
"Many accessories are added to a match plough back in the farm workshop, giving that little extra scope for yet ever finer adjustment," says Pete Waters, Dowdeswells service engineer.
"Our basic match plough does offer a lot more variation when it comes to making adjustments compared with the 100 Series commercial plough on which it is based.
"The 100 Series Delta-Furra MM is a two-furrow match plough reversible, which started life as a three-furrow commercial plough. It offers more hydraulic offset control, independent adjustment of the depth wheel for left- and right-handed ploughing and turnbuckle adjustment of the main beam to help alignment of the plough after adjusting furrow widths," he says. "And furrow width adjustment is offered from 12-15in in 0.5in steps."
Achieving those perfect furrows in any soil conditions dictates that fine adjustments need to be frequently made, and many competitors take their standard match ploughs and modify them further to suit their own particular requirements.
"Match ploughs are truly a customised piece of equipment," says Mr Waters. "Folks want to stamp their own identity on a plough just to give them another option to try and get those perfect furrows, time after time. Many tweaks and turns being made can be just psychological advantages."
But, he adds, there is no such thing as chequebook match ploughing.
"Fitting every conceivable hydraulic accessory, turnbuckle and gizmo in the world wont guarantee you a win; the machine is only as good as the competitor who knows how to set it up and use it," he says. "Hydraulic top links and hydraulically adjusted levelling arms are just some of the items to agonise over when wondering what adjustments should be made next.
"And there are times when temptation takes over during a match and competitors start to adjust a plough for the sake of something to adjust," says Mr Waters. "Quite often, simplicity is the key once a match plough is put into work."
Among some of the more common accessories fitted to ploughs are an additional depth wheel and adjustable tail plates on the end of the mouldboards.
"There are rules to follow, to ensure ploughs are not modified as a form of cheating," he says. "Take the adjustable tail plates as an example. They are a bona-fide modification which helps to apply a little extra pressure on a furrow so it sits on the shoulder of the previous furrow."
And that extra depth wheel? "Fitting an extra depth wheel at the front of the plough allows the implement to work with ground contours and not be leant over or levered up by lift arms should the tractor ride awkwardly over a bump or through a hollow." *
Model Dowdeswell 100 Series Delta-Furra MM.
Furrows Two, reversible.
Furrow width 31-38cm via 1.2cm steps (12-15in via 0.5in steps).
Interbody clearance 91cm (36in).
Underbeam clearance 66cm (26in).
Disc coulters 45cm plain discs on both furrows.
Options DD or YCN bodies, J, K or XL skims.
Dowdeswells 100 Series Delta Furra MM – plenty
of fine adjustments to get those perfect furrows.