6 December 1996

Push me, pull me…

SWEDISH farmer, Jan Osterberg believes he can plough as much in a day with four furrows as with five. Want to know how? He has four on the back and four on the front – a mechanised push-me, pull-me arrangement.

"Time spent turning on the headland is significant," he says. "With my set up, I just lift up the one that has been in work, hotch the tractor over a bit and lower the other plough."

Used with a 110hp Versatile 276, Mr Osterberg had to rebuild his rear plough to create a set of left hand bodies – the front plough is a conventional right hand version. One of the main advantages of the system is that the tractors weight distribution is improved without having to carry a mass of dead metal on the front to balance a heavy reversible plough on the back.

"One of the problems when using the front plough is that the view over the Versatiles bonnet is very limited," he says. "In fact, you cant see the plough at all. I believe the design of the new Versatile has a sloped bonnet which will help to overcome this problem."

In the mean time, Mr Osterbergs modern interpretation of the old cable drawn steam plough continues to turn the 100ha (250 acres) or so of arable land on which he grows wheat, barley and oats.

Push-me, pull-me ploughing Swedish style. This Versatile 276 is equipped with a left hand four-furrow plough at the rear and a four-furrow right hand plough at the front. Output is claimed to exceed that of a five-furrow reversible when the time taken to turn on headlands is reckoned.