SEMI-MOUNTED ploughs are set for a comeback, according to Dowdeswell Engineering.
Speaking at Agromek, John Young, Dowdeswells export manager, said farmers were getting fed up with their tractors falling apart as a result of lifting long and heavy fully-mounted reversibles.
"The obvious solution is to move to a semi-mounted," he explained. "The problem is semi-mounteds can be slow and cumbersome when turning on the headland. As a comparison, a fully-mounted plough could be halfway down its next pass while a semi-mounted was still negotiating the turn."
Making its European debut at Agromek was Dowdeswells solution to this dilemma, the 180-series, semi-mounted plough.
Available in five-, six- and seven-furrow versions, the firm claims the new ploughs are capable of headland turns at least 50% faster than with traditional semi-mounteds. These speedier turns come from new front-end geometry, which enables a tighter turning circle, and an automatic control system for lifting and reversing the plough bodies.
In the field DEC auto control reduces driver tasks at the end of a bout. As the outfit crosses the headland mark the driver operates the main hydraulic lever/ switch to raise the ploughs front furrow. Then auto control takes over.
After a preset time the rear wheel lifts the rear furrow out of work and starts to steer, front furrow width narrows, plough bodies reverse and the front furrow widens again. When the driver returns into work he just lowers the front furrow and, again, everything else looks after itself.
DEC control is standard on all 180-series ploughs, which also come with manually adjustable furrow widths from 305-457mm (12-18in) and either shearbolt or auto-reset body protection. Price of the shearbolt-protected seven-furrow plough is £23,859. *
Dowdeswells 180-series semi-mounted plough… Faster turns.