Despite a host of ingenious implements for
soil preparation, the mouldboard plough remains the most popular tool. Peter
Hill reviews its development.
PLOUGH developments focus not on radical re-designs, but more on refining the use of materials and structures to add strength without adding weight, and to improve the longevity of wearing parts.
The most significant developments in plough design in recent years include hydraulic variable width. This allows operators to match working width to the capabilities of the tractor, the prevailing conditions and particular finish requirements.
Equally, greater scope for adjusting the plough to suit the tractor (rather than vice versa) with mechanical and hydraulic links for beam offset and front width, has made it easier for operators to achieve perfect lines of draft and therefore an easier, more cost-effective ploughing job.
Ploughs inevitably have grown larger with the increase in power availability and, more especially, hydraulic lift capacity. More farmers are moving up to five-furrow mounted ploughs and, in some cases, six- and seven-furrow models.
This price guide focuses on these sizes, giving a clear picture of what is available and an easy means of comparing list prices. For simplicity, the standard or smallest point-to-point and under-beam clearances have been used where there are options.
As far as possible, prices are quoted on a like-for-like basis; so, rear disc coulters and skims have been included, together with a combined depth control/transport wheel to relieve the tractor of the ploughs weight when moving between field and yard.
Also included (at around £1000 where it is optional) is a beam centring ram that brings the plough in-line behind the tractor to reduce linkage stress during the turn-over sequence.
Model descriptions show the number of ploughing width settings on mechanically adjusted ploughs, the maximum horsepower rating (which may be less for certain models within each model range), and whether the implements work in-the-furrow or on-land.
There are only four seven-furrow mounted ploughs – Dowdeswells 160 Series Delta Furra and DP7, and Lemkens 160 Series and EuroPlough 8 series – these are priced as footnotes to the five and six furrow models.
Where ploughs can be had with a heavier duty headstock, or in different configurations (eg five-furrow or four-furrow plus extension), the more expensive variant is shown as a model range footnote.