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subsoiler - good buy?  RSS feed

 
Joseph Weidinger
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I've been pretty stoked about getting a subsoiler since reading Yeomans and Mark Shepard. It's hard to get hands on one, though. This one recently popped up on my local craigslist. For anyone with experience... what do you think of this one? http://columbiamo.craigslist.org/grd/4634435768.html

What should I keep in mind when looking for one?
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Joeseph Weidinger : O.K., the total absence of paint and what looks like repurposed parts makes me think this Has to be homemade, not necessarily
a bad sign, I would look at the shop where it came from ( tell the owner you are impressed, usually that is good for a tour of his shop)

Ask to see the tractor that he says HAS been used to do the work, not the 'small tractor' he says will do the work !

I am sure that this would be very handy for making up swales and berms or huglebeds, and possibly preparing for roadbeds and excavations/foudations
Why do you think you Need to bust up your soil/subsoil? Do you have a 12 step plan to deal with the potential erosion and the damage to the living soil
biota !?

These are just general questions that others might want to know the answers to, I am not an Expert here and will probably need to study to understand
your answers !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Joseph Weidinger
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Yeah, I was thinking that 1-2 shanks would max out our small tractor. I want to make all subsoiling on contour. I'm not making swales and berms just yet (that is in the works). This would be just a general pasture subsoiling. I didn't think it would be that invasive to disturb things too much. I want to disturb it a little by allowing air and oxygen down in the soil, which I presume to be dead. The soil tests on these 20 acres look pretty good, but it grows very slowly and mostly weeds at that. Maybe the shanks are too close together and it will disturb things too much. Maybe 2-3 feet of separation would be better. This doesn't look like it has a lot of flexibility...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Sorry, can't see the pic. What size is your tractor? Most Subsoil plows are going to be 4-6 tine (minimum) and designed to be used with at least a 40 hp tractor (bare minimum). If you can remove tines, and if your tractor is less than 40 hp., I'd drop down to two tines and see how the tractor pulls that. Note; if there are wings (add more lift to the soil) then the hp. requirements will go up quickly. Homemade is not necessarily a bad thing, the builder's experience is key on that end of things. Most Sub soilers will have about a foot between tines and they will be from 18"-36" long, the longer they are, the more hp. it takes to pull them through the soil.
 
Darin Colville
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The keyline Yeomans plow can be 1-5 shanks on same toolbar, you configur. There pricy but the best. Also you need counters for pasture use, otherwise sod damage will occur. In acres USA I read where 2 gal of raw milk stayed per acre not only decreased compaction by 20% but also increased dry matter yield 600# per acre after just one application. Worth a try and much cheaper. Sorry I can't see picture better. Looks like to me no shear bolts- meaning if you hit a rock or something hard you could damage the plow or worse- the tractor.some county usda offices have rippers for rent. The coulter is a MUST unless you don't mind weeds.
 
Joseph Weidinger
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Well it is a 30 hp tractor. Well, raw milk is $10 / gal and I don't have a sprayer. I attached a pic.
00Y0Y_i61gl627O1b_600x450.jpg
[Thumbnail for 00Y0Y_i61gl627O1b_600x450.jpg]
 
Darin Colville
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Wonder if the guy would let rent it once to try it? Is it possible to remove shanks 2 & 4? 350$ is waste if it's not what you need. Diakon radishes a poss?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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30 hp. should pull that one pretty well, you could make two passes with it to get as deep as it will dig. Yes that one doesn't appear to have any adjustment ability, which makes it more of what is called a "ripper" instead of a SubSoiler. If the owner will let you give it a go, I'd certainly do so, just to be sure. Also, you can always use a lower gear to get the max pull out of your tractor, but I'd just make two passes with it so I didn't have to worry about tearing up the tractor.
 
Darin Colville
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If your tractor has drift control put in on max.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Beaver Valley Supply Take a Look at this one, you might want to save up a little more and just go brand new.
 
Joseph Weidinger
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Thanks for all of your replies. More details on this one as we went and took a look at it. Thankfully it was 10 minutes a way, a real plus for us. The shanks themselves are 5/8 inch wide and 1 1/4 inch at the very bottom. Of course they are thicker where they overlap (1 1/4 inch), which I don't really like. It is about 5-7 inches until they overlap from the bottom of the shank. The shanks are 15 inches a part about, but we would cut off the 2nd and 4th, probably. He bought it from a guy and never used it personally (he has another). There is a rack on the back so that you can add heavy stones to to make it go deeper.

Any red flags?
2014-09-14-17.43.48.jpg
[Thumbnail for 2014-09-14-17.43.48.jpg]
shank close up
2014-09-14-17.44.00.jpg
[Thumbnail for 2014-09-14-17.44.00.jpg]
shank close up
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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From the pictures, it looks serviceable. If you don't like the overlap you could always weld the bottom portion inline with the main tine, just have to cut to fit and weld on both sides. The foot looks good.
 
Joseph Weidinger
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We're going to get it, more than likely. I was re-reading the original yeomans book and he talks about the tines being 2 inches wide, 1 ft. apart (the first year, in autumn) and 4-5 inches in depth. This seems to be capable of all of that and the price is reasonable and it is located just down the road.

If anyone has any suggestions on amateur laser levels or something of that nature, let me know. I'd rather use that as opposed to A-frames and water bunyips, because those are relative techniques and the laser level is absolute.! Thanks permies,

-Joseph
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Bryant Red Hawk : what is your opinion of trying one pass as is and then doing a second deeper run with fewer teeth ? I expect that the original bolts
will have to be cut off and I agree welding the m back on is the way to go good hard bolts that will not fail under those demands is probably more costly
than welding ! Big AL
 
Rob Browne
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Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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Looks servicable as a keyline plow. I would not be in too much of a hurry to cut anything off. Run it as deep as you can on the first run then go again a bit deeper so you break up any pan you have. Run off your keypoint and keep the pattern. Keylining really works and actually reduces erosion as the water has hardly any power.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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allen lumley wrote:Bryant Red Hawk : what is your opinion of trying one pass as is and then doing a second deeper run with fewer teeth ? I expect that the original bolts
will have to be cut off and I agree welding the m back on is the way to go good hard bolts that will not fail under those demands is probably more costly
than welding ! Big AL


I'm all for going with a pass as is, it will let you know how well your tractor will perform with this unit. I would just get some grade 8 bolts/nuts/washers at TSC (they are pretty cheep for bolt prices) for the teeth you want to be able to remove, no sense in getting rid of those, just be able to remove them when need arises. When I've done passes with a subsoiler, I always have done two or three passes to get all the way down ( also use a tiller extension to mark the next rows center line so I stay in line). It is easier on the tractor and it lets you find out just how deep you need to go, without over doing it when you make multiple passes.
 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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My tractor is 47 hp, and I don't think it'd pull that in one pass. It would totally depend on the type of soil involved anyway, right? Some in-service high OM agricultural loam will work a lot easier than compacted clay. Did someone say $350 for that tool? Myself, it would have to be $200 top dollar... Just my 2 cents, good luck! Best, TM
 
Joseph Weidinger
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Well we got it for 300 instead. It's an experiment. We'll see.
 
R Scott
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You have yourself a serviceable pasture renovator, made to do the same thing as a dethatcher does to a lawn. It will get into the root zone, but not truly deep subsoil. But it will make good time and really help root aeration and and overseeding. You will be pushing it for your tractor, depending on weight and tires.

I would use it just like a key line plow, it will be deep enough for the first year. Then I would get the $200 subsoiler from tractor supply and use it to go deeper every other or every third line.

 
Joseph Weidinger
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Well, hell. Didn't even know tractor supply had that. I looked at Orschelns, because usually their inventories are exactly the same... but I guess not. Thanks, bookmarked..!
 
Darin Colville
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Have you used it yet? Wishing you luck!
 
Joseph Weidinger
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Tomorrow is the first day.
 
R Scott
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Did you get rain? We are too wet to subsoil right now.

If you can't pull it, take every other point off and make it a 3 point rig. Don't worry about the rust, they should polish up pretty quick if you find some sandy soil.
 
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