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Discussion Forum

Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tractor?

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Carl Dawson

05-27-2003 12:41:42
64.66.111.138



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I am looking at buying a Ford Model 140 four bottom plow, with 16" bottoms. Would that be too much plow for a Ford 3600? If so, could I take one bottom (or two off)? Also, what is a fair going price for these? Thanks.




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Robert in W. Mi.

05-29-2003 15:31:57
216.254.151.68



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  

Why not forget the plow and "all" you have to get with it, (weights, disc, ect..) and get a Howard rotavator?? Your Ford will run a 5 footer nicely, and go through ANY GROUND at over 8 inches deep!! You won't need any wheel weights, or anything else!! One pass, even in "old sod" will do a better job than "once over plowing" and "two times discing", all with out the "compaction" plowing and discing gives you!! Also you will end up with a "level" field with NO ridges!!! (no dead furrows ect.)
Remember, we are talking about 60 inches wide at over 8 inches deep with a 40 hp tractor!!!!
You get what you pay for, so "don't" buy a cheapo tiller!!!!
Robert

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Hugh MacKay

05-29-2003 21:50:51
64.228.11.127



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Robert in W. Mi., 05-29-2003 15:31:57  
Robert: That soil you are discussing is very fragile. Now, what we are talking about here is reproduction. That soil out there is somewhat like a woman. If you want that soil to reproduce, don't get down and pound the H out of it, you roll it over nice and gently. And be nice when your doing so. The good earth doesn't want to listen to any of your 4 letter words as you hit a 8" rock.



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Robert in W. Mi.

05-30-2003 06:58:05
216.254.157.180



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 Re: Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 in reply to Hugh MacKay, 05-29-2003 21:50:51  

To comment on some things posted here:

First off, "if" you can plow it i can rotavate it!! I have rotavated ground full of roots that you "can't plow"!! Stumps, rocks ect, will NOT kill my Howard. I do a lot of custom rotavateing, and "NO", your fields do not have to be "rock free"!! (my fields also have plenty of rocks!) YES, rocks are hard on a rotavator, but that's why i said "don't buy a cheapo tiller"!!! That's "also" why it has a drive line slip clutch!!

20 acres on a Howard???????????? I get, in "very rough service", about 500 acres out of a set of blades, and i've NOT needed to buy any other parts for my Howards (i have 3) other than a few gaskets, bolts, and drive line slip clutch plates!! This is in over 15 years of service out of the oldest one!!! It still has all the origional berrings, gears, chain ect.. My oldest one, is still today my most used rotavator, and is the one pictured in my "last post". It's made me a lot of money over the years!!

As for fragile soil: You "don't" have to pound the soil to death!!! You set the ground speed, tine speed, (the gear box has 4 speeds) and back door opening to get the tilth you want!!! I can leave it in big turned over clods or till it for veggies like in the picture in my other post!! You have to "learn" what the customer wants and give it to them!! Aparently you guys have seen nothing but cheap garden tillers in action, and don't realize what a "field" tiller can do!!!

This "isn't" an add for Howard, i'm just trying to get rid of the many myths guys have about rotavators. Most have only seen what a garden tiller will do, and have no idea that with a Howard you can make ajustments to to till a field to what ever level you may want. I rotavate many fields where the owners have a plow, disc. ect., and still call me to till their fields.

I use to plow and disc and disc and....... my ground too. I bought a used tractor and on the back was a Howard rotavator. I had planned to sell it, as i just wanted the tractor, UNTILL i tried it in my own field. After learning how to ajust it, dad came out into the field and was amazed!! He right then and there was totally against me getting rid of it, and we haven't plowed (other than for fun) ever again!! My dad is now 90 and if you asked him today, he'd still tell you he wouldn't use a plow "over" a rotavator.

Every time a tiller is mentioned, i see the same things in print, too fragile, don't hold up, pound the soil ect.. These things aren't true, you just need to find a guy that has a rotavator and KNOWS HOW TO USE IT!!!

In more than 15 years of custom rotavateing i've NEVER had even one customer, not happy with his field when i'm done!! I've never had anyone tell me, "i wished you had done........." I don't advertise and farmers keep calling me to work their fields, even though i'm trying to retire a bit to have more time to do my own projects!

I hope this helps answer some of your questions and comments.

Robert

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Hugh MacKay

05-30-2003 08:14:35
209.226.247.101



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a in reply to Robert in W. Mi., 05-30-2003 06:58:05  
Robert: I actual fact the only rotovator I've ever seen work is a Howard, other than the garden toys,which I am not comparing. I don't even have one of those. I have no problem with the quality of the Howard. I have seen them working, and the principle I will not use in my soil.



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Bull ####

05-29-2003 21:29:18
12.86.234.96



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Robert in W. Mi., 05-29-2003 15:31:57  
ONly good for a samll orchard, with no rocks, stumps or other obatacles. You would wear that thing out on one 20 acre field.



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Tim(nj)

05-29-2003 19:09:40
204.186.33.113



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Robert in W. Mi., 05-29-2003 15:31:57  
Any ground at 8" deep, huh? I'd like to see you do that in my fields and time how long it takes to bust up that tiller on all the rocks! (I don't mean little golf-ball size stones, either. ROCKS!)



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Ed

05-29-2003 18:25:40
24.46.83.100



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Robert in W. Mi., 05-29-2003 15:31:57  
Just what I was waiting for a Howard Rotavator commercial. Good to see you are with us Robert



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Ray in Pa.

05-28-2003 22:01:54
205.138.21.228



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
Carl, Another important thing to consider when pulling plows is the tractors weight and how it is weighted. From my own personal experience, it seems that for each 14 inch bottom I would be pulling in medium heavy soil at maximum depth, it would require about 2000 Lbs. of tractor. I also figure that a 14 inch bottom in regular loamy soft topsoil that had been plowed last year, 1500 Lbs. of tractor per bottom might be enough. With 16 inch bottoms I would add another 500 Lbs. to the above figures. Also generally power wise, most tractors will have more than enough power to overwhelm traction in 1st gear if the plow is too big, So power is more important for optimum gear selection and preferred plowing speed. The best thing to do is to start out with a minimum bottom's plow that others liked using with the Ford 3600 for you can always go to a more bottom's plow later on if your ground will allow it.

Thanks, Ray in Pa.

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markct

05-28-2003 20:07:44
12.90.164.53



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
i use a 4 bottom, 14 inch JD 3pt plow with my FORD 8000 (105hp),it has plenty of power but in some of the ground around here in the northeast it will ocasionaly have a bit of trouble with traction, but only when breaking new ground and even then its rare. we have a FORD 3400, and i realy doubt the 3pt would even lift the plow. a 4 bottom plow will be practicly as long as the tractor, mine is a good 7 or 8 ft long i believe. when you drive down the road with it on it even makes the front of my 8000 a bit light, i definatly wouldnt think that a 42 hp tractor would pull it unless ya were in real light soil, i think that if ya did even get the tractor to lift it, it would be like droping an anchor as soon as you put it in the ground

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Ed

05-28-2003 09:17:38
198.185.163.7



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
I'd let this one pass - the plow is probably bigger than the tractor. I'd use the following 1-1.5 drawbar hp per plow inch as a guideline. It's not to say that a Ford 5600 will not pull a 3-16 plow - It probably will but will strain the tractor and have problems with the really tough plowing.

2 bottom plows = 1 drawbar hp per 1" of plow - row crop
2-16 = 32 hp ~ Farmall M (33hp drawbar)
2-18 = 36 hp ~ Farmall Super M (39hp drawbar)

For 28" tires (utility tractors)add .25 hp per inch 2-12 = 30 hp ~ Ford 2600 (30hp drawbar)
2-14 = 35 hp ~ Ford 3600 (34hp drawbar)
2-16 = 40 hp ~ Ford 4600 (45hp drawbar)
2-18 = 45 hp ~ Ford 4600 (45hp drawbar)

3 bottom plows = 1.25 drawbar hp per 1" of plow - row crop
3-12 = 45 hp ~ Ford 5600 (52hp drawbar)
3-16 = 60 hp ~ Ford 6600 (58hp drawbar)
3-18 = 68 hp ~ Ford 7600 (67hp drawbar)

4 bottom plows = 1.5 drawbar hp per 1" of plow - row crop
4-14 = 84 hp ~ Ford 8600 (93hp drawbar)
4-16 = 96 hp ~ Ford 9600 (116hp drawbar)
4-18 = 108hp ~ Ford 9600 (116hp drawbar)

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Ed

05-29-2003 08:37:36
198.185.163.7



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Ed, 05-28-2003 09:17:38  
Well it looked like I started a lot of discussion some like what I did others found the variables - and their are a lot of them. Tire size (H&W), lug type, radial ?, weight, weight distribution, soil conditions, weather, type of plow (some pull harder than others), points on the plow, and plowing depth just to name some of the variables. (I'm sure someone will fill in the rest)

The chart I created was baised on clay soils and mounted plows for the 3 & 4 bottom models that tend to pull harder than trailing plows. I really don't have any experience with 5 or 6 bottom trailing plows but understand they tend to pull easier that mounted rollover plows. I've seen an old JD 830 pull a 5 bottom trailing plow - it had plenty of weight and could pull a house. I guess you could drop the hp requirement to 1hp per inch for trailing plows putting a 6-18 with in reach of the 9600. I'd stick to the chart however for rollovers.

I think we can all agree that the tractors specified are up to the challange.

When all is said and done the only way to really determine the best tractor / plow combination is to try it.

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Ed

05-29-2003 08:30:57
198.185.163.7



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Ed, 05-28-2003 09:17:38  
Well it looked like I started a lot of discussion some like what I did others found the variables - and their are a lot of them. Tire size (H&W), lug type, radial ?, weight, weight distribution, soil conditions, weather, type of plow (some pull harder than others), points on the plow, and plowing depth just to name some of the variables. (I'm sure someone will fill in the rest)

The chart I created was baised on clay soils and mounted plows for the 3 & 4 bottom models that tend to pull harder than trailing plows. I really don't have any experience with 5 or 6 bottom trailing plows but understand they tend to pull easier that mounted rollover plows. I've seen an old JD 830 pull a 5 bottom trailing plow - it had plenty of weight and could pull a house. I guess you could drop the hp requirement to 1hp per inch for trailing plows putting a 6-18 with in reach of the 9600. I'd stick to the chart however for rollovers.

I think we can all agree that the tractors specified are up to the challange.

When all is said and done the only way to really determine the best tractor / plow combination is to try it.

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John

05-28-2003 18:49:37
152.163.252.6



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Ed, 05-28-2003 09:17:38  
I hate to pick at the chart because it was a good thought, but it is very inaccurate. I have a farmall M with a lot of hours on it that will pull my 3-14 plow in any kind of ground. M's were designed from the factory to be 3 plow tractors. Also, some may disagree but i have figured out another way to determine h.p to plow sizes. you need approx. 15 hp. for each 14-16" bottom...varying on how deep and type of ground..

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Hugh MacKay

05-29-2003 04:26:16
216.208.58.173



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 Re: Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 in reply to John, 05-28-2003 18:49:37  
John: Very well said, plowing is not a very exact science. Just imagion what it would do to the mind of an accountant.



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evielboweviel

05-28-2003 17:03:54
204.32.71.145



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Ed, 05-28-2003 09:17:38  
In central Ohio It seems to run about 1hp per inch for 16" plows at 8-9" deep at 3mph. 18" plows at 9-11" deep at 4.5mph need about 1.2hp per inch, 14" at 6-7" maybe .8-.9hp per inch. All will be downshifting or going to underdrive in clay knobs and up hills



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Hugh MacKay

05-28-2003 15:31:54
216.208.58.173



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Ed, 05-28-2003 09:17:38  
Ed: you can not use that precise of guide line, the soils are too varried across North America. That chart must be for awfully heavy clay. I pulled 5 x 16, 8" deep in sandy loam on the East Coast with a Farmall 656D. Here in SW Ontario's heavy clay they pull 4 x 14 with that same tractor plowing 8" deep and it works a lot harder than mine did.

Just re looking the chart, if it is right there have been one heck of a lot of over worked tractors across North America. No one ever hooked onto less the 3 x 14 or 16 with a Farmall M. I can pull 2x12 in heavy clay with my Farmall 130.

Your chart says nothing about depth and depth will definately make a difference. That chart must have drawn up by a couple of guys who spent too long in a bar. I mean if that 9600 wouldn't pull 6 x 16, 8" deep in any farmable soil, I'd cut it up for scrap.

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DaveJWI

05-28-2003 10:41:21
216.127.194.67



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Ed, 05-28-2003 09:17:38  
How about expanding your chart to 5 and 6 bottom plows? I know where there is an Oliver 6-14 plow that can be converted to 5-14 and may be for sale. They used to pull it with an Oliver 2255 and I'm considering it for my Massey Ferguson 1135.



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Joe Evans

05-28-2003 05:45:55
209.41.233.212



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
Four bottoms--too much for the 42HP rating. Three bottoms will be OK. It is very interesting to note in these posts that someone else has confirmed my theory of 12HP to 15HP per bottom. Tractors originating in the Midwest years ago--IHC for example--probably were rated on how they performed in the comparatively decent soil in the Illinois/Iowa/Wisconsin area. My Farmall 460 is rated as a 4-bottom tractor with 49 BHP (12.25HP/bottom). However, in the crappy soil here in east central Ohio, 3-16s will make the old gal work.

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Hal

05-27-2003 18:24:26
24.189.147.225



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
I would say 2x16 or "maybe" 3x14 is all you would want.



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Hugh MacKay

05-27-2003 17:48:33
64.228.13.42



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
Carl: Jerry is about right on the 15 hp per bottom. In lighter sandy loams you can drop to about 12 hp. width of bottom will also have some effect. There are also some clay soils that may push you to 16 to 18 hp per bottom. Speaking of Massey dealers, I remember demonstrations of MF 35 with 3 x 10 bottoms Massey dealer stopped one day at a farm where they were plowing with a Cockshutt 30 and 2 x 16 trailer. One crusty old farmer suggested to the dealer, I am allready turning 32" per pass seems to me as though it would be more economical than wearing 3 bottoms and turning 30"

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Roy B

05-27-2003 15:22:52
142.166.42.204



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
Carl,
I used a Allis 3x14 behind my 3600 this year and it was about all it wanted. I was in pretty heavy clay/ sod soil and it made the little Ford work hard. I don't think you would be happy with 4 16"s. Roy



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Jerry (AL)

05-27-2003 13:18:46
216.180.65.124



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 Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp tract in reply to Carl Dawson, 05-27-2003 12:41:42  
It would definitely be too much in my ground. I bought a 3X16 JD which strains a 53 HP Massey. The fellow had trouble with this plow on a 3600 Ford because it was too heavy and makes the front light. The Massey 255 is heavy enough that I don't have the problem. The Massey dealer says to use 15 HP per bottom.



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Carl Dawson

05-27-2003 13:52:16
64.66.111.138



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 Re: Re: Ford 4 bottom plow: too big for a 42 hp t in reply to Jerry (AL), 05-27-2003 13:18:46  
Jerry: Thanks. Although I'm intending to use it on bottomland soil, I think I best look for about one-half a four bottom.



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