FITTING THE• PLOUGH TO rPHE TRACTOR.
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A New Implement for Use in Power Farming, Possessing the Essentials of Reliability, Simplicity and Efficiency.
AGRIMOTOR DEVELOPMENT has uridoubeecuy suffered appreciable retardation from one serious cause. The plough has been accepted, owing to its efficiency behind the horse, as the ideal implement for hitching to the power-propelled unit. This is a grievous fallacy. Because a device succeeds admirably in connection with one type of prime mover, that is not to say it will perform equally satisfactory work when coupled up to another prime mover of a vastly different character. Farmers have recognized this defect since the agrimotor was first forced upon them as the alternative to the hay-and-oats motor. Now it is as incumbent to build the plough to suit the agrimotor as it has been imperative to evolve the implement used in conjunction with steam tackle.
During the past few weeks several agrimotor demonstrations have been held in Ireland with a view to popularizing this system of agriculture, and this pioneer work has met with considerable success. But the main centre of interest has been a new type of plough, which has been invented by Mr. Harry Ferguson, of Harry Ferguson, Ltd., May Street, Belfast, who has long been well known in the motor trade, and who for some time, realizing the trend in matters pertaining to mechanical agriculture, has devoted his attention to this phase of the industry. The plough in question, together with its work, has been investigated closely by farmers—the men who know what they want, and who, from their extensive knowledge, are able to detect instantly the talking points of an implement. This plough belongs to the selflifting class, one which, at the moment, owing to the acute shortage of labour, is precisely what the farmer wants, that is, so long as it complies with the essentials of reliability and siinolicity, while the weight factor is one also demanding due regard. The self
filter, for the most part, is too complicated to be handled by the average ploughing hand or even farmer, while its liability to derangement is a further handicap. The Ferguson plough may be set down as a " blacksinith's job" from the fact that it is strikingly simple,. while the parts which are inoperative are of robust construction and able to stand up to the roughest handling on the farm. Furthermore, should the breakdown or defect prove beyond the powers of the farm employees, it is within the limitationsof the village smithy.
Simplicity has been assured by reducing the number of integral parts. The process of elimination has been so carried out as to yield an implement containing less than one-half the number of parts of its contemporaries, which not only conduces to a marked reduction in maintenance charges, but which enables the weight also to be reduced to a very material degree, and that without any sacrifice of strength. . Obviously, elimination could not be carried beyond its we limitations—breasts, beams and shares perforcedly had to be retained. But elimination has assured the removal of complications which contribute to exasperating loss of time in carrying out adjustments, as well as the repair or replacement of parts, which also entail appreciable delay.
The most salient feature of this new implement is the lever wherewith complete control over the plough is assured. This is placed beside the driver's seat, and the movement thereof is transmitted to the plough mechanism through a crank supported at one end by the tractor and. at the other end by the front of the plough. The alteration of this lever not only enables one furrow to be cut right out, allowing the headlands to B35
be marked off with one furrow only, but in laying out the field, the inside furrow can be caused to plough shallow and the outer one deep, enabling a good " back to be thrown. This lever also enables the depth of the furrow to be varied while the implement is in motion.
Choking of the plough by loose sods at the furrow ends is prevented by the large disc coulters, so that time is saved in this direction. In certain features this plough even excels the trusty and tried horsedrawn implement, as, for instance, in reversing, enabling corners, inaccessibleto horse ploughing, to be cultivated, it being possible to push right up to the edges of boundary ditches and so forth. It is clean in starting and finishing its work. When released the plough drives instantly to the designed depth, while upon release it lifts clear immediately, so that the furrow is uniform from end to end without any shallow approaches. In thisway line headland is left clear, while owing to the plough being close up to the tractor a small headland is left.
Should the plough foul any obstacle, such as a. boulder, the inclusion of a safety pin precludes breakage of the share. The breaking point of this hitch is well below 'the straining point of any part of the plough. Of Course, • should the obstacle. be detected 'by -the driver,itcan be avoided by movement of the control lever,the ploughbeing lifted clear of the obstruction, carried over-it, and then-dropped.
Ploughing is required by the British farmer demands a light draught. In this plough care has been observed to respect the agriculturists' desires,the design of the disc coulter in conjunction with that of the breast and Share reducing the draught to the minimum. By lightening the draught the wear and strain
upon the tractor are materially reduced, and. this in turn affects maintenance charges, risk of breakdowns, as well as fuel costs.
The issues of facility of adjustment and repair have been carefully studied. Few adjustments on the plough itself are required, but those which are unavoidable are simplified. One spanner fits every nut incidental to an adjustable part, while due regard has been 5aid to easy and simple accessibility. The plough has been subjected to some exacting and searching tests, from which it has emerged sue: cessfully. It has also been placed in competition with the foremost expressions of design by British, Canadian, and American builders with striking success, notably at Dundalk, under the auspices of the County Louth Agricultural Committee, where it scored on all points, gaining the highest percentage of marks on the field.
The fact that a new development in Britith ploughs, designed essentially for operation with power farming units; is one which should receive every investigation by the responsible.authorities at this critical moment. Should it be accepted as a distinct contribution to the Vital issue of the moment, its manufacture. should be encouraged and fostered. Power farmers are on the alert to secure an :implement which has been _evolved to work with the motor. So far as this particular appliance is concerned. every investigation by experts. is courted. If practical, there is_ one feature to which we. have not yet -drawn attention, which shonid be powerfully in. its favour. Seeing that -it can be manufactured_ from about one-third of the materials usually required for such an implement, it follows that an economy of steel and iron; equally vital at the moment, Would attend its exploitation: