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100 HP tillage machine pulled by two Belgians

Amish farmer Lester Detweiler works his Albany, Wis., farm with horses but he's not against using engine-power here or there to make some jobs easier. That willingness to compromise resulted in one of the strangest-looking tillage machines ever to work its way through a field of cornstalks.
Detweiler, along with sons Perry and Vernon, built a 100-hp. diesel-powered till-age machine that's pulled by two Belgian draft horses. The big air-cooled Deutz engine drives a rear-mount "rotovator" that came off a highway machine designed to chew up blacktop.
The men used the frame of the highway "chewer upper" to make the tillage cart, adding an auto steer wagon axle to the front of the original 2-wheel chassis. The 7 1/2-ft. wide rotovator mounts on a 3-pt. hitch at rear, powered by a pto shaft off the engine.
The Detweilers make one pass through fields with the heavy-built machine in the spring before planting. A trailing "back door" behind the machine levels the chewed-up seedbed as the machine passes. They say that although the machine is heavy, it doesn't take much horsepower to pull it because the tines on the rotovator turn forward, "walking" the machine ahead as it works the ground. The Detweilers had to install some lever-operated chisel points on the machine that dig into the ground to hold unit back.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup,Lester Detweiler, Albany, Wis. 53502.


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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #5