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Giant 80 Ft 48-Row Corn Planter
"It was probably the talk of the coffee shop the first year I took it to the field because I had a few transport bugs to work out. Now I've got those solved and it suits my purposes quite well," says Bill Gottfried about the giant 80-ft. wide corn planter he built. "I can make up lost time pretty fast when we have bad weather conditions in the spring," says the Upper Sandusky, Ohio, farmer.
Gottfried's 48-row (20-in.) planter is 65 ft. long (including 25-ft. tongue) in its transport position. It holds 4,800 lbs, or 96 bags, of seed when seed boxes are full. He built it in sections in his shop three sea-sons ago, then assembled it outside.
He used two 24-row (20-in.) Kinze rear-fold planters. Originally, he planned to add 20 ft. to one of the planters to make a 60-ft., 36-row setup. Then he decided to add 10 ft. more to each side.
"That extra 10 ft. per side created a lot of complications," he says. "The planter glides nicely over field contours, even on our rolling ground, but not so well on the road."
There, it could only be hauled at 6 mph because it had a tendency to head for the ditch. And it was hard to stop once it did.
Gottfried found the answer to that problem by converting one of the front-mounted caster wheels into a steering wheel.
Because of its size, the planter has an extra pair of caster wheels bolted to each end on front. Gottfried used the same principle used on Deere 750 drills to get the second wheel from the end to turn. He mounted a hydraulic motor and small drive sprocket on each wheel tower. Then he welded a 12-in. dia. flywheel horizontally onto its swivel point. The hydraulic motor chain-drives the flywheel that Gottfried controls from his tractor.
Now we can transport it at up to 20 mph. We don't need someone to follow us with a tractor and front end loader to push it back on course," he says. "It's also much easier to fold and unfold now."
Gottfried built the planter to flex at three points - the absolute middle and the middle of each 24-row wing. He made joints for the wings out of 1 by 7-in. 1-in. thick plate metal and fitted them with bushings.
He added a subframe just behind the planter boxes out of 4 by 7-in. and 2 by 7-in. box tubing. The subframe runs 60 of the planter's 80 ft.
He also lengthened planter markers from 20 to 40 ft. with new tubing.
Every 12 rows is driven by a separate drive wheel so Gottfried can shut off any 12 rows if he wants. He can also plant one of two preset populations - 32,000 or 25,000 seeds per acre - on opposite halves of the planter.
He pulls the machine with a Deere 8630 4-WD. He can plant at up to 6 mph and can do up to 400 acres in a day.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Gottfried 11322 C.H. 47, Upper Sandusky, Ohio 43351.

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #1