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Hitch Makes 16 Row Planter Out Of Two 8 Row Machines
Dennis DeHaan, Platte, S. Dak., cuts his corn planting time in half by hooking two 8-row Deere Max Emerge planters (36 in. row spacing) side by side using a specially-built hitch.
The hitch pulls the two planters side by side for planting and has them hinged together at the toolbars with a 1 1/2-in. by 3-ft. pin. The two planter tongues are in turn attached to the hitch DeHaan designed. The tractor pulls this hitch off a tongue which is centered between the two planters. Four 12L by 15 pivoting wheels help carry hitch weight.
To switch to the transport position, DeHaan unhooks from the hitch, unhinges the planters and hooks up to a transport tongue attached to the back of one planter (see drawing). As he pulls ahead with the tractor, the second planter automatically falls into position behind the first planter. He then locks the tires on the hitch in the straight position. The transport tongue pivots off the front of the planter so it can swing up and out of the way when planting.
Going back to the planting position involves unhooking from the transport tongue, hooking up to the hitch tongue, unlocking the wheels, driving ahead and then inserting the hinge pin.
DeHaan points out that the pin/hinge linkage system allows flex between the planters so he can plant on rolling ground, plus it allows him to plant end rows with one planter out of the ground. He notes that despite its width in the planting configuration he can turn on a dime. In the transport position, he can take 90 corners without any problems. In the transport mode, the planter combo is about 45 ft. long.
The hitch is made of 7-in. steel tubing. The only modification to planters is that 4-in. was cut off the toolbars and new home-built markers were added. DeHaan says total cost for the hitch was about $7,000. An added advantage he feels, is that the resale value of two eight-rows will be better than one 16-row.
Meyerink Welding and Farm Supply built much of the hitch for DeHaan. Dave Meyerink notes that the firm will custom build hitches on order, and that the hitches could be modified for both smaller and larger planters.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dave Meyerink, Rt. 1., Box 219, Platte, S. Dak. 57369 (ph 605 337-3134).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3