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"Holey" Gauge Wheels, Notched Closers Geared To Handle Mud
Brian Hoogestraat made a couple of quick planter modifications to help plant in wet soils. A few holes cut into gauge wheels changed them from mud collectors to what he calls “mud hogs”. He also converted disc openers into closers with traction.
  “I’ve been using my mud hogs for about 4 years and covered 3,000 to 4,000 acres with them,” says Hoogestraat. “They don’t plug up like they used to, and they’ve held up well.”
  When he got the idea of modifying his gauge wheels by cutting holes in them, Hoogestraat wasn’t sure if the stamped steel would hold up when hitting rocks. He tested just a few at first.
  “I use a plasma cutter to cut 4 holes out of each rim,” says Hoogestraat.
  The holes are about 2 in. wide with sides that taper from 4 1/2 in. long on the outside to 3 1/2 in. on the inside. Hoogestraat found it took longer to pull wheels off the planter than it did to cut the holes.
  “It only took about half a day to do them all. I just eyeballed them and kept going. After you do a couple, you just get in the rhythm,” he says.
  When closing wheel bearings started going out, Hoogestraat substituted modified disc openers. He had to machine down the mounting bolts to match the smaller bearings on the opener discs.
  “I welded 1 by 2-in. pieces of steel to the rim of disc, alternating them with spaces,” says Hoogestraat. “The notches give the wheels added traction in mud.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brian Hoogestraat, 27515 464th Ave., Chancellor, S. Dak. 57015 (ph 605 310-0123; bhoogy@hotmail.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4