Trip Saver Bridge Hitch Built from Old Front-End Loader
Ray Obrecht and son Dave of Zearing, Iowa, built a 13-ft. long gooseneck planter hitch from the lift arms off an old front-end loader. The Obrechts use the bridge hitch to pull their 8-row, 30-in: White air planter behind a 20-ft. field cultivator.
"It works great. You couldn't buy a better gooseneck hitch," says Obrecht, who pulls both rigs with a 135 hp Allis-Chalmers 7030 tractor. "We used the planter hitch last year on our soybeans because the herbicides had to be double incorporated. Next year we'll use it on corn, too. Before we built this rig we needed two men driving tractors and field cultivators to incorporate the herbicides. Now we can incorporate herbicides with a field cultivator and incorporate them a second time as we plant. We've found that it's not inconvenient to pull a planter and field cultivator together. The hitch is long enough to allow short turns, although it does take practice to plant on tight contours where I have to drive away from the planter mark to avoid squeezing the rows. And we plant 24 or 32 end rows instead of 16 in order to allow more room for turning."
Obrecht built a platform for a 2 3/8-in. dia. ball joint which he mounted on the cultivator's 3-pt. hitch center linkage. To make sure the cultivator wouldn't interfere with the planter while turning, he measured the distance from the ball joint diagonally to the furthest point on the field cultivator, then added 8 in. He butted together the two lift arms end-to-end off a Paulsen front-end loader and "trussed" them together by welding 9-ft. long strap irons on either side of the horizontal middle section of the hitch. The long strap irons minimize side stress when turning. He removed the planter's original tongue and replaced it with the tongue off a junked out fertilizer buggy, shortening it 2 1/2 ft. "In case I want to trade the planterI can reinstall the original tongue to maintain the planter's trade-in value," says Obrecht.
Obrecht reinforced the bridge hitch by running two silo stave rods from the planter frame - at the second and sixth rows - up to the hitch's truss. The rods help reduce stress caused by planting on uneven ground. Obrecht uses turnbuckles on the stave rods to adjust tension.
A screw jack lifts the planter high enough to lift the ball off the 3-pt. hitch for removal of the planter hookup.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ray Obrecht, RR 1, Zearing, Iowa 50278 (ph 515 487-7327).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #6