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“Tripled” 4020 Floats Across Fields
Inventor, manufacturer, and organic farmer Curt Forde recently sent us pictures of his Deere 4020 fitted with triples on back and big flotation tires on front. It lets him run his “backward” rotary hoe across the field in any direction to take out small weeds after the crop emerges.
    Forde is inventor of the Flow Shield, a flat plate that bolts to cultivator shanks above each shovel to break up dirt chunks when cultivating at high speed, eliminating damage to crops and burying weeds (Vol. 39, No. 2). They speed up cultivating for commercial organic farmers, doing the job better and faster when crops are 6 to 8 in. tall.
    For an earlier pass, after emergence but when weeds are still tiny, Forde has pioneered a method of turning rotary hoe wheels backwards so they’re less aggressive but still effective.
    He crosses fields at a 45 degree angle to get weeds in the row so he had to minimize damage from tractor tires. That’s when he got the idea of modifying his 4020 to accept triples on back with flotation tires on front.
    To mount the front tires, he uses a couple mounting plates that bolt on inside the rim to hold the tire in place, with one plate fitting the original hub and the other fitting the flotation tire.
    To mount the triples, he used a combination of clamp-on duals and truck rim with fitted with welded-on braces and clamps.
    After a lot of experimentation, he runs the inside tires at 10 psi, the middle tires at 5 psi, and the outside ones at 2 psi.
    “It’s amazing how well the tractor handles,” says Forde. “When you just have one set of tires on back, the wheel sinks in so the tractor is always climbing out of the wheel rut. With triples, the wheels are always on top of the ground so steering is easy and you seem to have more power.”
    Forde’s website features many of the techniques he has developed to improve organic farming over the past 20 years, such as “reverse tillage”.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Curt Forde, Profit Organics, P.O. Box 141, Viroqua, Wis. 54665 (ph 608 606-0810; www.profitorganics.net).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4