2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4, Page #26[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
“Indestructible” Gauge Wheels For No-Till Planters And Drills
The gauge wheels are designed for Deere, Case, and Kinze planters and drills and fit both new and old-style models. They work equally well for planting no-till cotton, corn and soybeans, says Smith.
The wheels are made from a solid poly material that holds up to sharp stubble and rocks and also is UV-resistant. The result is longer life than rubber or urethane wheels, says Smith. “The hard material results in minimal lip wear, which helps keep dry soil out of the seed trench. The wheel’s slick surface also helps to keep mud from forming.”
Smith grows no-till cotton and rye, and says stubble damage to the original gauge wheels on his planter was a big problem. “We plant in the same row each year and were tearing up our gauge wheels way too often. We tried using solid urethane tires but still had problems with excessive wear, difficult installation, and tire punctures caused by stubble. In 2012 we contacted a machinist friend, Jake Hunter, and worked with him to build our own gauge wheels.”
Smith used them for several years, and with no-till becoming more popular neighbors started asking him to build gauge wheels for them.
The gauge wheels are available in a 4 1/2 in. size for planters and 3 in. for drills. They come unassembled but are easy to put together, says Smith. “You use a rubber mallet to pound one of the OEM wheel halves onto the tire. Then line up the bolt holes, press the bearing in, and pound the other half of the wheel on.”
They sell for $125 per wheel and come with a 3-year warranty.
“Our gauge wheels cost more than the competition, but over time you save money because you don’t have to replace them as often. We’re still using the first gauge wheels we developed on our farm 8 years ago,” notes Smith.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, 4Ag, 11110 N 1950 Rd., Elk City, Okla. 73644 (ph 580 303-0715 or 580 419-8473; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.4agmfg.com).
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