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Tractor Tiler Lets You Drain Your Own Fields
Farmers in northeastern Iowa have been experimenting for the past three years with a new tractor-powered tiler.
Roger Pleggenkuhle, Fredericksburg, Iowa, says he began working on his tiler in 1981 when a local farmer asked him to build a tiler that would mount on a tractor 3-pt. and could be pulled with one large or two smaller farm tractors. "Our first model in mid-1981 was crude but it worked. We've experimented with each new tile plow, always changing and improving. We now think we've perfected the idea and we've begun selling to farmers."
The model 1550 has three interchangeable boots to handle tile 3, 4, 5 and 6 in. in dia. Maximum operating depth is 5 ft. mounted on a Cat. III hitch. It can be handled under nearly all conditions with two 165 hp. tractors. In lighter soils, only one tractor may be needed.
"The tile boot is designed to lift soil from the bottom of the trench to the top as it's being pulled. This results in a very good soil mix, which is essential for good drainage in heavy clay soils. By mixing the clay subsoil with topsoil, we get faster drainage and less horsepower is required since the soil is lifted and not pushed off to the sides by the tiler," explains Pleggenkuhle.
Farmers can lay tile with the new plow by themselves but Pleggenkuhle encourages groups of farmers to buy the plow together and help each other with the job, feeding in tile and digging down to install outlets and hook lateral lines up to main lines. A backhoe is needed to finish the endline work.
"One of the most important advantages of the machine is that farmers can use their own tractors to lay tile at their own convenience, not the convenience of a contractor. I've even sold plows to farmers who now do custom tiling for their neighbors and landlords," Pleggenkuhle told FARM SHOW, noting that many farmers use the tiler to lay tile between existing lines at shallower depths. "Many farmers in this area have started laying tile just 3 to 31 ft. deep with lines 60 to 70 ft. apart. There's even a trend among some farmers toward 3-in. tile laid 3 ft. deep in lines 50 ft. apart. They say this allows faster surface drainage of excess water and leaves a reserve of subsoil moisture in times of drought. It's also the easiest and most economical tile to lay yourself."
Pleggenkuhle's plow uses a simple chain depth guide to maintain a grade. He's investigating the possibility of using lasers or radio beam guidance systems for more precision, although they're not necessary to success of the plow. "Farmers find creative solutions to drainage problems when they own their own tilers. They find ways to adapt drainage to fit their situation."
In addition to the large 1550 tile plow, Pleggenkuhle also offers a model 1400 plow that'll lay tile a maximum depth of 4 ft. It has interchangeable boots for 3, 4, and 5-in. dia. tile.
Both plows can be pulled by either one or two tractors. They've each got a clevis hitch on their leading edge so that when two tractors are used a cable can be stretched directly from the tiling plow to the pulling tractor in front without hooking directly to the tractor the tiler's mounted on.
The 1550 tile plow sells for $8,600. The smaller 1400 sells for $7,300.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Allen Pleggenkuhle, Rt. 2, Fredericksburg, Iowa 50630 (ph 319 237-6246).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #6