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Add-On Kit Makes Tramlining Easy
Tramlining is the practice of leaving wheel tracks through solid-seeded fields for post-emergent applications of herbicides and fertilizer. It's been standard practice in Europe for years and has already caught on in parts of North America. The problem is there's no easy way to do it.
"I tried to find a kit like this for years. Finally, I just decided to make it myself," says R. von Martels, Ridgetown, Ontario, who's now marketing his do-it-yourself tramlining kit that includes a hydraulic row shut-off and a monitor that keeps track of field passes, telling you when to shut off rows to make another set of wheel tracks.
Tramlines must be spaced to correspond with spray boom widths. Since most sprayers are much wider than grain drills, you only need to leave tramlines every 3 or 4 passes of the drill. Keeping track of when to shut off rows can be difficult to do in the middle of planting, so Von Martels says he considers the monitor an essential part of the system.
"A switch mounts on the lift cylinders of a trailing drill or on the marker arms or 3-pt. hitch of a mounted drill. Whenever the drill or marker is raised at the end of the field, it triggers the switch. When you reach the pass where you need to make another set of tramlines, a buzzer goes off and a red light goes on telling you to hydraulically shut off the rows," says Von Martels.
The hydraulic shut-off cylinder consists of a special-built 2-in. stroke cylinder that fits inside the drill's seedbox. It moves a long 1/2 in. dia. steel rod that closes off one or two rows with slide gates. Fits almost any drill and can be fitted to shut off any rows to match whatever wheel spacing is needed.
The monitor, which measures 4 1/2 by 7 1/2 by 2 1/2 in., mounts anywhere in the cab. The hydraulic shut-off requires its own hydraulic outlet. Von Martels may also come out with an electric shut-off in the future.
"I used it to tramline 500 acres of wheat last fall and had no problems at all. Next spring I plan to use it on no-till soybeans. Production lost in the tramlines is made up for by the rows on either side, which produce higher yields due to increased sunlight and space," says Von Martels.
The monitor and shut-off can be purchased individually or as a package. The shut-off, including cylinder and shut-off plates, sells for $175 (you supply the 1/2-in. rod). The monitor sells for $475.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, R. Von Martels, Rt. 1, Ridgetown, Ontario N0P 2C0 Canada (ph/fax 519 674-0054).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1