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One Of A Kind Flex Cultivator
"Most flex cultivators have two problems. The wings don't flex downward enough and the center section is too wide to truly flex over rolling ground," says Terry Kastens, Herndon, Kan. who, along with his brother Gary, built a one-of-a-kind flex cultivator.
The unique tillage tool consists of a folding 7 by 7-in. tool-bar with three separate 3 in. sq. bars mounted behind. Kastens points out that it could also be used as a planter, fertilizer applicator or to perform other row crop jobs.
The center section of the 8-row toolbar is 8 ft. wide and each wing is 7 ft. "Most folding cultivators don't flex down enough for truly rough ground. On our toolbar the wings drop as much as needed to follow the pitch of the land. A unique lift cylinder arrangement lets us easily raise the wings at the end of the field," says Kastens.
One cylinder is used to lift the wings. It pulls on a pair of levers fitted with two pin holes. The lift levers attach to a sliding lift bar connected to the wings. In the field, the lift bar is pinned to the lower set of holes, and the bar slides in and out to let the wings flex up and down freely. For transport, the lift bar is pinned to the top hole so the hydraulic cylinder can fold the wings 90?.
Changing the lift bar pins takes just seconds and Kastens notes that unlike other folding cultivators, the lift arms are designed in such a way that no adjusting of hydraulic levers is necessary when operating the cultivator. In the field you simply put the lever all the way down and, to lift, you pull it all the way up.
"Another problem with most flex toolbars is that the center section is usually too wide to follow rolling contours. When you cultivate directly down the peak of a ridge in the field, the center sweep or planter unit tends to gouge. The reason for this is that the gauge wheels for most flex bars are placed in the middle of the two rows, directly outside the tractor tires. On our toolbar, the gauge wheels are positioned directly under the front 7-in. toolbar which means they run directly behind the tractor tires. This way the center section only needs to be three rows wide," says Kastens.
To get the wheels under the toolbar, he used short and squat 9-in. dia. by 18-in. wide tires. Straight-up screw jacks attached to each wheel makes cultivator depth easy to adjust. Kastens says having the wheels directly under the toolbar also helps the cultivator walk through ditches and furrows without gouging because it shortens up the depth of the machine.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Terry Kastens, K & K Farm, Rt. 2, Box 81, Herndon, Kan. 67739 (913 626-9573).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #5