Hydraulic Valves Converted To Electric

Marshall Litchfield wanted a more precise way to raise and lower pull-type implements than was possible with the hydraulic controls on his Deere 4840. So the Macomb, Ill., farmer converted the hydraulic valves to electronic controls that work more like valves on Deere's newer 8000 series tractors.

He used a 15 gpm Vickers two-way closed center electric valve. He purchased it from the Walter Norris Co. Other similar valves are available, but he chose the Vickers because it was smaller than the rest. "It has to be pretty compact so the 3-pt. will clear it," he notes.

The valve installs behind the original hydraulic valve. It holds the lever in position to supply oil to the new valve.

Toggle switches inside the cab control the valve. Litchfield added a timer to the control box, which he can preset for a desired time. "For example, if it takes 30 seconds to completely raise our planter, we'll set the timer for 15 seconds when we're in the field so it raises it only halfway for turning around at the end of a row," he says. "This system takes a lot of the guesswork out of running hydraulics."

The electronic valve will work on any tractor with a closed center hydraulic system, he says.