Plow Help
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Thread: Plow Help

  1. Top | #1

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    Plow Help

    I have a 1953 John Deere 40 and I want to go to plow days with it. It does have a three point hitch on it. Should I use a 2 bottom 3 point hitch type or pull behind type plow for my tractor? Also which 2 bottom type should be used for a 1956 John Deere 420?

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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    How large of a plow mostly depends upon soil conditions regardless of what tractor you are using. For a well tuned 40, I would say you could easily handle a 1-14 in heavy soil or sod breaking and up to a 2-14 in lighter soils with minimal crop residue. Better to go a little undersized and run lower rpms in a higher gear than be screaming along in first gear, IMHO. I run a 1-16 behind my M in a heavy sand-loam soil with great results.

    As far as 3pt vs trailer plow, that is a personal preference. Some people like a 3pt plow because the downward force of the plow is applied to the tractor's rear wheels as a traction aide. I have heard it claimed that because of this, you can run the next size or two larger plow on the same tractor. 3pt plows are also easier to use in tight spots such as a garden or food plot. Others (myself included) prefer a trailer plow because it is easier to plow straighter furrows and it is also easier to adjust. My plow has a spring loaded safety hitch which will allow the plow to detach itself in the event that it hits something rather than stopping the tractor without slowing down first. A trailer plow is also easier to switch between different tractors.

    Have fun at your plow day!
    44JohnDeereBR, rtgt and BigJim55 like this.
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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    44JohnDeereBR's Avatar
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    I would go with the 3 point hitch type as that is what that tractor was made for.it is just easy to lift the leaver for the hydro control when raising and lowering the plow then to try to trip the plow on that particular tractor and raise and lower the other leavers due to the hight you sit on the seat.but it is up to you. we could also do with some before and after pictures of the plow day.John






    Two Cylinder Tractors Cost Less to Operate

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    Since the OP is going to plow days,,, it is all for show,,
    AND a trailer plow LOOKS WAY cooler than a modern 3 point hitch finagled doodad!!
    I pulled a trailer plow over thousands of acres as a kid,,, and plowed a few hundred acres with a 3 point hitch.

    I think if you have the tractor properly weighted,, the trailer plow lets the tractor ride nicer..
    Am I all about comfort,,, or what!!??
    Well,,, comfort, looks,, and pics,,, of course!!
    44JohnDeereBR likes this.

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    Ask and you shall receive!

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    1950 M with a John Deere Model 51 with a homemade frog to accept an Oliver Raydex moldboard. I don't know why, that's how I bought it.

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    It works, and that's all that matters to me.
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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    I'd go with a one bottom 3-pt hitch plow, 14-16 inch bottom. Plow is hitched to tractor at home before tractor is loaded on trailer and stays hooked to tractor until the tractor is home from the plow day.

    Trailing plows do not back up or maneuver in tight places like backing onto trailers well. Unless you plan to take your own loader tractor with you to unload/load your pull-type plow.

    One bottom 3-pt plow takes up a small fraction of the storage space of any other type of plow when not being used too.
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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by POWERSTROKE View Post
    One bottom 3-pt plow takes up a small fraction of the storage space of any other type of plow when not being used too.
    This is very true. The foot print of my plow in the garage isn't the same as my tractor! The only way to back the plow and tractor together into the garage is to jack-knife it at the last second. After I use my plow, the shiny parts get rubbed down with axle grease and it becomes a lawn ornament. I hate to see it left outside, but I just don't have the space for it.

    The only way to make them fit together on my trailer is to either let the entire moldboard hang off the back or load them separately and try to slide the tongue of the plow underneath the tractor.

    The size of my garden ended up being dictated by the amount of space I needed to turn the tractor and plow around.

    All that being said, I still prefer a trailer plow. it truly is a matter of personal preference. Each of them will get the job done as long as they are setup correctly.
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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  14. Top | #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evergreen View Post
    This is very true. The foot print of my plow in the garage isn't the same as my tractor! The only way to back the plow and tractor together into the garage is to jack-knife it at the last second. After I use my plow, the shiny parts get rubbed down with axle grease and it becomes a lawn ornament. I hate to see it left outside, but I just don't have the space for it.

    The only way to make them fit together on my trailer is to either let the entire moldboard hang off the back or load them separately and try to slide the tongue of the plow underneath the tractor.

    The size of my garden ended up being dictated by the amount of space I needed to turn the tractor and plow around.

    All that being said, I still prefer a trailer plow. it truly is a matter of personal preference. Each of them will get the job done as long as they are setup correctly.
    Probably half of the thousands of acres I've plowed were with trailing plows, 3, 4, & 5 bottom sizes. Plowed a couple years with a 4-14 fully mounted plow. Wasn't too bad once Dad welded up a bracket to hang 500# of cast iron on the nose of the tractor so the front wheels stayed on the ground any time the plow was raised. Plowed thousands of acres with JD F-145 5-14 semi-mounted plow for the neighbor. Probably the best for larger plows, 4 or more bottom.

    Still, for a plow day tractor/plow I'm sticking with a fully mounted single bottom. It's always right behind you, ready to plow as soon as you lower the 3-point. Able to store the plow in a very small corner of the shop. I absolutely HATE storing anything I use out in the weather!

    Off ALL the plowing I've done, I've plowed about 1000 feet with a rope trip IH #8 plow pulled by an IH Super M-TA with owner installed Fast Hitch, one short round. Dad could not get rid of trip plows soon enough once hydraulic plows were available. He had two IH #8 3-14's back in the 1950's and early '60's. One he converted from trip to hyd lift, other one he bought with hyd lift.

    I guess if trip pull plows were so great somebody would still be making them!
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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    If I were to plow significant acreage again, there's no way an old rope trip plow would do... Then again, I also wouldn't be using a 66 year old, 18 horsepower John Deere M either. Since a 40 doesn't have hydraulic remotes either, a three point plow or a rope trip trailer plow are really the only options for the OP short of some extreme modifications. Even a 3-pt plow on that tractor will necessitate some kind of front end ballast.

    Rope trip plows are big, clumsy, and getting replacement parts can be difficult or even impossible. However, a decent one can also be bought out of someone's fence line for significantly less than a newer hydraulic or semi-mounted plow. I paid $150 for my plow. I don't think you could get a decent quality hydraulic cylinder and a pair of new hoses for that price, let alone the rest of the plow too. I don't know of any one or two bottom hydraulic lift plows anyway. Good luck pulling a three bottom through anything but air with an M/40.

    For a plow day or working a garden, a little plow like mine will work just fine as long as the correct police don't show up. It may be mis-matched and ugly as sin, but it works quite well for the price. A three point, two-bottom would also work and I've seen several old Dearborn 2-14's around here for around $250 to $350. Just make sure you get one with coulters!
    '50 Model M w/electronic ignition, 12v conversion, and a 3pt conversion plus a homemade snowplow, a Deere Model 51 trailer plow, a Woods RM59 finish mower, a Bark Buster splitter, and a few other toys.
    '69 Sears Suburban 14 48" deck and 42" back blade, an estate rake, and a sweeper.
    '07 F250 XL Powerstroke, crew cab, short box, 4x4.
    '85 F150... I finally sold my very first truck after racking up over half-a-million miles on the original drivetrain.

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