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setting an IH 720 plow


BobinIL
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I have an IH 720 4-18 plow that I am pulling with my 966 set on 30" rows. 18.4-34 tires.  I have slid the hitch bar all the way to the right and still the first bottom only seems to be taking about a 14" cut.  How can I get the first bottom to take more cut without moving the rear Wheel out on my tractor?

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I’m beginning to forget certain stuff that I’ve been away from for a while now- Did 966s have Category III 3 point hitches?

I had an IH 720 5-16s toggle trip plow that I plowed with once in a while. It had the Category III tow bar / hitch pins on it.

I used to pull the plow with three different tractors just for fun to see how each tractor did- one of my 1456s, 1466, and 1086. Also meant to try it with my CIH 7220 but never got around to that- mainly because I didn’t feel like taking the one dual off on the MAGNUM.

But anyways, all my tractors had the wheels all the way in for 30” row cropping. I had no problems plowing with that 720 with those tractors wheels set in all the way, thanks in part to that Cat III tow bar on the plow being adjusted accordingly. The three aforementioned tractors pulled it just fine with the wheels set at 30” rows. I never plowed enough to warrant screwing with trying to move the wheels out on the front and rear on those tractors. 

If your 966 has a Category III 3 point hitch, I wonder if you could find a Cat III hitch for the plow itself?  Anyone? Good or bad idea? 

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Moves the hitch head left and right with relation to the rest of the plow. If the front bottom isn't making a full cut and you're out of adjustment at the pull bar, you slide the hitch to the right, which moves the whole plow to the left.

That's after you've run out of adjustment at the pull bar.

Ideally you'd set the tread width on the tractor to 30"-32" center to inside of furrow tire, but in this age of 30" rows and not much moldboard plowing going on, most tractors aren't set nearly that wide.

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Somewhat related question.  When I was much younger and we would slide wheels out for plowing my Dad always said you had to move both left and right wheel.  If you only moved 1 it would put too much stress on the differential.  Is there any truth to that?  Being young and not too excited about moving wheels I didn't think a few inches would made much difference.

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We only slid the one tire out.

  Most of the time we did not do that OR  put on a plowing dual. 

Before my time, when Grandpa and Dad plowed everything; they took the time to set the tractor up properly.   For a couple acres these days, we don't bother. 

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52 minutes ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

We only slid the one tire out.

  Most of the time we did not do that OR  put on a plowing dual. 

Before my time, when Grandpa and Dad plowed everything; they took the time to set the tractor up properly.   For a couple acres these days, we don't bother. 

You bring up a good point with the dual.  We always had to move both sides out to the same width....but then put a dual on the land side.  I would think that would cause strain on the differential.  I should have thought of that as a young kid trying to get out of sliding those wheels.  😄

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In normal conditions, there is no difference whatsoever to the differential no matter where the wheels are on the axle.  What damages a differential is one wheel constantly turning faster or slower than the other, making the differential spin internally, wearing out the spider gears.  Going straight forward, no slip, you could have one wheel all the way in and one all the way out - and there would still be no movement in the differential, because both tires would still be turning at exactly the same speed.

Now, one could argue that if you don't have the wheels set right, one side slips more than the other.   Moving the wheel out a lot (12" or better) might let the tractor sit enough flatter so the dual would bite a little better....  That would be a reasonable thought behind this argument perhaps.  However, from my plowing memories,  position of the wheel in or out was less important compared to proper inflation, if you had a dual on the land side, wet conditions, etc... the land side wheel spun out anyway on loose corn trash!   I will say I have plowed with wheels set for 30" rows, and wheels set for 36" rows, and the wide wheel setting was noticably better...so maybe they did have a point!

Realistically? I would almost bet that your dad/grandpa/uncle was like my dad - the wheels need to be matched to look right and it was worth the time to do so....and the differential argument justified that time.   Dad would never had run a tractor with mismatched tires, planting arrow straight rows was an important skill, etc......

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On 11/9/2022 at 10:09 AM, IH Forever said:

Somewhat related question.  When I was much younger and we would slide wheels out for plowing my Dad always said you had to move both left and right wheel.  If you only moved 1 it would put too much stress on the differential.  Is there any truth to that?  Being young and not too excited about moving wheels I didn't think a few inches would made much difference.

My childhood was at the tail end of plowing around here. We had tractors set with the right wheel out further than the left and always put a dual on the left side. What little plowing I do made me hate semi mounted plows. The tractor was never set right and it was an ordeal to do a little bit of plowing. I got sick of messing with them and bought an on land hitch 6-18 and wished we had done it a long time ago. 

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On 11/8/2022 at 7:03 AM, Matt Kirsch said:

Where do you have this adjusted? This is the only other place you can move the plow over, and you do that by moving the pull bar all the way in. Pretty much exactly like what's shown.... I'm wondering if you could even "fudge it" by drilling a two more holes...

plowadjust.thumb.jpg.3b2caa48498f287bee98f63923bde879.jpg

Just a follow up I moved the spreader plate over like in this picture except in the lower row of holes.  The plow is now taking a full cut on the first bottom.  Thanks for the advice!

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On 11/12/2022 at 2:17 PM, acem said:

What would be the equivalent row spacings for the tractor to be set on for the plow to work right?

Row spacing is based on the center of the tire, but for in-furrow plowing, what's important is the distance from the inside of the tire to the center of the tractor, because of the furrow wall. Different widths of tires will have different row spacings with the inside of the tire set at a specific distance.

I don't have my 720 plow manual on hand but my 540/550/560 plow manual calls for 30" or 32" for the four, five, and six-bottom plows. Then you adjust the cross bar and the head position to get the front bottom to make a full cut.

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My plan, as of now, for the 856 is to set the tread width to a width that I can get the pullbar to make a full slice with the front bottom. I may go as far as moving the tires on the bevels. I really don't want the tread width as wide as the book says, 60-62". It is nice to have the tread set right for the line of draft. Picked up two more Oliver plows yesterday, (I REALLY needed them) the 5-16 will probably become the one I use with the 856.

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