Opening Split

Ford4610

Member
Could anyone give me some advice when doing a world style opening.

Is there any trick to easily line up the pole on my tractor with my ranging poles. As soon as I have moved a few feet into the plot, I tend to see all of my poles. Along with that, my plough always pulls to the left.
 

wuddy

Member
Location
Scottish Borders
I don’t think having a pole on the tractor is a good idea as when the tractor rocks from side to side you cannot keep it in line. Where do you have your poles? I put one on either plot marker then one 8-10 meters outside the plot, I then get lined up and move the first pole a third to half way up the plot. Always stop if you turn around to look at the plough then take your time lining poles up again before you move off. If you are referring to the plough pulling to the left when you first drop it in at the start of the opening this is where practice pays off! Presuming you have adjustable check chains, When you are practising an opening and are two or three meters in stop and tighten your check chains and take a note of where they are, you can then do this to hold the plough in the right place before you start an opening. Once the plough is into the required depth slacken them off so that the rocking of the tractor doesn’t move the plough about! I am sure others have their own tips and trick but that’s how I do it!
 

Howard150

Member
Location
Yorkshire
Could anyone give me some advice when doing a world style opening.

Is there any trick to easily line up the pole on my tractor with my ranging poles. As soon as I have moved a few feet into the plot, I tend to see all of my poles. Along with that, my plough always pulls to the left.

Set the cross shaft for a very wide front furrow, landside crank forward. That way it takes the weight off the landsides. Same for the second to last run to stop breaking the last green furrow off. You will need to find where to drop the plough (as Wuddy says) to avoid a hook on the end.
With weight on the landsides your tractor will tend to run crabbed down the field. You will find it much easier to drive straight once the weight is taken off the landsides.
Make sure you keep your head in exactly the same place. Find a skip and put the marker off the front of the bonnet in it. What and how you line up with is a personal matter - use what you feel comfortable with. Once you can see all the poles you have a bend in it.
Always easier to go straight if you are doing it on a regular basis. I used to drill with 6 metre drills on sidling ground. What I tended to use was the centre of the steering wheel. Do enough of it and it becomes second nature. Think outside the box.
 

arcobob

Member
Location
Norfolk
Could anyone give me some advice when doing a world style opening.

Is there any trick to easily line up the pole on my tractor with my ranging poles. As soon as I have moved a few feet into the plot, I tend to see all of my poles. Along with that, my plough always pulls to the left.
When you have your poles set up turn away from your plot at least 30 m if possible, turn and drive towards your line of poles as if you are actually ploughing . When doing this I ignore the nearest pole and just maintain alignment between the two far poles.By the time you reach your headland scratch the tractor should be completely aligned. You often see people parking their tractor on their headland mark even before setting up their poles which hampers the setting up of poles and probably ensures that the tractor is not in line.. Make sure that your back disc (left handed preferably) is down beside the share and in line with the frame as you would in a finish
 

Ley253

Member
Location
Bath
I only use two poles, one on the far mark, and one out on the far headland.I put a temp one in on the near mark so that I can set the other two without too much walking! That is removed before I line up the tractor, doing as Bob says, you must be positioned correctly before dropping the plough. To check, pull up to the mark, that go and stand behind the tractor, and site the poles, you will soon see if the tractor is veering to one side.
If your anywhere near one of the seminars, attend, and take a video camera. Record the three "clockwork mice" who should be good ploughmen then you can view the tape on your television as many times as you like, and the reason for your problem will come to light.If you can, also get someone to record your practise, undisclosed faults show up.
 
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Ley253

Member
Location
Bath
Set the cross shaft for a very wide front furrow, landside crank forward. That way it takes the weight off the landsides. Same for the second to last run to stop breaking the last green furrow off. You will need to find where to drop the plough (as Wuddy says) to avoid a hook on the end.
With weight on the landsides your tractor will tend to run crabbed down the field. You will find it much easier to drive straight once the weight is taken off the landsides.
Make sure you keep your head in exactly the same place. Find a skip and put the marker off the front of the bonnet in it. What and how you line up with is a personal matter - use what you feel comfortable with. Once you can see all the poles you have a bend in it.
Always easier to go straight if you are doing it on a regular basis. I used to drill with 6 metre drills on sidling ground. What I tended to use was the centre of the steering wheel. Do enough of it and it becomes second nature. Think outside the box.
Love the "Skip" comment Dave! One thing I would add, is to sit in the seat in a natural position, its not required to wipe your nose on the steering wheel, as many seem to do!
 

Howard150

Member
Location
Yorkshire
Another thing I have recently done is using a different coloured pole on the far headland, I find it stands out quicker if you do get a little out of line!

What I tend to try and do is have a red and white pole on the far chip, a red an white pole with one segment marked a different colour on the plot, and one which is all white on the far end. That way you can see what is sticking out to which side.
Whereas some guys put the scratch and the headland poles close together, I try and put mine as far apart as possible. Again this is a personal preference thing which only you can sort for what’s easiest for you.
 

arcobob

Member
Location
Norfolk
What I tend to try and do is have a red and white pole on the far chip, a red an white pole with one segment marked a different colour on the plot, and one which is all white on the far end. That way you can see what is sticking out to which side.
Whereas some guys put the scratch and the headland poles close together, I try and put mine as far apart as possible. Again this is a personal preference thing which only you can sort for what’s easiest for you.
I have a pole with a 4" red square on top which shows above the nearer pole with a dayglo yellow 4" square on top. I try to keep the squares one above the other as I believe that once the far pole becomes visible the game is up. My poles are telescopic in order to adjust the height differential and I can also condense them for carrying on the tractor.
 

Dealer

Member
Location
Shropshire
I don't sit square in the seat I line my dominant eye (right one) inline with the poles also keep hands in the same place on the wheel I use a magnetic stick in the centre on the bonnet acts like a target yes it wobbles in the tram lines but if you stop it should be still in line with your poles (works for me occasionally0 but I cant drive straight so It don't make any difference where the poles are most of the time. if I am 2 or 3 inch's out when I get to the other end I don't worry as long as its straight.
keeps the neighbour on his toes !!!

If you are slightly off line keep going nothing worse than a banana in the middle

don't take any notice of my advice tho, I aint a very good ploughman lol.
 

Ley253

Member
Location
Bath
One other thing Poles are different colours, Red and Yellow. Red one is a foot or so shorter than the yellow, much easier to keep the two in line than to notice similar poles coming visible, often by the time you notice the latter its far too late
 

Ford4610

Member
I don’t think having a pole on the tractor is a good idea as when the tractor rocks from side to side you cannot keep it in line. Where do you have your poles? I put one on either plot marker then one 8-10 meters outside the plot, I then get lined up and move the first pole a third to half way up the plot. Always stop if you turn around to look at the plough then take your time lining poles up again before you move off. If you are referring to the plough pulling to the left when you first drop it in at the start of the opening this is where practice pays off! Presuming you have adjustable check chains, When you are practising an opening and are two or three meters in stop and tighten your check chains and take a note of where they are, you can then do this to hold the plough in the right place before you start an opening. Once the plough is into the required depth slacken them off so that the rocking of the tractor doesn’t move the plough about! I am sure others have their own tips and trick but that’s how I do it!

I put a pole on the two headland marks, one in the middle or sometimes closer to the far pole. I have tried your method and aiming for one pole on the far headland. I have check chains on the tractor.
 

Ford4610

Member
Set the cross shaft for a very wide front furrow, landside crank forward. That way it takes the weight off the landsides. Same for the second to last run to stop breaking the last green furrow off. You will need to find where to drop the plough (as Wuddy says) to avoid a hook on the end.
With weight on the landsides your tractor will tend to run crabbed down the field. You will find it much easier to drive straight once the weight is taken off the landsides.
Make sure you keep your head in exactly the same place. Find a skip and put the marker off the front of the bonnet in it. What and how you line up with is a personal matter - use what you feel comfortable with. Once you can see all the poles you have a bend in it.
Always easier to go straight if you are doing it on a regular basis. I used to drill with 6 metre drills on sidling ground. What I tended to use was the centre of the steering wheel. Do enough of it and it becomes second nature. Think outside the box.

I have ploughed an opening straight until the last 10 yards. Thats the side the hook is on.
 

Ford4610

Member
Love the "Skip" comment Dave! One thing I would add, is to sit in the seat in a natural position, its not required to wipe your nose on the steering wheel, as many seem to do!

I used to sit up straight but now I lean forward. I think sitting straight gives more stability
 

MrNoo

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Cirencester
Well, I use one pole at the far scratch, painted black and then another flat piece of steel circa 5" wide painted white, this is as far away as I can get away with. Once lined up you end up with a white stripe, black stripe (pole on scratch) and then another equal width white stripe. It is fairly easy to keep the two white stripes equal width as you go across the field, if one gets larger you are going off line. It does work pretty well esp when compared to using just straight poles as by the time you see two instead of one you're buggered.
Am still learning how to go straight though, I find sitting in the seat relaxed helps, no point being tense, relax the shoulders and press on!
 

MrNoo

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Cirencester
And as an aside to the OP's post, how do I avoid a high crown.........!!! wider split (limited by furrow width to a degree), take more width with the chip or shallower chip and run a shallower front when folding in. I was fine last season but seemed to struggle the last 3 matches, not sure why.
 

arcobob

Member
Location
Norfolk
I have struggled with my crown for two years and seldom like the result. First point, everything I produce is entirely with the plough and what you see is what you get. Throughout the crown there are good sections and poor ones due mainly to inconsistent depth leading to overfilling or underfilling the centre. I try to keep this in check with the top link but the damage is usually done before my adjustment takes effect. In vintage we cannot decimate the chip with a big paddle so this may also be a tad irregular in height. My chip is 25" wide for 10" work and I run the plough 1" to 11/2" wide and drive off the wall by a similar amount in order to leave a wheeling for the front furrow to rest in.
Any help gratefully received but don`t suggest I join the Royal Horticultural Society.
 

Ford4610

Member
And as an aside to the OP's post, how do I avoid a high crown.........!!! wider split (limited by furrow width to a degree), take more width with the chip or shallower chip and run a shallower front when folding in. I was fine last season but seemed to struggle the last 3 matches, not sure why.

I have the same problem. Its hard to plough the two runs after the middle the same height
 

arcobob

Member
Location
Norfolk
I have the same problem. Its hard to plough the two runs after the middle the same height
The second is invariably higher than the first and it requires a conscious effort to make it look a tad lower from the tractor seat. There is no substitute for getting off and looking from behind.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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