Try the Rock Test on Your Planter

March 17, 2010 07:00 PM

Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Business & Crops Online Editor
Is your planter ready for long hours in the field? Farm Journal Associate Agronomist Missy Bauer says a common problem she sees is worn parallel arms or damaged bolts and bushings on the row units.
To see if your planter has these problems, Bauer suggests trying the "rock” test.
Bauer says you should try to shaking the row unit up and down. If it rocks, or moves, you may need to replace bolts and bushings.
Watch the Rock Test:
"If the parallel arms are too loose when planting, you'll notice the row units bouncing around a lot,” she says. "This can cause a lot of other problems – such as not having the right pressure or seed tube issues.”
If your row units don't pass the rock test, Bauer suggests tightening up all the bolts. If that doesn't work, she suggests replacing all the bolts and bushings on one row unit, then comparing it to the other units. "You can normally see where the problem is at,” she says.
Bauer suggests using the rock test on your planter several times a season.
For More Information
Wheel tracks, ruts, planter pinch rows and more will be waiting once the ground thaws out and dries. (3/11/2010)
Look at these photos to see if you can figure out what's wrong with all of these planter parts.
Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer provides a few key steps to make sure your planter is ready for spring.
Take a look at the sights of the first-every Corn College Planter Clinic. (3/16/2010)

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