Tools And Tricks For Planting Season

Published on: 14:57PM Apr 05, 2015

A few tools and tricks to make planting season easier and more productive:

-If you don't already have a 1/2-inch drive, battery-powered impact wrench, changing sweeps on a field cultivator is a great excuse to buy one. No more dragging an air hose under the machine and having it constantly snag on a shank. Select a name-brand unit, get two batteries as well as the charger, and look for at least 500- to 600-ft. lbs. of torque.

-Buy at least one "wobble" impact socket to fit whatever size nuts hold the sweeps on your field cultivator. You don't have to hold a wobble socket perfectly in line with the nut, and makes removing and installing all those nuts much easier. Don't cheap-out and buy a wobble adapter to make your standard 1/2-drive socket into a wobble--the adapter adds length, and they're notorious for flying off and either hitting the user in the face, or disappearing under a work bench on the far side of the shop.

-If you're replacing the "frog" (technically known as the inner disk scraper) that rides between the disk openers on a planter, and that frog is held in place by two small, short roll pins--use an air-powered hammer to remove those roll pins. Because those pins are at the end of the shank, the shank flexes and absorbs the blows if you try to use a hammer and punch to drive out the roll pins. An air hammer with a roll pin bit knocks those roll pins out in seconds. If you've always wanted an air hammer, but needed an excuse--removing those roll pins on planters is the excuse you've been waiting for.

-And just a reminder: on many planters, the nut that attaches the left-side disk opener, and the nut that attaches the left-side closing wheel, often have reverse-threads. "Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" doesn't work on those nuts.