DIY kit produces vertical tillage unit

REGINA — Take that old cultivator and give it new life as a vertical tillage tool.

“We had a customer who had to use a chainsaw to cut down the trees growing through the chisel plow they wanted to convert,” said Dean Gaber of Gaber Distributing.

The oil bath bearing unit, which has two coulter blade discs on each side, bolts into where the shovels normally attach on a chisel plow.

“This fits all chisel plow shanks with 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch hole spacing,” said Gaber.

“Chisel plows are 12 inch spacing, and with our bearing the blades are at six inch spacing, so you get even cutting of the residue on the soil surface.”

The oil bath bearing unit has Timken tapered bearings and dual seals on each side of the housing. One seal keeps the dirt out and the other keeps the oil in, which Gaber said helps make the system dependable.

“Other units on the market have grease nipples, and the biggest problem is over-greasing, which damages the seal, and then you have a early bearing failure,” he said. “This unit with the 90 (weight) gear oil eliminates that problem.”

The coulters point directly forward. The system is designed to run at 12 m.p.h.

Vertical tillage has gained in popularity because it often manages crop residue better than a heavy harrow, but it leaves more soil structure in place compared to a heavy disc or cultivator.

However, the cost of a new vertical tillage implement, which can be much more than $100,000, is hard to justify for some growers, especially if they only really need it on a fraction of their acres every year.

Gaber’s vertical tillage conversion kit, which comes complete with bearing housing and coulters, retails at $346.87 per run.

“A 30-foot (chisel plow), you can convert for about $10,000,” he said.

“So for someone looking for a lower cost vertical tillage unit, we will cut the chaff to prevent straw hanging up on air seeding shanks. This is a very economical way to go.”

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