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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    9
    Location
    Mansfield, Ohio
    Tractor
    Grillo G85D

    Default Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    Hi Folks,


    For those of you who have or operate a berta rotary plow, what throttle do you set your engine at when you are plowing? I plowed about 3000 square feet of rather hard clay with it, in 1st gear, using full throttle, and it was probably the most physically demanding work I've ever done. Keeping it going straight was impossible.

    Would it be less demanding of the operator to plow at lower throttle. Would wheel weights make it easier to control and stay in the furrow?

    The user manual for the plow says something along the lines of "The plow should be used without operator fatigue", but I was quite fatigued after uusing it! I am by no means disappointed with its performance, because it cuts so deep in one pass, but I'm just curious if I could make the use of the berta plow less "back breaking". The plow is powered by a 10 HP Grillo 85D with a total of 5 inches of axle extensions.

    Thanks folks for any advice!

    -Bruce

  2. #2
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    737
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    I run mine about 3/4 throttle, but I have an 11 hp diesel and a double plow with a higher gear ratio. Joel told me not to borrow out the plow because nothing else will run it unless it has a KD440 on it.

    If you're as dry as we are (and we're incredibly dry right now), plowing is gonna be difficult. The area would have worked up much nicer a couple days after a soaking rain. Of course, you could simulate rain with a garden hose. Extremely dry ground will also wear your points much faster than ground with adequate moisture. Taller tires and more weight at the wheels will help, but not as much as moisture. Think of how hard it would have been to do it with a shovel...
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, BCS 735 w/ Acme diesel, Agrizeta tracks, 30" tiller, Berta double rotary plow, Berta 33" 2 stage snow blower, 18 inch combined ridger, Caravaggi BIO90 chipper, Bellon 32"rough cut mower, Caravaggi stump grinder, BCS 59" duplex mower, Pallidino 20" flail mower, Ravenna trailer, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger,

    John Deere B, 60, 4430 open station, 4430 SGB, 4840, 317 skid steer, and all the implements to work 'em

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    I'm not sure about the single plow, but the double plow has a sticker showing how far apart your wheels should be. I first decided they were close enough, but after an hour reset them in to the prescribed spacing. Things went much easier after that. The plow runs against the last pass with a tractor wheel and against the current pass with the rear wheel on the plow. If that angle isn't correct, you're in for a real fight.

    Cory

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    My 725 has a 9 hp Vanguard and I run 3/4 to full throttle depending on soil condition and how far I want to throw dirt from the discharge chute. I have clay soil here also and any plow has a heck of a time working it when it is extremely dry. This is my first year using the rotary plow and am very impressed with the unit. I generally walk next to mine with the handlebars swung to the left and let it do most of the work. Your difficulty in keeping it straight - I had the same issue. Wound up cutting another short pass to square things up before I was finished. More time to experiment next year.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    178
    Location
    Western, NC
    Tractor
    PT-1430, Wright Z-turn mower, BCS 853

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    I have the 853 with the Lombardini diesel and foam filled tires. If I want to plow straight I have to engage the differential lock. I run the plow at about 3/4 throttle but if the ground is dry and hard I do not use the plow since it's main use is to make raised beds.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,855
    Location
    NE USA
    Tractor
    JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    Quote Originally Posted by bsaltzgiver View Post
    Hi Folks,


    For those of you who have or operate a berta rotary plow, what throttle do you set your engine at when you are plowing? I plowed about 3000 square feet of rather hard clay with it, in 1st gear, using full throttle, and it was probably the most physically demanding work I've ever done. Keeping it going straight was impossible.

    Would it be less demanding of the operator to plow at lower throttle. Would wheel weights make it easier to control and stay in the furrow?

    The user manual for the plow says something along the lines of "The plow should be used without operator fatigue", but I was quite fatigued after uusing it! I am by no means disappointed with its performance, because it cuts so deep in one pass, but I'm just curious if I could make the use of the berta plow less "back breaking". The plow is powered by a 10 HP Grillo 85D with a total of 5 inches of axle extensions.

    Thanks folks for any advice!

    -Bruce


    To get rid of the clay purchase a about 500 pounds of "mined gypsum"
    and order a small truck load of concrete sand for your garden .

    The gypsum will dissolve the clay and the sand will aid in aerating the soil
    and keeping it loose to avoid sun baked soils.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    9
    Location
    Mansfield, Ohio
    Tractor
    Grillo G85D

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    Hi guys, here's another follow up to operating a single berta rotary plow:

    Are you folks using them with a quick connect coupling? The reason I'm asking this is because I just realized from looking At Farmerboybill's website, there are Green "grillo" berta plows. I have a blue one (designed for BCS) with a BCS PTO flange that has an adapter converting it to a Grillo PTO. This adds approximately 3 inches to the length of the plow, when you add this 3 inches to the approximately 4 inches the Grillo quick connect coupling adds, the plow is now sitting about 7 inches behind the PTO coupling of the tractor. I believe this is adding a tremendous amount of leverage to the plow as it digs into the soil and always pulls the tractor to the right or left.

    As a test, I removed the quick coupling, and bolted it directly to the tractor. The ease of plowing increased significantly, but the tractors desire to pull to the right or left is still undeniable and unpreventable. Locking the differential has little to no effect either.... We've had a significant amount of rain here and the soil is no longer rock hard clay, but use of the plow still remains extremely difficult.

    I also experience a lot of issues after the plow starts to dig to maximum depth after the 3rd pass or so (I plow my plots according the the instructions Joel sends with the plow, complete with the really cute hand drawn images of the two wheel tractor with handlebars offset ). The engine runs rather close to the ground with the berta plow attached, and it frequently "bottoms out" and I have to pull it out of the furrow myself. I imagine taller tires would help, but am just curious what size tires would be optimal for using the berta plow. It currently has 5 X 10 X 20 tires that come standard with the 10HP kohler G85D from Earth Tools

    Have any of you folks used the plow without wheel weights, and then put on wheel weights and noticed an improvement?

    Thanks in advance guys, this is a wonderful forum full of useful information, helpful people, and experienced operators!

    -Bruce

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    If you move the plow further back from standard that will change the idea wheel spacing, in addition to adding leverage. My limited experience is that it should 'lock' its self into the last furrow.

    Cory

  9. #9
    Platinum Member farmerboybill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    737
    Location
    Southwestern Wisconsin
    Tractor
    BCS 850 diesel and 735 diesel

    Default Re: Use of Berta Rotary Plow

    Hey Bruce,

    Are you talking about the BCS made short adapter, or the flange on the plow? The flange cannot be eliminated as it is the part of the plow that can be changed to mount it to different tractors. The flange can be changed to one with an integral quick coupler. This will slightly hurt chances of resale because it will then only fit a Grillo, but if you're not ever planning on selling, who cares?

    If you're talking about a BCS adapter, you can eliminate it by buying a Grillo PTO for your plow from Earth tools. It's a simple unit to change and I think rather inexpensive. You unbolt the flange on the plow and take off the 3 dog PTO with an Allen wrench. This can also be done for older BCS machines to eliminate the adapter.

    You can run 5-12 tires on the 85d. It helps greatly to have the wheels set at the right width. Too narrow, and the plow wants to turn toward the worked ground. Too wide and the plow wants to turn toward the unworked ground. With the single plow, you technically only need to change the furrow wheel. You want that tire 9 inches from the center of the tractor to the inside sidewall of the tire. You can also use flat washers as spacers between the extension and the tire to get it out a little further.

    Weights do help. The heavier you make the machine, the more stable it's gonna be. I run a double plow on a BCS 850 powered by a Kohler KD440 with 5-12 tires - a very heavy setup. I still put 50 or so pounds per wheel and 50 pounds off the front of the diesel. I have very few issues with keeping this beast going relativity straight. Of course, roots and rocks will throw you off course no matter how heavy you make it.
    Last edited by farmerboybill; 09-04-2012 at 07:54 AM. Reason: more info
    BCS 850 w/ Kohler Diesel, BCS 735 w/ Acme diesel, Agrizeta tracks, 30" tiller, Berta double rotary plow, Berta 33" 2 stage snow blower, 18 inch combined ridger, Caravaggi BIO90 chipper, Bellon 32"rough cut mower, Caravaggi stump grinder, BCS 59" duplex mower, Pallidino 20" flail mower, Ravenna trailer, trencher, 2 way plow, ridger,

    John Deere B, 60, 4430 open station, 4430 SGB, 4840, 317 skid steer, and all the implements to work 'em

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