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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Sonoma County, CA
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    New Holland TC45DA, New Holland TC18

    Default Subsoiler Advice

    I have a TC45DA with hydro and filled wheels. What is the maximize size single blade subsoiler my tractor can reasonably handle? Any advice regarding makes/models?

  2. #2
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Sacramento
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    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Riddler View Post
    I have a TC45DA with hydro and filled wheels. What is the maximize size single blade subsoiler my tractor can reasonably handle? Any advice regarding makes/models?
    Check out these Bisons

    Beaver Valley Supply Company - Bison Subsoilers

    The SVH-1 at $595 looks like a match to your tractor.

    Don't know how the soil is over in Sonoma Co, but here in the North Sac Valley it's dry as a bone. I don't think my Mahindra 5525 (54 hp engine, 45 hp pto, maybe 40 hp on the drawbar, 2WD) could pull that single shank Bison at 18" depth in this soil.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    Riddler, per their specs they say you need 40 hp for the single shank. From my own experience you may be able to handle two shanks but not three. This depends on the dirt you are in. If you want to be sure you will have plenty of power to make a single pass all the time, stick with the single shank. I farm some land that had not been subsoiled in years. First time my 68 hp could not handle two shanks in places. I had to raise lift and run one shank in previous grove. Each time that ground has been subsoiled it has gotten easier. Then I have some sandier soil I could pull four in but the reason is no hard pan. Depending on the area you are in you may find plenty of single shank or double shank subsoilers just sitting in favor of multi row units. If there are larger farmers around ask around. May not be the curve shank but they will shatter the hardpan. Check on parts before you buy old plows. If you are doing this for crop use it makes a difference for me. This year my corn sure did better in dry weather than the field right across a hedge row. Difference of one week in planting and I subsoiled and he did not. kt

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    New Holland TC45DA, New Holland TC18

    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    Thanks for the input. The areas I want to subsoil are relatively confined (i.e., a quarter to half an acre, vine rows, garden areas around the house, etc.). If I encounter a large area, I will rent the appropriate equipment or contract the job out. Hence, a single shank seems appropriate.

    The ground is indeed bone dry this time of year. If my tractor right now can't handle the implement I buy, I can certainly defer my subsoiling until late Spring, when the surface dries out but the subsoil is still full of moisture. Also, it sounds like I can get the job done now, despite the less than optimum conditions, if I amwilling to make mulitiple passes along the same line, lowering the shank a little more each time.

    That said, should I only consider subsoilers with an 18" shank?

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Northern Alabama
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    2012 Kioti DK45SE, 1994 JD LX176

    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    I would recommend you dig a hole or a trench and measure to the bottom of your hardpan. That plus the geometry on your three point hitch should give you a pretty good idea what size subsoiler to get. The specs for that size subsoiler should tell you about how much horsepower you will need to pull it.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    GreenW gave you great advice on checking the depth of the hardpan. One thing I don't like about a single shank subsoiler (unless you are able to shift it form the center of your tractor), you may find yourself running back over it or near enough to loose some of the benefit on your next pass. For my nickle rather subsoil in drier dirt so it does crack it and not make a muddy trench that seems to sort of seal itself with it's own mud. The part that surprised me the most was the wet dirt had the worst hardpan. kt

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    My place is on a ridge top, about 1,000 feet in elevation. The soil isn't alluvial, like you see in the valleys. I've dug a lot of holes around my property (I have a back hoe attachment for my CUT). For the first several feet, I'm guessing that my soil is more dense and hard than the alluvial stuff, but not as a dense and hard as real "hardpan." The first foot or so is dark, loamy and full of roots from the native grasses that blanket the open areas, but the next four feet (as far as I usually dig with my BH) is probably in between loose alluvial and rock hard. In a few spots, after about three feet, you hit what seems like relatively solid sandstone.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if the relevant depth is no more than say 2', there is really no soil "layer" that is distinguishable, except for the very top "grass roots" layer. Either I have the equivalent of hardpan from the surface down, or I don't have hardpan for several feet, at minimum.

    Does that change the recommendation? BTW, I will ask my tractor dealer the same question. I just wanted to get other folks thoughts first. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    If there is no hard pan, you probably don't need to subsoil it. Doubt you would notice a hardpan with a backhoe in normal use. I can tell the hard pan we have here with back hoe as it will still be hard and stays in layers and lumps when dumped. You may need to use hand tool such as shovel or post hole digger. The sandy soil I mentioned does not have a soil type in it to form a hardpan.

    A subsoiler is also good for cutting roots even of trees. If you could borrow one from a neighbor to try would be good. If there is a farmer near you they probably could tell you right off if there is a problem with hardpan in your area. kt

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    New Holland TC45DA, New Holland TC18

    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    KT, I'll ask around, but I have a hunch that we don't have hardpan in the classic sense around here. Just soil of some type (combination of clay, silt, sand and some loam) over solid sandstone at some depth.

    I neglected to mention that my goal isn't really to break up hardpan per se. I am trying to incorporate certain amendments, like lime and gypsum, more deeply in the subsoil in order to raise ph and correct some nutrient imbalances. For the large areas around the property, I have hired folks in the past to deep rip after the amendments have been spread. For example, last time, after we spread upwards of 20 tons of lime and gypsum per acre, I hired a guy with a big CAT (a D9??) to run a set of 3' rippers three different directions. If I can rip half that deep with my modest Tractor, I could do some good in the limited areas around the property that haven't been previously amended.

    I have a tiller, but incorporating lime in a few inches of topsoil won't change the ph of the subsoil for a long, long time, if ever.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subsoiler Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Riddler View Post
    KT, I'll ask around, but I have a hunch that we don't have hardpan in the classic sense around here. Just soil of some type (combination of clay, silt, sand and some loam) over solid sandstone at some depth.

    I neglected to mention that my goal isn't really to break up hardpan per se. I am trying to incorporate certain amendments, like lime and gypsum, more deeply in the subsoil in order to raise ph and correct some nutrient imbalances. For the large areas around the property, I have hired folks in the past to deep rip after the amendments have been spread. For example, last time, after we spread upwards of 20 tons of lime and gypsum per acre, I hired a guy with a big CAT (a D9??) to run a set of 3' rippers three different directions. If I can rip half that deep with my modest Tractor, I could do some good in the limited areas around the property that haven't been previously amended.

    I have a tiller, but incorporating lime in a few inches of topsoil won't change the ph of the subsoil for a long, long time, if ever.

    How about moldboard plow(s) or as called here bottom plows? That turns the soil over. I can not imagine 20 tons of lime and gypsum per acre, wow. Two tons here is a lot. It would seem you would get better results to rip the soil before spreading it as it would fall in it from spreading where as after the spreading it would hard for it. But the ph of the subsoil, here we only test the top few inches, think it is about the top six. I know a shovel depth is as deep as our experts say to pull the soil sample from. I thought your nature ph was lower than ours. Guess I was way off. kt

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