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  1. #1
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,978
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default HOWSE 16/18 DISC HARROW DLHT16822B - REVIEW

    I took delivery of a Howse DLHT16822B 3-Pt. disc harrow February 28, 2013.

    It is a box frame 16/18 disc harrow, meaning 16 discs, each 18" in diameter. It cuts a swath nominally 5'6" in width, adjustable by moving the disc hangers. Howse, Land Pride, ETA and Tufline box frame discs referenced in this post are configured 16/18 for consistency. Most are also offered as 20/18 which may be a more popular configuration.

    I pull the Howse behind a kubota B3300SU tractor/loader ( 33-hp / 1,900 pounds / 4-WD / 58" tire width )

    I live in north-central Florida. My soil is nearly rock free sandy loam, a MINIMAL CHALLENGE for disc harrows.

    Howse describes the DLHT series as MEDIUM DUTY. My local Tractor Supply Store sells a seven foot width, box frame 20/18 Countyline disc, manufactured by Tarter, of similar design to the Howse, as HEAVY DUTY. Tarter's Heavy Duty description is perhaps "trade puffery". (Tarter/TSC disc in three photos is 7' width.) The Howse has less busy details and more precise fit than the Tarter/TSC.

    The Howse DLHT16822B weighs 587 pounds and was priced at $950 delivered. (No sales tax in Florida on ag or forestry equipment.) Howse has sealed, flange ball bearings.

    Two disc harrows could be truly described as HEAVY DUTY, by design and by weight. Everything Attachment's ETA-XD-BF-DH-16-18 disc harrow weighs 686 pounds and is priced at $1554 delivered to Fanning Springs. Monroe Tufline's THE71618BF disc harrow (1-1/8" axle) weighs 670 pounds and was quoted at $2100, plus a local delivery charge.

    Price is not the first priority when I purchase attachments. However, my sandy-loam is not challenging to disc so I bought the Howse as adequate and a good value.

    Default Howse configuration is 16/18. My primary objectives are opening new game feed plots and maintaining vegetation free fire breaks, not smoothing plow furrows. The harrow weight on 16 discs, rather than 20 discs, puts more cutting weight on each disc. (There is a T-B-N consensus that an effective disc harrow will have 40+ pounds weighting each disc.)

    Discs for compact tractors come in 16"-18"-20" diameter. The issues with diameter are concavity, wear and lift. Smaller diameter discs have less concavity (less "float") than larger discs, so they cut deeper. Larger diameter discs will wear longer before needing replacement and, with greater concavity, will move more soil laterally. Discs of larger diameter require more lift from the three point hitch. Harrow replacement discs are cataloged in varying thickness/gauges.

    Generally speaking sub-compacts will use 16" diameter discs, mid-size compacts 18" discs; 50+ horsepower compacts may opt for 20".

    Notched discs cut pasture grass better and pull trash out of the dirt, meaning vines and tree roots, which often stick in the notches. To some operators this may be a disadvantage. In my conditions it is a positive. If you have rocks in your soil bear in mind notched discs deform easier than solid/smooth discs. The Howse ships with notched discs front and rear, good for my conditions and objectives.

    The Howse has a dropped double clevis to receive the draw pins. On a compact tractor the dropped clevis is nice; it allows the 3-Pt. to lift the harrow sooner. Note pictures showing harrow in the air. Minimum disc height above ground is 14-1/2". I like a double clevis for the draw pins. The TSC Countyline does not have a dropped double clevis. The Land Pride DH1560 has a dropped single clevis. The Howse disc harrow is my easiest implement to mount in the 3-Pt. ( Most difficult is 60" KK Rotary Harrow.)

    The Howse and TSC Countyline/Tarter harrows have same system of gang adjustments, but the Howse has five bolt holes, the TSC four. There are three through bolts/nuts clamping upper and lower adjustment plates, which have two rib guides on the top plate mirrored by two rib guides on the bottom plate. To adjust the gang angles, the two outer bolts/nuts are loosened, the center bolt removed, then the gang is pulled and jiggled to line up holes in sliding adjustment plates with fixed holes in harrow frame, using gang lenghth for leverage. The center bolt is replaced and all three bolts/nuts tightened. Some TBN threads suggest substituting a 5" pin as a pivot in lieu of the center bolt. With only a center pin, it seems possible the center support could "jump" the guides; stay with the center bolt and nut. I have spread wax lube over the harrow frame over which the plates slide. Right now, new, it adjusts pretty easily. I understand with use, rust, deformity, etc., gang adjustment becomes harder. However, I expect to settle on a 'default' setting soon and only change the gang angles infrequently thereafter. Photo #3: Currently the front gang is set one hold forward from "flat", the rear gang is set all the way back, as "flat" as possible but still at a shallow angle.

    The ETA disc has screw adjustment. The Tufline has lever adjustment. Both more readily adjustable than the Howse/Countyline friction plate system but also more $$$.

    It is important to tighten the four axle nuts regularly on a new disc harrow; they loosen. Howse dealer told me that if the axle nuts are tightened regularly the entire gang assembly settles in eventually and the nuts require tightening infrequently. As an experiment I have replaced OEM split ring lock washers on left side with Swedish Nord-Lock anti-virbration lock washers. The right side is OEM stock. I will report on results.

    Howse offers its harrows in Kubota orange paint. Thank you, Howse.

    After maybe 20 hours pulling the Howse its ground engagement has been completely satisfactory.

    Two complaints: No manual with the Howse. I like manuals. Photo #8: When adjusting the rear gang I found the left clamp bolt to be 4-1/2" long, instead of 5" like the other five clamp/adjusting bolts. Sloppy assembly. So I drove 20 miles/round trip to Tractor Supply for a 5" replacement. I am also adding upper/lower flat washers to six gang angle adjustment bolts.
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    Last edited by jeff9366; 03-26-2013 at 03:36 PM.

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