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  1. #1
    Member Coolerman's Avatar
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    Kubota BX2230

    Default SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    I have several ditches to dig to bury some 4" black drain tile to carry the water from my gutters away from the house. Each ditch will be about 75-100 feet long through hard packed, rock laden red clay and fescue grass here and there. Digging by hand would have taken days and renting a ditch witch at $200 a day was out of the question as I would not be able to dig all the ditches in one day and would have to rent it again. So... I searched on here and it was suggested one use a subsoiler/middle buster to do the work. I looked on Craigslist but nothing in my area to fit my BX2230D so I ordered a King Cutter combo from Northern Tool through Amazon.

    This is not a super heavy duty implement. It is designed for sub-compact tractors, but it is well made. Only issue was the top link bracket was not drilled square and I had to file it a bit to get the top link pin through it. When the subsoiler plate is mounted the 3 point hitch can lift it high enough to transport it to the work site without digging in, but when the middle buster is mounted, you have to take the top link loose and use a bungee cord to rotate it out of the way. Here are some pics of it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_6887-jpg   -img_6888-jpg   -img_6890-jpg  

  2. #2
    Member Coolerman's Avatar
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    Kubota BX2230

    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    The subsoiler runs deep quick! It took a few practice runs to learn how to feather the 3 point depth so as not to stop forward motion due to loss of traction (turf tires). I also had to put my weight bar on the back and the loader on the front with some weight in the bucket to get the traction I needed to bury the subsoiler. The tractor had no trouble pulling it, traction was the limiting factor. Hitting a buried rock would bring you to a bone jarring stop! I learned to lift the hitch while the subsoiler was under the rock and most time it would raise the rock out of the ground. A couple of big ones had to be dug out the hard way. It took several passes to break up the clay enough to try the middle buster to creat the actual ditch. Several passes, lowering the hitch a bit each time resulted in a nice ditch about 8-10 inches deep. A final high speed trip helped get the loose soil thrown up out of the ditch, but I still had to finish with a shovel to get the remaining loose soil.

    Some pics of one finished ditch...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_6894-jpg   -img_6896-jpg   -img_6897-jpg  

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    craftsman lt1000/jd 717a/ mahindra max28 hst

    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    neat. in the second picture of the first post you have the threads facing the soil, I think I'd flip the bolts around(if you haven't already), but aside from that, looks great! I need to see if I can fab a blade for my MB to convert it to a sub soiler. about how long did it take to do the trench minus the hand cleaning?

  4. #4
    Member Coolerman's Avatar
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    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    I thought the same thing about the bolts but funny thing is, the subsoiler plate has ROUND bolt holes and the carriage bolts would not fit them requiring me to turn them around. The middle buster has square holes the carriage bolts fit perfectly allowing the nuts to be on the back side like they should be! The threads did not suffer any damage.

    It took three passes with the sub soiler and maybe four with the middle buster. 30 minutes tops, plus another 20 to shovel it out. Not bad for a 75' long ditch through clay!

    Told the wife it was the best money I had ever spent! I have three more ditches to do around the house plus I plan to use the middle buster in the bottom of a wide ditch to clean it out so it drains better. I have to wait until it drys up more though so I don't get stuck.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    that's odd, but good that the threads aren't damaged. I saw someone else on the forum put two nuts over the top of some bolts, depending on how rocky your clay is, that may be something worth looking in to.

  6. #6
    Member Coolerman's Avatar
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    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    That's a good idea! I will do that next weekend when I do the other three ditches.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    Hitting a buried rock would bring you to a bone jarring stop!
    You are going way too fast if you come to a "bone jarring stop"! That's a good way to break something (the implement or the tractor). When using implements like this, SLOW is the word.

    A few years ago, I was using a subsoiler to dig a ditch for low voltage wiring. It hit an old fencepost that had been cut off at ground lever. Before I could stop things, or even realize what had happened, it bent the toplink into a U-shape and bent the subsoiler shaft. I was running at close to idle speed in low gear.

    If your tractor has draft control, make sure to use it properly so that when you hit a rock or something, it lifts the implement.

  8. #8
    Member Coolerman's Avatar
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    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    No draft control on BX2230. Probably right about going too fast. I'm still new to this type work. Figuring out the speed, judging implement depth, all while trying to steer and find traction has made me realize that "driving a tractor", even a tiny one like mine, is more complicated than it looks!

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    L3410

    Default Re: SubSoiler/Middle Buster

    There's lots of variations in this approach, and if you've happened across a commercial concern (say, phone company) laying lines alongside a road then you know about the top end approach. Anyhow, as you've done it is the basic technique. If you want to bury the cable at depth (well, as deep as you subsoiler will reach) without an open trench just attach a length of 1.5" hollow metal conduit along the back side of the subsoiler shaft (e.g., with U-bolt clamps), with lower end curved 90 degrees to face away from the tractor (opposite direction as subsoiler blade). Feed the cable or whatever (flexible water line like PEX works fine) through the top of the conduit which should reach to comfortable access height above the ground and, viola, it'll be buried in the trench behind the subsoiler as your tractor moves forward. If you want to get fancy, weld a T onto the subsoiler frame and place the spool of cable or whatever there so it just feeds out without someone having to walk besides the tractor with the spool. As to closing the narrow trench in the ground made by the subsoiler, you can get fancy but most folks just run back over it with their tractor.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member PhysAssist's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by linuxman51 View Post
    that's odd, but good that the threads aren't damaged. I saw someone else on the forum put two nuts over the top of some bolts, depending on how rocky your clay is, that may be something worth looking in to.
    Or just get another set of bolts for the SS, they don't have to be round headed as using a hex head instead will add negligible drag to the process.

    Just leave the bolts (and nuts) on the blades when you swap them out.

    Thomas

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