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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    39
    Location
    Londonderry, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010, loaded r'4s and an Ingersoll 4018

    Default Sod buster

    I've read some of the posts about using a middle buster to furrow rows for running conduit. Has anyone had experience with a sod buster which, from what I've seen, a similar version with the exception that the business end is much narrower and presumably better able to penetrate and easier to pull through the ground. My next thought is would it be capable of being used to dig down enough behind a rock and then pry it up? I live in New Hampshire and the best crop is rocks, specifically granite. I've spent a fair amount of my life digging and moving rocks and thought that this might be a solution to help pry rocks out of the ground. David


  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: Sod buster


    I didn't find it much use at moving big rocks - although some have recommended. I found that if I hit a biggish rock I would lose traction (BX with turfs). Lifting the 3pt didn't help a great deal as you can't be guaranteed that the point of the ripper is underneath the rock. If it's not then it just scrapes up the side.

    What I did find helpful was that if I encountered a large rock, come at it from the opposite direction. That way you are pushing it back into ground you have just broken and can pop it out.

    Of course, with a bigger tractor I am sure that you could just pop 'em out without the extra maneuvering -- us BX guys just need to think a little harder.



  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: Sod buster


    One other thing - perhaps a little obvious - if you're taking rocks out then you are leaving behind a rock sized hole. Plays havoc with the level of the ground. Be prepared to get the tiller / rear blade / box-blade out after you have been through.

    This is also a problem in clay soil where you end up heaving around large unbroken lumps of clay as you rip down. Looks like there's been an earthquake once you work the area over a few times on my property.

    It was a dramatic transformation in the drainage of my soil though - my garden is way outpacing my neighbors - and with minimal fertilizer this year too.



  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,772
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Sod buster

    Sailorcrew, sounds like you're talking about a "sub-soiler" and yes it'll get a little deeper (I think they're all about 2" wide), so you can do what you want - maybe. Just depends on size and depth of rock, size and traction of tractor, etc.

    Bird

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    74
    Location
    Sullivan Co., NY State
    Tractor
    NH Boomer TC33D & 1951 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Sod buster

    David: I read an article a few years ago on exactly that subject. I think you are describing a "subsoiler" which is a much narrower version of the middlebuster. I have seen both items sold as a set using the same frame with both blades. The article suggested reversing the blade on the subsoiler and using it in reverse gear. Sould you wish to read the article, it appeared in the Nseries.com Newsletter. You can search their archives and order a back issue.It was very informative and sounded positive as a method! Arthur

    Boomer33

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    586
    Location
    Western edge of Willamette Valley, Oregon, foothills of the Coast Range, just outside city of Dallas.
    Tractor
    JD4700 HST w/mods. SUPERBABY

    Default Re: Sod buster

    Boomer33,
    [[[reversing the blade on the subsoiler and using it in reverse gear.]]]

    Somebody sure has stronger neck-muscles than mine, ...sounds like a lot of twisted-around backwards driving to me! (Or do you just face foward and drive "blind" in reverse) [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    Larry



  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: Sod buster


    Makes sense - the problem I always have had is that when you lift the 3pt the tip just scrapes along the rock or parts company as the rotation moves it away from the rock.

    If you reversed the tip/implement then lifting the 3pt would force it against the rock. Good tip - it's easier on the neck than it would be on the back!


  8. #8

    Default Re: Sod buster



    Sub-soiler ........................ Middle Buster

    The rocks and depth of your trench will be the deciding factors… and of course your tractor hp…

    Another limiting factor is the length of the steel beam used on the sub-soiler…most are too short for trenching purposes {at least for electrical conduit ~ 18”}.

    You may also want to look into “renting” a ditch-witch or Vermeer trencher with diamond tip cutter blades for the rock material.

    <font color=blue>… suggested reversing the blade on the subsoiler and using it in reverse gear…</font color=blue>

    I don’t recommend traveling in reverse with most ground engaging implements {except maybe a rear blade for snow purposes}.

    First, going in reverse, you lose any “float” mechanism’s on the 3-point hitch…going forward, a snagged implement tends to “ride up”, backwards it tends to “go down” ..and most 3-points are not too forgiving… something’s gotta give…

    Second, in reverse…debris will kick up on the underside of the tractor…”sticks and stones may not break your bones… but your tractor is another thing", especially when you pop up a large sharp piece of stone and cuts into your oil pan…or worse…breaks some casting part on the tractor.

    So the moral is Go forward and disperse the debris to the rear…




  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    37,772
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Sod buster

    Boomer33, I haven't seen them sold as a set, although I'm not surprised. On the individual ones I've seen (as in the pictures John has provided), there was a longer shank on the sub-soiler to allow it to go deeper (and I've wondered about that a bit since my 3-point hitch barely raises my middle buster high enough to clear the ground for traveling). However, I don't have a sub-soiler, so I made about what you're talking about. I got an extra heavy duty single chisel plow "tooth" and I sometimes take the blade off my middle buster, bolt that tooth on and in effect has a sub-soiler. I've used it for making little narrow trenches and for ripping roots out of the ground; don't have any rocks to contend with on my place.

    And I agree with the posted message that I don't think I'd want to run it in reverse; be afraid I'd break something.

    Bird

  10. #10
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: Sod buster

    How do you actually use one of these to lay conduit? Does it leave a clean enough trench to just lay down the pipe? I'd think that a narrow plowed slit would cave back in enough that it would be difficult to get a pipe set down at the bottom.

    A ditch witch digs and shoves the tailing aside to help with this issue,and I've seen machines that cut the slit and lay the pipe in one step, presumably by essentially threading the pipe through the subsoiler so it cuts and lays the pipe in one step.


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