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  1. #21
    Veteran Member Luremaker's Avatar
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    Ontario
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    Kubota L3130HST & NH TC18

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hi Peter, I was following this thread and wondering how ordering direct from China would work out for you. It looks like your digger was made for a lower profile 3ph or lower tractor. I'd also keep a close eye on the exposed drive chain if there is anyone near the digger while in operation. Hope it all works out...
    Steve
    from Grey County

  2. #22
    Silver Member
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    Ontario
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    B2320N

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Quote Originally Posted by Luremaker View Post
    Hi Peter, I was following this thread and wondering how ordering direct from China would work out for you. It looks like your digger was made for a lower profile 3ph or lower tractor. I'd also keep a close eye on the exposed drive chain if there is anyone near the digger while in operation. Hope it all works out...
    Steve
    from Grey County
    Steve,

    Ordering was smooth. I wire transferred the money to them (Bank of China in New York was the "in between" bank). Got the stuff in-bond in a warehouse near the airport in Toronto. Got it cleared at 2720 Britannia Road East at the Canada Customs office in Mississauga. You'll need an importer number to get it cleared. If you have a GST/HST number, you can apply for IM number over the phone. Found a Ryder flat bed in Milton to move this stuff to my farm.

    The chain is uncovered now because their chain cover has attachments that touch the chain as it operates :-) It has to be re-worked to make it safe. Another project, I guess.

    You're right, the digger was probably made for 25-35HP tractor (Cat I). The PTO shaft on mine is too high and all the problems I was having were because of that. Actually I had to buy Cat I, 13" body top link to make it work for my tractor. Also, the PTO shaft had to be cut to 15" body.
    The whole digger is like 8" from the rear wheels. Way too close, but to change this would require a lot more work.

    Peter

  3. #23
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    New Hampshire
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hello Peter,

    Just an up date on my latest problems with the digger I purchased Peter. I am getting sick of re-building the darn thing.

    My digger (single row) has really been a major problem for me and I am almost at the ropes end! Yesterday I had to cut back the PTO shaft to fit in the slip clutch. Once I got that finished I jumped the gun again and thought I would run it to see how things go.

    Well, this time I had not adjusted the slip clutch and within seconds the track had moved to the right enough to lock it up and like before I bend the shaft coming out of the gear box.

    So today I have to take the gear box apart again and have the shaft pressed back straight. The steel must be extremely soft (?). The design fault is having such a long shaft coming out of the gearbox to drive the chain assembly, I think.

    I am not too sure what we will do right now, but it will be a redesign of the construction of the shaft. My problem is I sold my other digger and now I am forced to make this one work for me. Life goes on.

    It is off to take the gear box apart and pull the shaft out. At the same time I am going to drill a hole in the top and put in a releif plug / filler.

  4. #24
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2008
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    B2320N

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Wayne,

    Maybe you need to replace the gearbox and the shaft.
    Take the gearbox and shaft apart, see if the shaft and chain drive come at the right angles and are more less on the same horizontal plane.

    I think 2 row digger was built a bit "sturdy"; if there is such a word in the Chinese language :-) Our shaft is held up by a bearing that allows for some sway back and forth and up/down, so we did not see the problem that you've experienced.

    For us the critical angle was (still is) the angles between the PTO shaft and the gearbox and the tractor PTO drive.

    Try to put a smaller PTO shaft with a small shear bolt, so that you break the bolt instead of twisting the drive shaft. Maybe your PTO and clutch is over sized to this gear box/chain drive.

    I think it might be worth looking into replacing their drive system with a hydraulic version. This will eliminate all the design flaws in their drive system.

    BTW, their links that go from the top link to the back were made from a paper thin pipe, they broke, we've tried to stick weld them, it kinda worked. We'll be testing it this weekend. If they break again, we'll have to make our own from a solid 1/2-3/4" steel rods.

    I'm thinking that they've designed these diggers for Chinese tractors (or maybe ONE Chinese tractor they own). It probably works in their setup, but it is not over designed to take any stress when more or less power (under different 3 pt hitch) is applied to it. Their planters are too small for small or large NA tractors. Your tractor bends and twists their one row digger.
    My tractor has sent their two row digger flying, breaking PTO crosses like there is no tomorrow.

    I just hope I can tweak this thing to work to get my potatoes out of the ground. We've got about half an acre left in the ground.

    I'll keep you posted on my progress.

    Peter

  5. #25
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hi peter,

    Well, I took the gear box apart this morning and will take the shaft in and have it force pressed straight again. I am in the same shape as you and not sure just what to heck to do.

    The design of the PTO shaft location and the chain drive is the major problem I have and right now can't think of a way to correct it. I may put another bearing and race on the shaft and see if that helps align the thing better.

    When I look at the picture of your planter I see the shaft mounted like mine is, only difference is it is twice as long! One of the problems I have is the mounting of the bearing just ahead of the chain sprocket. Poorly designed and there is no room to get a wrench into hold the bolt when trying to tighten the block. We will be changing this afternoon or in the morning.

    I noticed that your gearbox is the same as the one I have. There is no fill port or exhaust port. Not too sure how hot these will get when in operation but I think we will see an expansion of the gear oil? Come to think about it if mine only last about ten seconds between crashes I really shouldn稚 worry too much about the oil.

    I really feel bad about turning you onto these people. Oh I see that you also bought the two-row planter. Take a close look at the cups and make sure they are all tight. I had a few of the bend and break on the single row planter. I purchased the two-row planter also for next years planting. I had ordered extra cups, but they did not send them. I am sure I will get the same answer and to tell me to order again and they will include them with my next order. Fat chance of that happening right now.

    Wayne

  6. #26
    Silver Member
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    Ontario
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    B2320N

    Talking Re: hilling potatoes

    Quote Originally Posted by WayneB View Post
    Hi peter,

    Well, I took the gear box apart this morning and will take the shaft in and have it force pressed straight again. I am in the same shape as you and not sure just what to heck to do.

    The design of the PTO shaft location and the chain drive is the major problem I have and right now can't think of a way to correct it. I may put another bearing and race on the shaft and see if that helps align the thing better.

    When I look at the picture of your planter I see the shaft mounted like mine is, only difference is it is twice as long! One of the problems I have is the mounting of the bearing just ahead of the chain sprocket. Poorly designed and there is no room to get a wrench into hold the bolt when trying to tighten the block. We will be changing this afternoon or in the morning.

    I noticed that your gearbox is the same as the one I have. There is no fill port or exhaust port. Not too sure how hot these will get when in operation but I think we will see an expansion of the gear oil? Come to think about it if mine only last about ten seconds between crashes I really shouldn稚 worry too much about the oil.

    I really feel bad about turning you onto these people. Oh I see that you also bought the two-row planter. Take a close look at the cups and make sure they are all tight. I had a few of the bend and break on the single row planter. I purchased the two-row planter also for next years planting. I had ordered extra cups, but they did not send them. I am sure I will get the same answer and to tell me to order again and they will include them with my next order. Fat chance of that happening right now.

    Wayne
    Wayne about that gear box. The "seal" on mine was cut out of a carton box !!! You know the one you get when you buy a cake.
    I'm not kidding you.

    I just put enough oil so that gears are about 25-30% dipped in oil, not too much, just enough to get them wet. I don't think we'll see too much pressure in that box. If we do, it will fall apart before anything else as the cover is being held by 6 or 8mm bolts and the threads in the casting are poorly done and only go few mm into the casting. Under any kind of pressure the lid will become a small projectile

    The other "equipment" that I bought is much simpler to operate: plow and disc should assemble and work ok. The only other unknown is their sickle bar.
    We'll have to do a lot of testing before we hook up the knives bar.

    The potatoes planter looks like it will need major tuning and repairs.

    We might use the harvester this weekend, we'll see. The weather has been unusually warm around here, so no harm to leave them in the ground for few more weeks.

    From what I've seen so far, I think this company (cnplough.com) does discs and plows well. Other stuff is just new ventures for them.
    Their discs/plows look solid. I have not measured the hardness of their steel, but it does look well made.

    Peter

  7. #27
    Silver Member
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    B2320N

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hi Wayne,

    We just run the potatoes digger on our potatoes patch. It worked flawlessly.
    On one row I went too deep, but I've made three passes and got them all out.

    One pass gets almost all potatoes out, I say like 95%.

    The key was to keep the front of it 3-4" below the bottom of the potatoes hill. The machine turned out sturdy enough to dig out some big stones, some 10-14" in size. If you go deeper than 4", you'll be getting too much soil on the conveyor and because it is only 6-7 feet long it won't separate potatoes from the dirt. Like with every machine you have to kinda feel it.
    You probably need a tractor with position and draft controls. I just used position control lever to adjust the depth as I went.

    Corolla grows deeper than Yukon Gold or German Butterball so you have to see how deep you should set it in for your potatoes. On Corolla rows I went a bit deeper.

    Overall we are happy with the digger; we'll clean it and oil it this weekend and put it away until next September :-)

    Peter

    PS. We were in and out of the field in 3 hours; By hand, the same job would take 3 men few days of hard labor. No regrets about buying it. Maybe we should have bought it from a different company, but that is a whole different story.

  8. #28
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Peter

    That is good news to hear the digger worked fine for you. I have the gear box back and it is bad news on this end.

    The shaft is very soft metal, it seems, and they cannot get it straight. Tried several times and it just won't stay in the straight position. So it means getting another gear box or having a new shaft built here by an machine shop.

    I sent off information to the company, but am pretty sure I will get negative response. They just aren't setup to deal with problems like this. I knew it going in so I cannot blame them.

    We dug our potatoes using the old digger so by next year I should have the new one fixed and working for me.

    Now I have to get things cleaned up and put away before snow. Darn isn稚 that a bad word. Thanks for the update on the digger Peter.

    Wayne

  9. #29
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hello Peter

    This is the new(to me) gearbox that I will try to adapt to my potato digger.

    It is being shipped to me your your area so I should have it shortly.

    We will have to figure out the mounting and connecting rod to the chain gear



    But at least this one has a fill and drain port



    Should be much better once it is installed and I figure out how to align the chain driven portion of the digger.



    I am sure my buddy will have some good ideas on how to install and use this. I am also waiting on hearing back from lauren regading the parts for the other unit. Once that is in we will most likely use the shaft and adapt it to this unit with a coupling and to bearing blocks

  10. #30
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2008
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    B2320N

    Unhappy Re: hilling potatoes

    Nice looking gearbox. Looks better than the China "gee-box" I have on mine.

    We busted the shaft and bearing pillow the other day. Got it straighten out at my father in-law workshop, got a new pillow from Princess Auto. We've put it all together, but we need to build up the bed for gearbox and pillow. We'll post the pics once we get this done. The pillow from PA looks stronger, thicker, so we're hoping it will hold this time.

    That Lauren girl did not reply to me. First she asked me for pictures, I send them the pics of their twisted shaft and broken pillow. No reply after that.

    BTW, we got the disc assembled. Their medium duty, 1300lb eight footer. Way too light for our soil. It is ok for going after bottom plowed lots, but it does not break 1 yr old soil. If you ever buy disc from them, get the heavy duty one. They send us wrong clamps, we had to improvise

    Next to assemble/tune are the potatoes planter and the sickle bar...

    These Chinese "products" are ongoing projects...
    I think people should be aware of this. If you cannot build these machines from scratch in your workshop you should not be buying any of them. That is just my opinion. Next time I buy some implement, it will be a sturdy NA big name. I don't mind paying extra now :-)

    My Buhler-Farm King tiller works every time I take it out.
    My JD tractor works every time I use it. My oliver plow goes through anything without problems.

    Next time I buy something, I'll use the same criteria I use when I buy workshop tools. Buy the best you can NOT afford.

    I don't regret the purchase of these Chinese products, but I would not recommend them to my friends or family. Unless you like to constantly work on fixing stuff.
    It is kind of fun, but it takes a lot of time. Away from other stuff.

    Peter
    Last edited by peter_vii; 10-25-2010 at 09:24 AM.

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