Troubleshooting Disc Harrow Problems

When it comes to doing any sized farming, or large scale gardening, a disc harrow is a must-have implement. This device is pulled behind a tractor and cultivates the field, or garden plot, with the use of discs that cut into the soil. Working with a disc harrow saves a lot of time when there are large amounts of seed to be planted. Depending on the size of the field a disc harrow can be many different sizes.

Troubleshooting a Disc Harrow

The disc harrow is used each planting season, and sometimes through the growing year to help move the soil and enrich the nutrients. When the harrow is not working properly, this can mean that the grounds are not broken correctly or that the plants can be damaged. Troubleshooting a disc harrow becomes something that one must be able to do in order to fix the problems that occur. Here is a short guide to help troubleshoot some of the disc harrow problems.

Uneven Rows

As you are pulling the disc harrow behind the tractor you may find that the rows are not straight or have curves in them. This can be for a few different reasons. 

  • Uneven Tire Pressure - The disc harrow is a pull-behind apparatus that uses wheels for it to move. When one of the tires is under inflated, or has an uneven tire pressure the rows can be uneven.
  • Bent Crossbar - The crossbar that joins the 3-point hitch to the disc harrow body can be bent through normal operation. When this happens the harrow will not pull straight.
  • Bent Discs - The discs on the harrow are fashioned in a way that the soil will ride up them and then be deposited on the ground in a nice even row. If the disc hits a rock, it can be bent in a way that the row ends up crooked.

Discs Are Loose

The discs are held on with nuts that can work their way loose over time. Use a large socket wrench to tighten them before use of the disc harrow. 

Discs Need Grease

While the disc harrow is working in the dirt and dust of a hot spring or summer, the bearings in the disc hub can begin to dry out. Make sure to check these before using the harrow and apply bearing grease as needed. 

Harrows Dig Too Deep

Adjustments must be made to the harrow as you are cultivating a garden or field. If you notice that one or more of the discs are cutting too deeply into the soil you will need to adjust the height. Use a level to make sure that all of the discs are the same height. 

Harrow Leaves Break in Soil

Often times the problem with the harrow lies with the operation of the tractor that is pulling it. For anyone who is new to a disc harrow, or is in a rush, they will find that going too fast will cause intermittent soil deposits. The tractor should not be driven any faster than 4 to 6 miles per hour for a uniform break up, and deposit, of the soil.