Photo by Woody Holmes
Harrow plow disks absorb a lot of abuse cutting hard soil, bouncing off rocks, roots and stumps and enduring the occasional mishap with a tree, fence post or utility pole.
Doing a good turn
You can replace a worn or broken disk
An important implement for wildlife managers is the disk or harrow plow. The harrow plow breaks up and aerates compacted soil, allowing plant roots access to nutrients and water. The disks set the proper depth for planters, ensuring good seed germination and plant spacing.
The disks absorb a lot of abuse cutting hard soil, bouncing off rocks, roots and stumps and enduring the occasional mishap with a tree, fence post or utility pole. They will bend, break or rust, but can be replaced.
Here's how to replace a worn or broken disk.
- Order replacement disk(s), making sure to purchase the correct size and style to match the disk gang, planting use and soil type.
- With the implement hooked to the ATV or tractor, engage the brake and make sure the engine is off.
- Locate the hub and loosen the locking nut. If the locking nut is rusted or difficult to turn, clean the hub and locking nut with a wire brush, spray with penetrating oil and let it soak for an hour. Do not try to force the locking nut off the hub.
- Loosen but do not remove the nut.
- Start the tractor, engage the three-point hitch and raise the implement off the ground. If the implement is hooked to a ball hitch, raise it with a car jack.
- Place several jack stands under the implement frame or disk gang hubs, except on the gang with the broken disk.
- Carefully lower the harrow plow on jack stands, leaving the implement elevated, but without any risk of falling off the stands. Shut down the tractor or ATV.
- Disassemble the hub and keep track of the order of nut, washers and spacers. Take notes and photos of the hub assembly, or place parts in the correct order on the ground to keep track of assembly.
- Some inner disks may require removing the pillow block bearings. Check the bearings for wear and lubrication. Replace, repair or lubricate bearings if necessary.
- Check other disks for hub damage and replace broken disks.
- Reassemble the disk gang. Spin the disk gang by hand to make sure it is balanced and turning properly.
- While the harrow plow is up, inspect other disk gangs for wear, damage and lubrication points.
- Raise the implement and remove the jack stands. Lower the disk harrow and test to make sure disk is turning soil properly.
Now that you are back on track, keep in mind a harrow plow is a great tool for wildlife management. From strip disking, creating food plots and fire lanes, to incorporating fertilizer, mulch and lime, the versatile plow does more than turn soil. — P.J. Perea