[Ferro-Alloys.com]Some planters and drills provide opener scrapers to keep soil buildup and residue from damaging the disks while seeding. Other drills come without scrapers and rely on seed boots and gauge wheels to do the scraping work. But mud buildup on gauge wheels can affect planting depth accuracy.
“An effective scraper keeps the disc clean and helps the seed be planted at the right depth,” said Rob Rouse, who co-owns Air Design Inc., in Scobey, Mont., with his wife, Keren. “There is minimized buildup if the scraper is working efficiently.”
Often, standard scrapers that come with drills and planters don’t last long, and producers find they need to replace them after a season or two.
Rouse explained there are two types of planting drills, one that uses shovels with points driving through the ground, and the disc drill, which cleans the disc. Row planters have two disc scrapers to keep those discs clean.
Air Design has been custom designing and manufacturing in-house a stronger, long-lasting scraper made with a tungsten carbide edge for a wide array of planting and seeding equipment.
The company uses a tungsten carbide called Wearcarb with a high level of hardness, manufactured by a U.S. company.
“Tungsten carbide is extremely durable, long-lasting and provides a more effective scraping edge,” Rouse said.
Air Design uses a waterjet to custom design the scrapers to fit almost any manufacturer’s equipment and to meet an individual farmer’s specifications.
The abrasive waterjets use high-pressure water stream to cut through alloys, stone, wood, glass, neoprene and many other materials.
Producers who have used them say the tungsten carbide scrapers last a long time and work better than standard scrapers.
Bruce Freitag, a sunflower, wheat and pulse crop producer in southwestern North Dakota, said he liked the Air Design scrapers his operation used on a no-till planter.
“We went through one season with very little wear, and they remained in place,” Freitag said.
Keren Rouse’s father, Barry Harmon, at one time owned the John Deere dealership in the region, so he knew planting and harvesting equipment inside out.
Harmon started Air Design with two other partners in 1986. When Harmon retired from the dealership in the early 1990s, he began working full time at Air Design.
“When Air Design first started, they made a fan speed adjustment for John Deere combines to adjust the air on the separation shoe during harvesting,” Rob Rouse said.
That first product was short-lived because farm equipment manufacturers started putting a fan speed adjustment as a standard feature on combines.
Meanwhile, Air Design turned to scrapers. “They knew scrapers on planters and drills were wearing out, often in one season of use, and thought the answer would be tungsten carbide because of its durability,” he said.
In 1987, Air Design produced more than 500 prototypes of a tungsten carbide disk drill scraper. The prototypes were field-tested that spring. and in the fall, the new tungsten scraper was released.
Since then, the product has gone through design changes and acquired new applications to make it the scraper that it is today.
Air Design has agreements in place with major equipment manufacturers such as John Deere and Great Plains Equipment, and produces more than 40 planter and drill scraper models.
For planters that rely on gauge wheels and seed boots for scraping, Air Design makes tungsten carbide scrapers that complement what the equipment already offers.
“We still custom-design scrapers for individual farmers using the waterjet,” Rouse said.
Air Design sells the tungsten carbide scrapers in most parts of the country, focusing particularly in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
- [Editor:Jiang Li Juan ]