Plow Setup

I have had multiple requests for information on the proper setup procedure for the David Bradley plows.  I am by no means an expert, but I have had some success plowing with these tractors.  In answer to the requests I will attempt to outline what I have learned so far.  All pictures are clickable for a larger view.

Plow 1 I start by parking the tractor on a level surface with the left wheel up on about 3" of blocking.   This simulates an "in furrow" condition.  The general idea is to set the plow to be level when the tractor is in the furrow.

plow 2 Center the plow on the saddlebar before making further adjustments.  Check the right side wheel position at this time.  The right wheel should be positioned on the axle such that the heel of the plow share will run just inside the path of the wheel.  For the 6" plow (57525 or 57552), start with about 2" of the axle protruding outside the wheel hub.  For the 8" plow (575116), start with about 1" protruding.  The wheel position determines the width of cut, and may need further adjustment for different soil conditions.  When plowing, you want the right side wheel to run right next to the landside from the previous plow pass.

Plow 3 Plow 4 Adjust the saddle roller plate.  Loosen the two bolts on the roller plate.  See wrench in picture at left. Set the plow level as in the picture at right, and retighten bolts.  Note: If you have the 57525 plow, this plate does not adjust. It is welded at a preset angle from the factory. Just skip this step. If you feel the need to adjust this angle with the 57525 plow, the saddle bar may be tilted slightly. However, I have found that it works well with the saddle bar level.

Plow 5 Plow 6 Now we adjust what I call the dive angle of the plow.  In the picture at left you will notice the plow point angled upward.  Using the crank handle on the beam, adjust the angle to level, as seen in the picture at right.

Plow 7 At this time pay attention to how the bottom surface of the plow contacts the ground.  There should be a slight gap just behind the point.  This is called "Suck."  On a 6" plow, look to see about 1/8" to 3/16" suck, and on the 8" plow there should be closer to 3/8" suck.  The front plow in the picture shows good suck, while the one behind has very little.  This can be adjusted to some extent by sliding the heel plate down slightly, which will angle the plow point downward.  The purpose of the suck is to make it easier for the plow to penetrate and maintain a proper depth.  In tough sod you may have to angle it down a bit more to enable the plow to 'bite' properly.

Plow 8 Of course, wheel weights are very helpful for traction, as plowing makes great demands in that department.

Plow 9
When all adjustments have been made properly, you will be able to turn nice furrows like these.

Keep in mind that all the above adjustments were made with the components in a 'relaxed' condition.  Once the plow gets into the furrow it is under tension, so the angles change slightly.  You may have to tweak the settings somewhat to achieve the final setup.  Also, different soil conditions play a role.  From this basic setting, experience alone will be your guide.  Good luck, and happy plowing!

For more detailed information on plowing techniques and plow care, see the Plow Info page

Plow King Certificate
If done correctly, with a little practice you can get one of these.