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Loose hinge pin causes planter to detach from tractor – fortunately it happened on a remote county road.

Kyle Stackhouse 2

May 28, 2021

2 Min Read
planter that fell off the tractor
Done planting: The planter fell off the tractor, thankfully on a remote country road.Kyle Stackhouse

When the phone rang I was on the last few passes of planting soybeans. We were down to the last 60 acres of corn. By the tone of voice I knew it was not good when dad announced he was done planting corn for today. I asked ‘what did you do?’ His response was, “Nothing, the planter fell off the tractor. It’s sitting in the middle of Hawthorne Road.”

No, it didn’t come unhooked. Many models of planters use the 3-point hitch to hook up to the tractor. Since this is a rigid attachment to the tractor, there is a hinge point that allows turns to be made. It was that hinge pin where the issue was.

Apparently, over time, the bolts that hold the pin in came loose, and then fell out. This isn’t a place you would normally check in a daily walk around. In this application, there is no such feature as a ‘safety chain’ that would have prevented losing the planter.

planter that fell off the tractor

It’s very fortunate this happened on a remote county road.

As I was pulling in the driveway with the soybean planter, I could see Dad had retrieved the wheel loader to pick the planter out of the road and pull it home. We pushed it in the shop and called the dealership for repairs.

The next day we were able to hire one neighbor to plant the 40 acres where the new irrigation system had been laid out and built (we planted the rest of the field 10 days ago). Another neighbor replanted our failed no-till muck experiment Thursday. We appreciate how both of them were willing to help out.

The dealership was able to get the hitch put back on the planter. Today we’ll hook it back up to the tractor and find out the full extent of the damage when we try to unfold it. We expect most of the damage to be cables and harnesses, and maybe a couple hydraulic hoses.

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