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Rigid v Hydraulic Shanks: Choosing The Best Option For Your Farm

Hydraulic shank designs offer several advantages over traditional rigid shear pin models, however these come at the expense of increased cost and maintenance. In this article, we compare the pros and cons of rigid vs. hydraulic shanks in a deep ripper plough to enable you to choose which breakout design suits your operational needs for best performance.

Agrowplow Rigid and Hydraulic shanks of a plough

Rigid Shear Pin Shanks

Shank protection is via a shear pin inserted in lieu of one of the mounting bolts at the top of the shank. These shear pins are designed to fail at a predetermined force. Once this force is exceeded the pin fails and the shank lays back. Shear pin failure is finite and a ‘failed’ shear pin cannot be reused.

The procedure to replace a shear pin is as follows:

  1. Lift the machine out of the ground.
  2. Fit ram safety stops (if applicable)
  3. Remove any remaining parts from the failed shear pin.
  4. Reposition shank back into working position.
  5. Insert new shear pin.
  6. Secure shear pin with locking clips.

Rigid Shear Pin shanks are available on all models in the Agrowplow range.

Hydraulic Recoil Shanks

Shank protection is via a hydraulic recoil system. The system is pressurised from oil in the tractors hydraulic system. As the shank encounters an obstacle the oil is forced out of the cylinder back into the circuit increasing the pressure in the accumulator. When the obstacle is cleared the accumulator forces the oil back into the cylinder returning the shank to its operating position.

The pressure in the operating system can be adjusted according to the operating conditions by increasing or decreasing the oil level in the circuit. A shut off valve is located near the base of the accumulator to either open or close the circuit from the tractors hydraulic system.

Hydraulic Recoil shanks are available on all models in the Agrowplow range except the AP11.

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Agrowplow AP81 broadacre plough with shanks in soil towed behind John Deere tracked tractor

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