Product Information and Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator?
The Till-Ease Model 543 has been designed to be a very aggressive tillage tool in hard and soft ground conditions. The Till-Ease Model 543 can perform a number of tasks and can be used in applications such as deer and wildlife food plots, large gardens, new lawn seedings, small scale production vegetable farming and mechanical weed control.
2. What is a Till-Ease Model TP2148 and TP3272 Cultipacker?
The Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers are a tool used to firm and press seed into freshly tilled soil. The Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers are usually used in combination with the broadcast method of seeding to incorporate the seed into the ground. A couple applications are deer and wildlife food plots and new lawn seedings.
3. What can be used to pull the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator?
The Till-Ease Model 543 was actually designed around a small 350cc 4×4 ATV. Our thoughts where that if a 350cc ATV can pull the Till-Ease Model 543 then a larger ATV will be better yet. In many cases a 500cc 4×4 ATV or larger will work easier and prepare a deeper seedbed faster. This isn’t because of the larger engine but because the larger ATVs tend to weigh more and have slightly larger tires. In almost every case, traction will become a problem before horsepower. A smaller ATV can do a surprising amount of work if 75-100 lbs is added to the front weight rack.
4. What is a chisel plow?
A chisel plow like the Till-Ease Model 543 is considered a primary tillage tool and is designed to work in hard ground conditions. The main place that the work is done with a chisel plow is at the rear where the shanks are located. The shanks can have a variety of points or sweeps attached that are made to penetrate the hard surface and shear and heave the soil. This in turn breaks up the soil to help generate a seedbed. A chisel plow is also an excellent tool to help reduce soil compaction, retain moisture and reduce erosion.
5. Why does a chisel plow work better than a disk harrow?
For a tillage tool to work effectively the tool must be able to penetrate the surface and work the ground. A chisel plow, like the Till-Ease Model 543, creates all of it’s own down pressure. This down pressure allows the Till-Ease Model 543 to effortlessly penetrate hard ground. A disk harrow does not create any down pressure at all. Actually, the tool constantly tries to return to the surface. It takes a tremendous amount of weight to force a disk harrow in the ground just to create a shallow seedbed. A common misconception is that a disk harrow is a tool that has been designed for primary tillage. A disk harrow was never intended for primary tillage and was designed as a secondary tillage tool for following after the moldboard plow.
6. Why does the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator use rigid shanks instead of spring shanks?
Rigid shanks are the key to the successful performance of the Till-Ease Model 543. In order for a tillage tool of this style to penetrate and pull easily the chisel points and sweeps have to maintain a particular angle with the surface of the ground. If this specific angle is changed by as little as 5 degrees the ease of penetration and pulling load quickly changes for the worse. A spring shank is designed for shallow tillage in soft soil conditions. When placed in harder ground conditions a spring shank will drastically change the sweep angle. This in turn makes for very poor ground penetration and very hard pulling.
7. Are the cutting coulters on the front of the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator disk blades?
No. The Till-Ease Model 543 is equipped with straight blades. These blades are used primarily for cutting surface plant debris. This is a necessary feature to help prevent unwanted plugging or hair pinning around the rear shanks where the tillage work is occurring. A secondary function of these blades is similar to a disk blade in helping to reduce clod size on secondary passes. A straight blade is like a knife edge and takes much less pressure to penetrate the ground than a cupped disk blade.
8. Does the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator have a manual lift option?
No. We only provide the electric lift option on the Till-Ease Model 543. A manual lift system would be very hard to adjust properly and would be cumbersome on a chisel plow. This is because the Till-Ease Model 543 easily penetrates hard ground and may need periodic adjustments. The electric lift gives the operator the ability to make very quick adjustments while moving forward.
9. Does the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator have a 3-point hitch option for small tractors?
No, not at this time. This may be something that we will offer as an optional kit in the future. One of the advantages of a pull style tillage tool is that the tool does a much better job of following the contour of the ground. On a rigid mounted system, if the tractor front end drops down, the rear tool will raise up.
10. What is a field cultivator sweep and a chisel point?
The Till-Ease Model 543 comes with a set of 9″ field cultivator sweeps and a set of chisel points. The field cultivator sweeps are designed for soft ground or secondary tillage situations such as springtime of the year tillage or second passes. The chisel points are designed for hard ground conditions and they provide the least amount of resistance. The chisel points also work well in rocky soil. These two different types of sweeps simply bolt onto the shanks and are easily interchangeable.
11. How much weight needs to be added to make the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator work properly?
A good weight to add to the Till-Ease Model 543 is around 150-200 lbs. This weight can be placed in the provided weight racks and is solely used to help the front cutting coulters penetrate the ground. If the Till-Ease Model 543 is used in an application where the cutting coulters have either been removed or adjusted up then no additional weight is needed. The rear of the Till-Ease Model 543 does not require weight to work and actually provides all of it’s own down pressure.
12. What options does the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator have for leveling the seedbed?
By the sheer nature of a chisel plow / field cultivator the ground will be left uneven and slightly furrowed. To make a smooth seedbed the ground will need to be leveled with another device. We do offer the optional drag harrow for the Till-Ease Model 543. This is a spike tooth drag harrow that simply mounts into two rear receivers on the Till-Ease Model 543 frame.
13. How hard of ground will the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator perform in?
Very hard. With the chisel points installed on the Till-Ease Model 543, it is capable of penetrating something as hard as a dirt road. The Till-Ease Model 543 is by far the most aggressive ATV tillage tool on the market.
14. Does the Till-Ease Model 543 Chisel Plow / Field Cultivator have an optional seeder?
No. We feel that seeding directly behind a tillage tool before harrowing is an incorrect practice for most applications. The ground needs to be leveled with a harrow before seeding should ever take place. With smaller seed such as clover, if the ground is leveled after seeding then a large percentage of the seed will be buried too deeply. Using a seeder on the back of a tillage tool skips far too many very important steps. The best order for planting is to first create a seedbed with a tillage tool, harrow the ground to make a level seedbed, cultipack to firm the seedbed, seed and then cultipack to place the seed in the ground and provide seed-to-soil contact.
15. Why does the Till-Ease Model TP Cultipacker help to improve seed germination?
In order for a seed to germinate and grow properly the seed has to come in contact with soil. When the broadcast method of seeding is used the seed is simply scattered on the ground but not incorporated into the soil. The Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers are used to roll over the seed and press the seed into the ground. This provides excellent seed-to-soil contact allowing the seed to absorb moisture and germinate.
16. Why are the Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers better than a smooth lawn roller?
The Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers are made up of 21 individual cast iron packer wheels on the TP2148, 27 packer wheels on the TP2760 and 32 packer wheels on the TP3272. These packer wheels have knobs positioned around the circumference of the wheel. When rolled across the ground the knobs on the packer wheels leave dimples in the soil. The dimples in the soil conserve moisture and provide an excellent location for rapid seed germination. Also the Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers use packer wheels that have been designed to provide a particular pressure on the ground. A smooth lawn roller provides a smooth uniform surface with no dimples or grooves in the soil. A uniform surface has a disadvantage because it will dry out at the same rate. It is always an advantage to place a seed in a moisture rich environment. The other problem with a lawn roller is that it was never designed for achieving a particular pressure to firm the soil. There is a fine line between firming and compacting. A heavy roller can easily create a compaction situation.
17. Will a drag harrow provide the same results as a Till-Ease Model TP Cultipacker for incorporating seed in the ground?
No. On the smaller seed plants such as clover it is critical that the seed be placed in the top 1/4 inch of soil. If the seed is too deep it will not grow. Using a drag harrow after seeding is very risky and will over-bury a percentage of the seed. The Till-Ease Model TP Cultipackers will uniformly press the seed into the ground and prevent over-burying. On larger seed plants where depth is not as critical a drag harrow can be used to incorporate the seed into the ground but a cultipacker, like the Till-Ease Models, is still an excellent tool for providing good seed-to-soil contact.