Make sure to check the parallel arm linkage on your planter. The parallel arm linkage makes sure that your row unit is riding smoothly.

If you have slop in your parallel arm linkage, that's going to cause a chattering effect as you go through the field. That chattering will impact your seed drop, likely causing your seed to ricochet down the seed tube as you’re planting. The risk here is uneven spacing or poor spacing. 

To check this, you’ll need to lift up your row unit. Try to rock it back and forth from the back of the row unit. You’re looking for any slop or play in the row unit as you do this. If you notice slop or play, take the parallel arm linkage off. We would expect to see something like the parallel arm photo with the red X on it:


You’ll notice the bushing, nut and parallel arm are all worn. At this point, you’re going to replace the parallel arm, bushing and nut that holds that all in place. We want those parts all wearing evenly together as new parts.

When you’re replacing components, you can use new components from your OEM or aftermarket solutions. There are some available from SI Distributing that have different kits for the parallel arms. Highland Machining has a kit that inserts a new hardened bushing with the replaceable bushing. Harvest International also has complete parallel arms sets. There are many different options available for you when you’re doing parallel arm maintenance on your planter.

A Premier Precision Planting Dealer is your partner to help you achieve even emergence this spring and steer clear of the regret that comes from avoidable yield loss caused by lack of maintenance. Find your local Precision Planting Premier Dealer at

Watch a video about checking the parallel arm linkage on your planter. To see videos of all recommended annual maintenance checks, visit

Download the free Planter Maintenance Guide. This guide includes a 1-sheet checklist, links directing you to the corresponding videos, and an overview of 15 key maintenance areas on your planter.

Download the free guide! 

The Planter Maintenance series is brought to you by Precision Planting.

More from this series

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