We talked about the gauge wheel arms and how they relate to depth, now we want to talk about your gauge wheel itself. Why is this so important?
Look at the two gauge wheel photos above. You can see a gap there between the gauge wheel and the disk opener on the left. What's that gap doing? It's going to allow dry soil to enter into your furrow. And as you may recall, when we talked about even emergence we were talking about needing an even heat and moisture environment. If you're allowing dry soil to enter the furrow, are you achieving that? No, you’re not.
So now, what do you need to do? You want to do a check that makes sure your gauge wheels are set properly in relation to your disk opener so you don't bring dry soil into your furrow. What you’re going to do is lift your gauge wheel. Then you’re going to pull it away and feel the area where that gauge wheel and opener disk connect, and see if you can feel a gap. If you can feel a gap, you might have an issue.
The other thing you’re going to do is just lift the gauge wheel and let go. You're looking for the gauge wheel to slightly rotate forward. That means you have good contact. That means you're no longer allowing that dry soil to enter into your furrow.
To make an adjustment, shim the gauge wheel closer to the disk opener. If you run out of room to adjust between the disk opener and the gauge wheel, it may be time to replace your gauge wheel. Why do we say that? The inner side of the gauge wheel rubber is going to be wearing on that disk opener. You may get to a point where you lose the ability to adjust and correct it.
Once you’ve made your adjustment you’re going to lift it back up. Make sure you see that rotation forward. That's what you’re looking for. That rotation forward is telling you that you've got good contact between your gauge wheel and your disk opener.
A Premier Precision Planting Dealer is your partner to help you achieve a picket fence stand 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 planterexpert.com.
Watch a video about properly shimming your gauge wheels. To see videos of all recommended annual maintenance checks, visit PrecisionPlanting.com/Maintenance.
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.
The Planter Maintenance series is brought to you by Precision Planting.
Precision Planting, LLC is the leading provider of practical and effective precision ag technologies to help make farmers smarter every season. New technologies from Precision Planting are opening doors for farmers to take advantage of the data they collect on every field pass, from planting to harvest, and to use that data to increase production and profit potential by better managing input costs and ensuring the seeds they plant maintain their top-end yield potential at emergence and beyond.