Pat McNaught, regional territory manager at Orthman Tillage Systems, says the most critical part of a strip-till row unit is the shank, as the tillage and application of fertilizer happen at the point. With that in mind, Orthman made improvements to the shank and other parts of the row unit with its new 1tRIPr II strip-till rig design. 

McNaught and Mick Goedeken, agronomist at Orthman, gave a front-to-back tour of the Orthman 1tRIPr II strip-till machine during a Strip-Till Farmer digital demonstration in July

The 1tRIPr II, the latest iteration of Orthman’s strip-till row units, is a combination of new and tried-and-true designs. McNaught says the simple depth banded coulter design has been used on Orthman’s 1tRIPrs, cultivators and other applications for more than 25 years.

“It’s simple, it’s proven, and it flat out works,” McNaught says.

The new units are 100% cast instead of welded steel to lower the weight of the machine without sacrificing strength. It also makes the assembly and adjustments easier. 

Parallel linkage maintains consistent depth and fertilizer placement in uneven field conditions. The new with greaseless bushings eliminate daily maintenance. Goedeken says Orthman’s years of research revealed the ideal depth of fertilizer placement for corn is 7-8 inches. 

“Accuracy of fertilizer placement depth is critical,” McNaught says. “When you don’t have a parallel arm assembly, it’s pretty hard to guarantee that the fertilizer is going to be placed exactly where you want it.”

The 1tRIPr II uses two springs for down pressure, compared to 4 on the older unit, because the rig doesn’t need that much down pressure to stay in the ground. McNaught says the system is easy to repair and maintain, and it doesn’t have a lot of extra costs associated with it. 

The row cleaner design also got an upgrade on the 1tRIPr II. McNaught says 70% of residue, not 100%, should be moved out of the way when running in fields with heavy corn residue. The 1tRIPr II’s spiked opener is less aggressive than the older concave disc. 

“These are row cleaners — they’re not part of the tillage process,” Goedeken says. “I don’t want to see those engaged in the ground all of the time. I want to see them floating, and as they’re hitting residue, then you see them moving. I don’t want to see them moving soil as we’re going through the field.”

The “semi-floating” design also requires less adjustment than a fixed row cleaner and is less likely to plug. 

The 1tRIPr II uses 4 springs for auto-reset linkage. If the shank hits an underground obstruction, it will trip the auto-reset, the back end of the row unit will swing up, clear the obstruction and go back down. The operator doesn’t have to stop the implement or stop moving forward. 

The shank has a new and improved point that fractures 20% more of the root zone than the old one. McNaught says he’s seeing almost a double life expectancy of the new point on the 1tRIPr II compared to the older one. 

The shank can be set from 0-12 inches. McNaught says the point should be set about 0.5-1 inch below the most shallow compaction layer. Then the fertilizer placement tubes then can be independently adjusted inch-by-inch with simple row pins. 

“Once we get them set, very rarely are they changed,” McNaught says. “By keeping the design simple and locking the tooling solid, I could take you to countless machines that have 70,000 acres on them and still are running some of the original tooling from when they were new.”

The closing system features 18-inch wavy coulters, which are also part of compaction alleviation. The rolling basket, available in 5 options, has adjustable down pressure to break up remaining clods and ensure smooth planter operation. 

Learn more about the 1tRIPr II

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