Experimental research into new harrowing unit based on gantry agricultural implement carrier
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From the point of view of energy saving, research into agricultural gantry units equipped with new implements specially adapted for operation in such systems and capable of efficiently functioning in controlled traffic (permanent lane) and wide span (gantry) systems is an important and topical issue in soil tillage science. The range of wide span systems includes harrowing units for fallow land tillage. This paper describes the experimental determination of the operating characteristics of the harrowing unit, in which a gantry implement carrier propels harrows for fallow land tillage, for the purpose of establishing the compliance of their parameters with the fundamental principles of the effective implementation of the controlled traffic and wide span soil management. The experimental investigations were done using strain-gauge and control-and-measuring equipment with analogue-to-digital conversion of the signals received from the sensing elements. An agricultural wide span unit with a track width of 3.5 m and harrows for fallow land tillage were investigated. The results show the harrowing unit is well adapted to operation in controlled traffic and wide span soil tillage systems and delivers high quality performance of the harrowing process. The latter effect is also due to the fact that the gantry travels on the compacted tracks which have a few surface irregularities compared to cultivated soil. The coefficient of variation of the draught force applied to the hook of the gantry during harrowing operations did not exceed 10%. This is evidence of the high stability (low variability) of the harrowing process, which has a positive effect on the motion stability of the harrowing unit based on the gantry tractor.