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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Miller, Nicholas

Submitted to: Ohio State University Thesis
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/16/2005
Publication Date: 6/16/2005
Citation: Miller, N.C. 2005. Grade control capability of cantilever dainage plows under experimental conditions [MSc Thesis]. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University. 375 p.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The main objective of the research was to evaluate multiple pull-behind drainage plows under the same experimental conditions while including a self-propelled drainage plow. The study included a Soil-Max Gold Digger 3-point mounted drainage plow, a Liebrecht drawbar-pull drainage plow and a Hoes cantilever self-propelled drainage plow. The research was conducted by using evaluation methods established by previous research of the Liebrecht plow. In addition to comparing the machines head to head, a separate analysis was conducted with a Johnson drawbar-pull drainage plow comparing proportional to on-off grade control systems. The data collected was separated out by speed, depth, grade and machine and then analyzed for deviations by 5 different methods and compared against a subsurface drainage installation standard, ASTM 449-02. The first three detection methods quantify each individual deviation based upon the depth of water or sediment pooi that it could create. By these detection methods it was found that the Hoes drainage plow’s mean deviations when broken down by the above categories were significantly smaller than the other two machines. Also the Gold Digger yielded the highest percentage of deviations that exceeded the allowable criteria set forth by the ASTM standard followed by the Liebrecht drainage plow and then the Hoes drainage plow. Potentially the wind disturbance of the laser transmitter caused the Gold Digger drainage plow to have a higher percentage of exceeding deviations. The next two detection methods fit a linear regression and a line of design grade to each continuous segment of data. For these two methods the Liebrecht drainage plow yielded the highest percentage of deviations that exceeded the criteria set forth by ASTM. The linear regression mean deviations did not show any significantly different patterns between the machines. The design grade method did show that the Gold Digger had the lowest mean deviation followed by the Hoes plow and then the Liebrecht. By these detection methods it was found that the Gold Digger plow’s actually installed grade closely matched the design grade which potentially is a function of the laser transmitter. For the deviation detection methods the time duration and distance of each deviation was recorded. From this data it was found that there was no difference between the three machines in the time and length of a deviation. When the data was broken down by speed, it was found for all three machines that with increasing speed the time duration of a deviation decreased and the distance increased. Similarly when the data was broken down by grade, it was found that with increasing grade the time duration and distance affected by a deviation decreased. When comparing the two grade control systems with the Johnson drainage plow, it was found that the proportional system yielded significantly smaller deviations under similar operating conditions. These deviations may have been smaller, but they were also more frequent than the on-off grade control system. The increased frequency but smaller deviations of the proportional system were found to be related to the smaller deadband and adjustable valve speed. Overall the drainage plows’ mean deviations were below the ASTM standard, but the occurrences greater than the guideline still leave room for improvement.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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