The Juwel 8 is Lemken’s latest mounted reversible plough series and combines ease of use with longer-lasting wearing parts, says the manufacturer.
For now, the Juwel 8 is an additional series in the Lemken range and sits just below the larger Transanit models, but is likely, in the longer-term, to replace the Opal series.
Available in three- to seven-furrow versions with 900mm or 1,000mm body spacing, and working widths from 300mm to 500mm per body, it can be specified with hydraulic or mechanical variable width adjustment and hydraulic auto-reset among the numerous available options.
Our test plough was a five-furrow Juwel 8 VT with hydraulic auto-reset and slatted mould-boards and featured hydraulic turnover control, variable width and depth control via three double-acting service valves.
Plough alignment is adjusted via a turnbuckle, with electro-hydraulics, via an in-cab control, taking care of pitch settings and front furrow adjustment.
So is all this gadgetry really necessary just to turn a bit of soil over?
Hooking the plough up to our John Deere 6210R was a relatively simple process – couple up the linkage, plug in the clearly marked pipes, supply the controls with some electrical power and away you go.
In-cab controls consist of two buttons – one blue and one yellow. Pressing the yellow button allows the front furrow width to be adjusted using one of the service valves and holding and pressing the button again saves the setting.
Similarly, carrying out the same actions, the blue button can be used to alter and save the plough’s pitch angle.
The hydraulic trip pressure of the auto-reset system can also be altered from the tractor seat from 50bar to 140bar.
With no adjustments to be made in the yard, it was time to introduce the Juwel 8 to some light Cheshire soil.
To reduce the centre of gravity during turnover, the Juwel 8 automatically aligns itself behind the tractor during turnover – practically putting it in transport position. This reduces the throwing action the plough has on the tractor when turning over, often noticeable when working on slopes.
The furrow width was easily adjustable via the tractor’s hydraulics. We started with an initial reserved width of 400mm. This is indicated on the plough via a clearly visible width gauge.
When commencing the first bout, the plough can be kept level using the electro-hydraulic controls. During this bout, depth can also be adjusted along with front furrow width.
On the second bout, pitch angle can then be electro-hydraulically adjusted and virtual stops set. This also has to be set travelling in the opposite direction as the two stops can be set independently of each other. Depth, pitch angle and furrow width can be further fine-tuned to suit changing conditions.
By being able to quickly and easily make adjustments and settings on the move, sideways resistant forces can soon be eliminated – making it easier to pull, saving fuel and wearing parts. More time is saved by not having to stop to make fewer mechanical adjustments.
In all, by the time we had done four bouts of the field, we had the plough set, all without leaving the comfort of the cab.
Its slatted DuraMaxx mould-boards helped with the sticky conditions. These components have been designed to increase service life by up to 50 per cent, says Lemken.
This is because the components are manufactured from harder steel, compared to previous models, and not weakening them with drilled or punched holes.
The mould-boards and slats are not load-bearing and are supported by other structures. This means they can be worn much thinner without the risk of snapping. They can also be changed without tools.
Nor are tools required to alter the working depth and angle of skimmers, set independently with lynch pins. These, however, do look a little susceptible to catching and falling out.
Pictures by John Eveson
IS all this gadgetry worth it? As with most machinery it depends on what you want. We can see it being popular with contractors who have to deal with constantly changing conditions and situations, and if they are running the plough with several different tractors.
From hooking up to dropping off, we found the plough very simple to set up and use. We think, with this level of technology, people will be more inclined to make adjustments rather than have the ‘it will be alright attitude’, and just leave the plough as it is - resulting in prematurely worn parts and excessive diesel consumption.
With on the move adjustment, there is no excuse for wonky furrows, the wrong depth or pitch with this plough.
A standard shear bolt protected five-furrow Juwel 8 plough with depth wheel, skimmers and mechanical front furrow width adjustment retails at £19,015. Our high spec test 8 VT version, with DuraMaxx parts and auto-reset, retails at £33,824.