You can never have a proper functioning sweep if the shank is missing; it is the field cultivator shanks that hold the cultivator sweeps in position during tillage. In any plough job, the shanks would be deflected backwards by the tillage force and in the process adjust the pitch of the sweeps.
So how do they work? They hold the sweeps in their working position while they adjust the sweep pitch from time to time during tillage. Like stated before, the tillage force will impact on the shafts and automatically adjust the sweep pitch without your doing.
Sweep pitches occur in different tones in each of the field cultivator shanks you have on your field cultivator. One shank can be stiffer than another and may hold a lower pitch comparatively. But the Sweep pitch must always be maintained within 4 degrees or the tillage tool will malfunction. This can be avoided if you properly know your shanks and how you position them on the cultivator. You have to know which shanks are suitable for heavy duty jobs and which are not; for instance, a 32×50 mm is bigger than a 19×44 mm shank and will thus perform a heavier job. The bigger the shank the more heavy duty it is.
Moreover, it is the field cultivator shanks that protect both the sweeps and field cultivators from damage during tillage. The shanks contains a protective attachment on them which keep the sweeps and cultivator secure during hard impact that can for example be experienced in rocky places.
While the shank protection is that important, it is also vital to have it well positioned so it does not affect the performance of the field cultivator shanks, sweeps and the cultivators in general. The shank protection position on the field cultivator shanks will also determine the kind of job the field cultivator will be used for.
A shank protection positioned above the lower limit of the primary tillage limit will qualify that cultivator for primary tillage only. When the shank protection is in an upward position immediately after the secondary tillage limit but before the primary, the cultivator becomes applicable in secondary tillage jobs and to some extent minor primary tillage jobs. Thus how you place the protective attachment on the field cultivator shanks matters a lot in tillage.
That known, there are several types of field cultivator shanks you can apply to come up with leveled and smooth soiled seed beds. You can go with the S-Shank types which are compatible with many cultivator sweeps. Other suitable shanks are the Spring Tine Shank, Hoeme Shank, The 5” Rear Offset Shank and the straight shanks.
The most common of shanks are the universal field cultivator shanks. They have a 1.75 inch wide shank that is 9/16 inch thick. The universal shanks can work on all sorts of dry fields with a ground clearance estimated at 22 inches. Universal field cultivator shanks resemble the S Tine shanks though they are used with the old field cultivator sweeps.
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