Like wood carvers shaping blocks of basswood blade in hand, farmers since ancient days have had to shape the land they till with tools. There’s no need to explain the importance of good field drainage to producers, and earth movers are most often the tool for the job. While land scrapers and levelers remain a go-to for most in the field, a new machine by way of Ag Shield’s Terraformer 8650 offers a dynamic combination of methods merging the effects of the Bridgeview Pulldozer and the V-Wing Ditcher by Hi-Tec Ag.
Simply amazing in its adaptability, the video of the Terraformer 8650 in action reminds us of a skilled artisan.
What has operators and producers alike excited about the Terraformer 8650 as a model is it can shift to produce an unlimited number “V” or “U” formations. By activating a telescoping frame that attaches to the wings and slides forward or backward on the main beam, the machine can adjust in numerous ways to better capture or release dirt, like a wood carver’s tool across the block. Whether seamlessly transitioning from a Tilt Left to a Tilt Right, a U-Blade Carry Mode or a V-Carry Mode, the machine in motion makes a simple bulldozer look like something from the old Flintstones cartoon.
Any ag business — from commercial landscapers to facilities builders — understands the frustration of scooping up dirt and having to haul it, dump it, and return for another load. This is especially problematic when, in most cases, the operator simply needs to move the earth to the side as opposed to another location. The pulling technology manifest by way of the Pulldozer and V-Wing Ditcher was a tremendous leap forward, and by marrying those two concepts, the innovative Terraformer 8650 was born.
Who says the world can’t be flat?
These days, the V-Wing Ditcher, the Pulldozer, and the Terraformer concepts represent the preferred methods of earth moving for efficiency-minded agricultural and industrial operators alike.
Instead of digging, scooping, and dumping, these machines utilize adjustable blades to shape the land in continuous lines. Much better than digging up 15 yards at a time, it’s more like dragging than scooping — and in half an hour, a producer can create a waterway a foot deep by 30 feet wide, and half a mile long.
The Terraformer’s V-wings can be controlled like those on a plane, changing configurations to capture yards of soil at a time while carving the ground into the desired shape. As an earth-shaping multi-tool, the 31,000-pound machine offers a maximum cutting width of 28 feet and serves as a one-size-fits-all unit for tractors with 400 horsepower and up.
With a seemingly infinite number of adjustments, the Terraformer 8650 can capture up to 27 yards of earth in the U-blade configuration, and it can cut a flat ditch bottom from 12 to 28 feet. Auto grade and slope ready, it’s designed to contour land fast, as opposed to dig-and-dump.
From an engineering standpoint, the earth mover features hardened cutting edges, built with a standard construction-grade ripper tip and end bits (think D7, D9, and D11 dozers). The industrial cylinders feature bolt-on glands and induction hardened rods. Designed with a bull pull hitch for Cat 4 or 5 fittings, the machine has radial flotation tires and is designed to be transported with ease up to 43.5 miles per hour (70 kph).
With a 12-foot fully assembled transport width, the unit can be adjusted to a 10-foot 4-inch transport width by simply pulling two pins. Or, to transport within a sea container, one can just remove the spindle and eight pins for a 91-inch transport width.
Crafting the ground
The Terraformer 8650’s numerous adjustments include the Land Plane Mode, which is designed to leave the ground ready for seed planting. Whether shaping the land to avoid field run-off, or perhaps for building access roads, the machine is designed to handle a variety of needs. And that makes sense considering its manufacturer, Ag Shield Manufacturing Ltd. (contact number: 866-447-9033). As builders of cross augers, land rollers, multi-trailer units, roadside sprayers, ATV/UTV sprayers, hay reconditioners, and the Pasture Doctor, the company has a history of building machines to suit the agricultural community’s needs.
Founded in 1983 by Tom and Gary McCrea in the Canadian town of Benito, Manitoba, Ag Shield’s products were born of innovation and answer to the needs presented by their customers. Now in its second generation of ownership, the company continues in that tradition with machines like the Terraformer 8650.
Brian Boyce is an award-winning writer living on a farm in west-central Indiana. You can see more of his work at www.boycegroupinc.com. This article was written on behalf of Ag Shield Manufacturing.