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Podcast Ep. 174: Updates to 2680H High-Performance Disk

31 Aug 2022

In this episode, we will be talking about Tillage - but more specifically, we will discuss updates to the John Deere 2680H High-Performance Disk.

You can find past podcast episodes and view show notes by visiting our Podcast website

Watch related: Get Started with Work Planner in the John Deere Operations Center

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Read the entire transcript from the latest episode.

With that, let's dive into the show. As I said, we are going to talk about tillage. We're going to discuss some of the updates with the 2680H. So, those of you who are unfamiliar with the 2680H, this is John Deere's High Performance Disc. Some may refer to it as a compact disc or a high speed disc. There's a number of them out there on the market. The 2680H is the John Deere offering on that platform. Now, this tool can come in various widths. We get it from, I believe, eight feet all the way up to 45 feet. So, kind of fits every operation out there. Now, one thing to keep in mind, this tool takes horsepower. So, we talk about high performance disc or high speed disc. We want to be running this at 14 up to, I should say, up to 14 miles an hour.

The recommended starting point for horsepower is going to be about 15 horse per foot of tool. So, that being said, wider tools is going to take a lot of horsepower and that's all dependent on what your topography is like. If you've got a lot of rolling hills, if you've got heavy soil types, if you've got light soil types, each one is just a little bit, or each situation is going to be a little bit different. But do not, if you are looking at one of these, whether it is the John Deere 2680H, or it is one of the competitors out there on the market, do not oversize the tool for your operation, make sure you've got the horsepower to pull it and make sure you can do, you can continue to pull it uphill because these types of tools or this kind of platform of tool likes speed, and the better job, or you do a better job with more speed.

So, that being said, like I said, John Deere introduced this a couple years back and when it first came out, it was pretty basic. So, the depth adjust was all done with depth stops or cylinder stops on the tool. So, you would go across and you would set these flip over cylinder stops on all of your hydraulic cylinders across the tool. That worked great. It was very simple. Kind of going back to what I always talk about tillage is it's a very simple process or used to be moving forward. It's not as basic as what we assume or what it used to be. It's definitely getting more intense, more high tech, but it's all for good reason. It's easier to operate. It's more user friendly. But on that note with it being cylinder stops and just basic adjustment, there has been some updates to the tool moving forward.

One of those updates I want to start with is single-point depth adjust. So, the new 2680H is coming out, I believe model year 23 is what the specifics were on at. It will come with single-point depth adjust. So, that being said, similar to many of the other tillage tools that John Deere has in the portfolio, just one place to adjust the depth. You got the little turn knob with the screw adjust slider that goes back and forth to adjust your depth. Now, one unique thing on the 2680H, there's actually two of them. And the reason we have two of them is because the front wheels that carry the tool and then the rear finishing attachment or rear basket that also carries the tool, they're on different cylinder sequences or different SCVs. So, you will have one to adjust the front of the tool and then you'll have one lever to adjust the rear of the tool.

Now, you want to make sure that those are running at the same depth or as level as possible. But the nice part is that we can adjust front and rear to where of that tool is not tracking straight. We can adjust the tool ever so slightly front or rear with those single-point stops. And the reason we would want to, or have to do that is the front discs on these 2680H is, the front row of discs are at a 17 degree angle of attack, and the rear discs are at a 14 degree angle of attack. So, if we're not level, or if there's something, if it's just not tracking straight in the field, we can cheat it just a little bit front or back to make sure that we are tracking straight. Now, one of the other things that isn't as widely known or commonly known with these tools and any type of tillage tool for that matter, and this is something that I want to say got me thinking because I've sat in the tractor and done a lot of tillage passes in my day.

It's like the first official job that every farm kid gets to do, beyond rock picking and pulling weeds, of course is tillage. That's like the first big job. At least that was my first big job. I started out with picking rock and pulling weeds. And then once you're old enough to responsibly drive the bigger equipment, you get to do tillage. And one thing that I never realized or never thought about was a tillage tool is always going to pull its straightest. If it has mirror types of soil or matching types of soil on either side of it. So, whether that be unworked ground on both sides of the tool or worked ground on both sides of the tool, that is going to give your tillage tool the best opportunity to pull straight down the field.

So, that being said, when we run these 2680H's, and it's some has to do with the characteristic of the tool and that you leave it in the ground when you actually turn, but that's kind of with these narrower tillage tools, you put the tool down, and the 2680H, you do not lift it up when you turn around.

So, you need to make a skip pass. So, where you would till one pass, you skip the one next to you, and then you go down the next pass. That gives you a wider area to turn around. Now, with that, like I said, your tillage tool is going to pull straighter because it's got either worked ground on both sides or unworked the ground on both sides. That can also be said for other types of tillage tools. Whether it's a 2230 field cultivator, or it's a 2430 chisel plow, 2730 ripper, combination ripper. Whatever type of tillage tool or any tillage tool, non-John Deere, anyone out there, if you work your ground in a skip pass operation, your tillage tool will have the opportunity to pull straighter. With ground engaging tools, they're always going to go to the path of least resistance. So, if we have unworked ground on one side, it will often cheat that way because it's easier to pull through the ground kind of a characteristic of soil and ground engaging tools. And it's something that I never really thought about until recently.

Now, that may have come from two days of doing field days for customers, employees focusing on the tillage class, but it's something to keep in mind when you're out there doing tillage. So, back to the 2680H and the single-point, it gives us the ability to adjust front and rear so that if we need to, we can cheat it. The other thing is, make sure we're doing a skip pass operation. The other big announcement or big update to the 2680H that I'm super excited about is along with the single-point depth adjust, we now have true set tillage on the 2680H. Now, true set tillage has been out for a while. It was first introduced on our 2730 combination rippers a number of years back, and since then has been added to other tools like our 2230, 2430s, our 2660VTs, all of those other tools within the John Deere lineup.

Now, I mentioned the 2660 VT. That's going to have a lot more functionality with true set, just because of the different adjustments that we have. On the 2680H, it's going to be pretty simple because all we're doing is adjusting depth. Now, we can adjust front and rear. We can cheat it. We can do what we need to, but all of that is being done right from inside the cab. So, we no longer... With the single-point depth adjust, we moved on from having to do those cylinder stops or the depth stops on every cylinder, and we got single-point. Jumping forward with adding true set, which I should note that single-point depth and true set come based on any new 2680H. And then looking backwards as of today, there is no retrofit kit. So, if you have an older 2680H we do not have the opportunity or the possibility right now to add single-point depth adjust or true set. So, just keep that in mind.

But we added single-point depth adjust, and then we added true set. And what true set does, it gets all of that adjustability, right from inside the cab. The other great part about having that is we also have the ability to do presets. So, if we've got high residue areas, low residue areas, or we've got high compaction areas, low compaction areas, wet ground, dry ground, many different reasons why you would want to vary the intensity of your tillage. We can do that now with the 2680H right from inside the cab utilizing our presets. And if you want to take it a step further, which this is a conversation for a whole different day, we can do prescription-based tillage. Yes, I said it. Prescription-based tillage. We can predetermine how our tillage, how intense we want our tillage to be across that field.

A lot of people ask the question, why would you do that? And there's various different reasons why you would do it, but a lot of it just comes down to certain conditions across the field. Again, going back to varying residue levels, or different types of soil, or whatever it may be, I think back to a day where, again, going back to the farm as a kid, and there was a certain portion of the field that my uncle did not want me to work. So, what I did is I used the old area counter on the old... Well, I guess it would've been a 9400 John Deere, 9400 four wheel drive I think is what it was in. But there's an area counter, a distance meter on the side panel over there. And I mapped out the area or I dug a boundary around the area where I didn't want to dig, which was essentially a sandy hilltop. And then what I did is finish digging the rest of the field. Well, we can do things like that with prescription-based tillage.

So, again, a conversation for a whole different day. This episode, I just really wanted to key in on the 2680H updates and where we've come from. Some of that manual cylinder stop adjustments, all the way to adding this year for model year 23, adding the single-point depth adjust along with true set tillage and all of that in-cab adjustability, so very exciting. Like I said earlier in this episode, tillage is not just a piece of iron that we're pulling through the ground anymore. There's a lot of benefits to the technology that's being added. And if we go back a number of episodes towards the beginning of the year I mentioned, or we talked about getting prepared for automation.

And one of those things is tillage automation that John Deere introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show here at the beginning of 2022. Part of the components of that is utilizing true set tillage. So again, if you haven't listened to that episode, I would encourage you to go back. That was episode number 162. We talked about kind of that road or that path to automation or automated tillage. So, a lot of components come into it. True set tillage is one of those. So, getting true set on your farm is going to help you bridge those gaps between where we're at today and fully autonomous tillage down the road.

So, please take a moment to subscribe to this podcast if you haven't already. You can subscribe to the show on the many different podcasting apps that we're streaming this out to such as Apple Podcast, Google Podcast. We've got it on Stitcher, Overcast, SoundCloud, as well as many others. While you're out there, please drop us a review. We'd love to hear what you think about the show. And finally, make sure to follow RDO Equipment Company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You can also follow me on Twitter @rdoTonyK. With that, we are going to wrap up this episode. Hopefully you learn something here today and we will catch you on the next one.

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