What Is a Reversible Plow: [Detailed Overview]

A reversible plow is a type of plow used in agriculture that can plow in two directions without having to manually turn the plow around. The plow shares can rotate to push soil either to the right or left as it moves forward and backward across a field.

This allows the farmer to plow an entire field in a back-and-forth pattern, which saves time and effort compared to conventional plows that must be turned at the end of each pass.

Reversible plows are equipped with hydraulics that automatically reverse the plowshares when the direction of travel is reversed.

Key Features of Reversible Plows

Reversible plows have several helpful design features:

Adjustable Plowing Depth

The depth of the rear of the plow can be adjusted using hydraulic controls. This allows the farmer to set the ideal plowing depth for the soil conditions.

The adjustable rear wheel also helps stabilize the plow when working in soft, muddy soils where the plow may tend to sink.

Being able to optimize plowing depth improves efficiency.

Heavy-Duty Frame

Reversible plows are built on a sturdy pipe or I-beam frame that provides strength and durability for rugged field conditions. The heavy frame allows the plow to withstand impact with rocks and debris.

It also provides good clearance underneath to prevent plugging in tall crop residues.

Ecological Design

Some modern reversible plows utilize a low-tillage design that minimizes soil disruption.

Rather than completely inverting the soil, specialized plowshares slice underneath and allow crop residue to be buried with minimal disturbance.

This helps preserve moisture, organic matter and soil structure.

Benefits of Using a Reversible Plow

There are many advantages that make reversible plows a wise investment for farm operations:

  • Saves time by eliminating unproductive turn-arounds at the end of each pass. The operator can continuously plow back and forth.
  • Reduces soil compaction issues by not turning repeatedly in the same location. Compaction can negatively impact soil health and crop yields.
  • Allows easy plowing in terraced fields, contours or sloped terrain by reversing direction rather than awkwardly turning.
  • Increased maneuverability compared to conventional plows. Reversing is easier than turning a traditional plow.
  • Produces a more consistent furrow depth and level surface since the plow shares maintain consistent alignment.

Reversible plows can help farmers increase productivity and efficiency while minimizing environmental impact through reduced soil compaction and low-tillage designs.

Leading farm equipment companies like John Deere, Case IH and Great Plains all offer reversible plow options.

With both productivity and sustainability benefits, reversible plows are an investment worth considering for farm operations large and small.

[Related Post: 5 Types Of Plows For Farming]