How to Use a Moldboard Plow

Moldboard plows are carefully engineered and manufactured to provide dependable and satisfactory use.

Like all mechanical products, it will require proper assembly and observed safety measures during operation.

This article will take you using a mouldboard plow.


  1. Tighten all loose hardware using the torque chart in your user manual on page 14. Replace any missing hardware; on new machines, all hardware must be rechecked after the first few hours of operation.
  2. Back tractor to align lower link arms with plow link pins.
  3. Connect lower link arms using the link pins provided. Secure with click pins.
  4. Connect the top link to implement using a pin. Secure with click pins. Adjust the top link so the plow bottom sits flat on the ground.

Tractor front-end ballast

  1. Front-end ballast may be required for stability and steering control when weight is transferred to the back tires as the plow is raised. As a general guide:
  2. Ballast the tractor (less plow) so that approximately 1/3 of the tractor weight is on the front wheels.
  3. When the mounted plow is raised, the reaction on the front wheels should be less than 20% of the tractor and plow weight.
  4. See your tractor operation manual regarding adding weights.

Tractor hydraulics

  1. Always set the 3-point hitch in the float mode to allow the plow to follow the contour of the ground.
  2. Many newer tractors are equipped with Load Sensing hydraulics. It is the responsibility of the operator to set the tractor’s hydraulic system to provide float on the 3-point hitch. Refer to the tractor operator manual for details.

Tractor ground speed

  1. Plowing speed can vary between 3 and 6 mph (5 and 10 kph) depending on the trash and soil conditions. It is the responsibility of the operator to note the condition of the job being done and set the speed to obtain a quality plowing job.


  • Space the strike-outs to minimize driving empty at the field’s end when starting a new field or working area. Keep the strike-outs as close to parallel as possible.
  • Leave a headland wide enough to allow for easy turning.
  • Set the hitch so the right rear tractor tire runs in the furrow.
  • Scour the plow in sandy conditions to remove rust and build-up on the moldboard before starting work. This will reduce power requirements and make a higher quality job.
  • Add weight to the plow frame in very hard conditions. Do not add more than 75 pounds per bottom.
  • Install the optional colter in heavy trash or ground cover conditions. This will cut through the surface material and make a clear path for the moldboard.
  • Set the colter 1-2” from the moldboard for best results.
  • Maintain the landslide and wear plate in good condition. They stabilize the side load from the shears going through the ground.