How to Set the Draft Control on a Tractor

by Clayton Yuetter
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The draft control on a tractor's three-point hitch becomes very important when plowing. Without it, when the mulboards hit a hard patch of ground the tractor will spins its wheels, and in some cases, break the plow. Draft control senses the extra strain on the hitch and allows the plow to raise just enough to get through the hard spot, immediately returning to the desired depth. The location of the draft control lever or knob is different in every tractor, but the process of determining the correct setting is the same.

Step 1

Locate the draft control lever inside the cab of the tractor. Reference the operator's manual if necessary; the draft control lever is in a different location on every model. For example, in a Ford 8870 it is a round knob with the numbers 1 through 5 next to the hydraulic control levers.

Step 2

Set the draft control in a middle position.

Step 3

Begin plowing. Consistently look behind you and observe the plow, particularly when it is going through hard ground or up and down hills. Do the mulboards tend to lift out of the ground too easily or take a long time lowering back down? Do the tractor tires spin through a hard spot?

Step 4

Readjust the draft control lever or knob, as necessary. If the tractor spins too much, lower the draft control so the mulboards lift out of the ground quicker. If the plow "skips" too much, increase the amount of draft strain allowance.

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