Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forum › Equipment Category › Equipment › Forecart Question › Reply To: Forecart Question
Your point is well-taken on riding vs, walking, Donn. I think you may have stated elsewhere on the forum that the weight of a forecart could be as much as half the draft when towing a disc harrow—and the teamsters weight is not adding anything to the effectiveness of the harrows. The other factor of course, is that riding in front of the forecart places the teamster in a more vulnerable position in front of whatever is being towed. A couple of years ago it was such a mild fall that I was able to plow into December. I went out to disc one morning not realizing how cold it had been overnite. Once we got into the field with the disc behind the cart it became obvious that some of the furrows were frozen and I was getting a bumpy ride. While trying to get off the field again I got bounced right out of my seat and landed in a sitting position between the cart wheel and the discs. Fortunately, I still had the lines and the team had stopped as soon as they felt the tension on the lines from me falling off—could’ve ended badly though.
The problem I have is that my old HD disc did not come with a truck and I had way too much side-to-side shimmy on it–to the point where it was whacking the horses legs. Essentially, I am using the forecart as a giant tongue truck just to make it safer to use the tool.
I also found myself pulling other drag harrows on the cart last summer because I was integrating two green broke horses into field work and I find that, once they are reasonable on the cart, I actually feel more confident at that stage taking them out on a wheeled vehicle rather than walking behind them over rough ground. It seems pretty clear though, that the most efficient use of horse power with the drag harrows is to wak behind them.