A beam in an ox drawn plough refers to the main structural component of a plough that provides support and helps to distribute the weight of the plough to the ground. The beam is typically made of a strong material such as steel and is attached to the plough body and the plough share, which is the part of the plough that actually cuts and lifts the soil.
Features of Plough Beam
The beam in an ox drawn plough possesses several important features that contribute to its functionality and effectiveness. Here are some key features of the beam in an ox drawn plough:
The beam is typically constructed from sturdy and durable materials such as metal. It needs to withstand the forces exerted during ploughing, ensuring it remains strong and intact.
Length and Shape
The beam is long and slender, extending from the hitching point to the front of the plough. Its length determines the distance between the draft animals and the plough, providing adequate clearance and maneuverability.
The beam has attachment points for securing the draft animals. These attachment points may include yokes, harnesses, or other connecting mechanisms specific to the region or type of plough.
To enhance stability, the beam may be reinforced or designed with additional elements. For example, it may have cross-bracing or supports to minimize flexing or twisting during ploughing.
Some beams have adjustable height mechanisms. This allows farmers to raise or lower the position of the plough’s blade by modifying the angle of the beam. This feature helps adapt to different soil conditions and desired ploughing depths.
The beam often has handles or grips positioned at the front end. These handles provide a point of contact for the farmer to hold and guide the plough during operation. They allow for steering control and facilitate maneuvering through the field.
The beam is designed to evenly distribute the pulling force exerted by the draft animals across the plough. This helps prevent excessive strain on individual components and ensures efficient ploughing.
Size of Beam in Plough Beam
The size of the beam in an ox drawn plough can vary depending on factors such as regional practices, plough design, and the specific requirements of the farming system. Here are some general guidelines regarding the size of the beam in an ox drawn plough
The length of the beam typically ranges from 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 meters), although it can vary based on local traditions and specific plough designs. The length is determined by factors such as the size and strength of the draft animals, the desired distance between the animals and the plough, and the field conditions.
Diameter or Thickness
The diameter or thickness of the beam depends on the material used and the desired strength. For wooden beams, the diameter can range from 3 to 6 inches (7.6 to 15.2 centimetres), while metal beams may have varying thicknesses depending on the specific design and material.
The weight of the beam can vary depending on the material used and the overall size of the plough. Wooden beams are typically lighter compared to metal beams, which may add more weight to the plough.
Use of Beam in Plough
The beam in an ox drawn plough serves several important purposes. Here are the primary uses of the beam in an ox drawn plough.
The beam acts as a connecting link between the draft animals, such as oxen or bulls, and the plough. It distributes the pulling force exerted by the animals evenly across the plough, ensuring a balanced load and reducing strain on individual components.
The beam serves as the attachment point for the harness or yoke of the draft animals. It connects the animals to the plough, allowing them to pull the plough through the field.
Stability and Balance
The beam plays a crucial role in maintaining stability and balance during ploughing. It helps keep the plough level and prevents it from tilting excessively or wobbling as it moves through the soil. This contributes to smoother and more efficient ploughing.
By applying pressure or guidance to the handles connected to the beam, farmers can control the direction in which the plough moves. The beam acts as a steering mechanism, allowing farmers to navigate the field and maintain a straight or curved path as desired.
Some ox drawn ploughs have beams with adjustable height. This feature allows farmers to raise or lower the position of the plough’s blade, thereby adjusting the depth of ploughing based on the soil type, crop requirements, or farming practices.
Overall, the beam in an ox drawn plough is a critical component that provides stability, load distribution, and control during ploughing operations. It facilitates the connection between the draft animals and the plough, allowing for effective soil preparation and crop cultivation.
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