Going Deep on Rodeo Footing

Getting the Right Depth In Your Rodeo Arena

People ask us, can a Speedmaster get the footing depth needed for Barrel Racing, Roping, and other Rodeo events? The answer is a resounding YES! Our independently adjustable scarifiers give you complete control of your arena footing depth so you can get it just how you like it for each specific event.

ABI Products Shown In This Video

Speedmaster Arena Drag & Arena Groomer

ABI SpeedMaster


Getting the Perfect Arena Footing Depth

What’s going on, everyone? Matt here with ABI attachments. Welcome back to another episode of the “ABI dirt.” We are onsite or offsite. Either way, we’re not in the shop today. We’re actually here at The MEC. It is the Michiana Event Center here in the metropolitan area of Shipshewana, Indiana. Our friends here at The MEC invited us onsite. We’re actually with the engineering team off-camera. They’re camera shy, sorry about that. You’ll meet them soon. The engineering team today are working on some upgrades to the laser system on the DragMaster, but that’s for a later video as well, update soon to come there. While they’re working on that, I thought I’d take some time and take a look at the SpeedMaster since they’ve got one hooked up to the Kubota here in the beautiful arena here at The MEC. So specifically today, I know we can talk ad nauseam about the SpeedMaster. There’s so much you can do with it. But the common question we’ve got when it comes to the SpeedMaster is questions involving how do I get the footing as deep as I want to get it? And so that’s what I wanna take a look at today.

So I know I said we’re gonna talk about depth, but there are two disclaimers, two things you’ve gotta know about the SpeedMaster before we talk about how deep you can rip and how to make that happen. First thing, when it comes to the SpeedMaster, you’ve got five points of engagement. You’ve got your front scarifiers, a level blade in the middle, grooming rods, rolling basket, and finish rake. That rolling basket that’s right here tucked in under that finish rake, the rolling basket and the back tire of your tractor from your plane of operation. Any ground engaging component in between the rolling basket and your back tire, they’re gonna function on one plane and you can operate them independently

Horse Arena Maintenance Equipment That Can Go Deep

And that brings me to my second point, my second disclaimer I wanna get into, it’s important to highlight that the leveling feature on this SpeedMaster can be controlled hydraulically and independently from the frame. There are quite a few arena drags on the market that have got that leveling blade or the leveling function of the drag fixed to the frame itself. That means the only way that you’re going to be leveling in your arena is if you’re working that hydraulic lever and your entire three-point system, the entire drag is raising and lowering so that you can accomplish leveling. The problem with that approach is that your ground-engaged components, your vertical agitation, the things that are ripping up your soil to get as deep as you want, they’re also attached to that frame that’s going up and down. So as you’re raising and lowering the entire tool, you’re not getting as deep as you want to get, because your vertical agitation components are getting pulled out of the soil.

That’s why we’ve opted here in the SpeedMaster, and I know you can see all these different adjustment points, right? You see hydraulic cylinders up here, a rocker shaft, square jack. We did that on purpose to give you the ability to independently adjust these components so that when you’re in your tractor and you’ve got the drag set the way you want, you drop the three point down, it’s where you want it to be. Then you can control your leveling function independently from the vertical agitation. So I wanted to get there first before we talk about vertical agitation so that you know you’ve got the power to set the tool, move those two things independently so that you can level and get the depth you want simultaneously rather than making multiple passes.

So when it comes to your primary ripping component, your primary power to get the depth that you want in your footing, here in the very front of the SpeedMaster, we have got J-shanks with bolt-on tips. I want to highlight the bolt-on tips. If you’re running this SpeedMaster on a regular basis, if you have got a facility that you’ve got shows all year long, I highly recommend you to buy these scarifier tips, buy the 50 box, put them on the shelf. That way, when you swap them out, you’re not in a pinch when the show’s right around the corner. Also, we’ve opted for those bolt-on tips, because we don’t want you to have to replace the entire J-shank. That’s a pain in the butt, especially when there’s a whole lot of metal that you’re not using anyway. So we opted for the bolt-on tips, makes your life a lot easier, saves you a lot of money. These J-shanks are the primary decompaction component on the SpeedMaster. This is how you get as deep as you want. Again, independently operated from the seat of your tractor with that auxiliary hydraulic.

Tips For Arena Footing Depth

Now, if you are chattering a little bit, if you’re not getting the depth you want when you have those scarifiers engaged, you can drop those down as deep as you want. You can get about six or seven inches of depth in your footing out of this SpeedMaster. In fact, we were just working here today trying to get as deep as we could go, because they’ve got a barrel clinic coming up soon. And we actually were stalling out this 90-horsepower Kubota. So if you’re in a situation where you’re scratching the surface, first tip, be patient. Take your time. It’s a little bit like going to the barbershop that you gotta take a little bit at a time as you go. These scarifiers can get that depth that you want. You might just have to make multiple passes.

Second tip, if you bury the scarifier so much that you’re starting to stall out your tractor, you’ve probably got those a little bit too deep, back them off a little bit. And again, be patient, take time, and take your multiple passes. Another tip, if you are now preparing the arena before a major show, as opposed to actually running during the show, running during the events, you can actually, if you’ve got an hydraulic top link, which we don’t have on the tractor here at The MEC, if you’ve got that hydraulic top link, then you can actually tilt the entire SpeedMaster forward a little bit to really be as aggressive as you can with those J-shank scarifiers. Word of caution there, however, you have got a lot of weight here in the SpeedMaster, especially if you’ve got water in the tank in the midst of it, just be careful going nose down. If you’ve got the horsepower, especially once you get over 100-horsepower tractor or so, that’s a lot of muscle, and it’s a lot of weight to be going nose down on it.

So standard recommendation, get this SpeedMaster level, and level for us means from the bottom of the SpeedMaster, get that parallel to the ground. Get those J-shanks in operation. I know we’ve got grooming rods there, but remember scarifiers are your primary weapon of choice when it comes to depth. Get the tool level, get it set. You don’t need to move the tool up and down and just work your auxiliary hydraulic system on your tractor and get the depth you need here with these scarifiers.

That’s all we’ve got today as far as a quick tip on how to get the depth that you want in your footing with the SpeedMaster. We would love to hear from you on what tool you use in your arena for your speed events. I know there’s a lot of great arena drags out there, a lot of tools that can rip up the footing and get some good depth, so you’ve got the purchase you need when you’re running those speed events. Leave us some comments, whether you’re watching on YouTube, leave us a comment below. If you’re on socials, drop us a comment there. Let us know what tool you use and why you like it so much, what you like about the tool that you’ve got to get your footing the way you want it. And we’d love to answer any questions you have about the SpeedMaster. Don’t forget our product specialists are available for you. Give us a call. We’d love to see what you’re doing, and love to see how we can help. See you next time.

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