Carbide-Infused Sweeps Run in Wheel Tracks – Farm Show Magazine vol 41, No. 3

“The highest wear to field cultivator shovels occurs in the tractor wheel track, so we decided to design a product that would address that problem,” says Loran Balvanz of USM Wear Technologies. “The result is a patent pending field cultivator shovel we call the “Wheel Tracker”. The “Wheel Tracker” has a metal fin that extends 3 inches below the center of the shovel. The fin helps break up compacted soil and provides greater mixing action for better seed bed preparation and weed control.”

Balvanz goes on to say, “That combining the new shovel design with the company’s patented Caden Edge technology extends the useful life of a Wheel Tracker shovel by 3 to 5 times”.

“There are a lot of people out there who tell you that coating the top  of a shovel is all you need to do, but our research shows that shovels wear out from the bottom,” Balvanz says “That’s the impact point that’s traveling through the most compaction. We address that problem by putting a small amount of Caden Edge on the bottom of the shovel, about 1/4 in. wide and just a few hundredths of an inch tall.”

They also apply tungsten carbide to the front of the shovel near the cutting edge and to other high friction locations on cultivator sweeps. Balvanz says that when they first tested the Wheel Tracker, the farmer running the cultivator told them the shovels went in the ground easier and the soil was more uniformly tilled behind the wheels. “When we dug behind a normal sweep shovel in the wheel track we could easily find a compacted area to the side of where the shovel worked. With the Wheel Tracker, that compacted area was broken apart and definitely looser,” says Balvanz.

Balvanz says the Caden Edge process is different than conventional hard surfacing.  “We use a robotic welder that literally infuses the carbide particles into the base metal, making the edge much stronger than the other metal parts. We’re using the technology on shovels, grinding hammers, tines for harrows and other products subject to severe abrasion, “In 2017 Balvanz will have 2 seed companies run independent tests using Wheel Tracker shovels on half of a field cultivator and regular sweeps on the other half, “Our goal in to validate what we saw in the field last year and determine how it comes through into plant growth and overall yield. Even if it’s just a 1 or 2 percent increase, that’s astounding, and certainly worth the added cost of these huge performance shovels.”

USM Wear Technologies has been applying Caden Edge technology onto conventional shovels used for primary or secondary tillage since 2014. “We’ve got more than 200,000 units in the marketplace and not a single complaint,” says Balvanz.

Contact: FARM SHOW Follow up U.S. Manufacturing, Inc., 1707 21st St., Eldora, Iowa 50627 Phone: 1- 800-800-1812 E-mail: