The roar of a dozen race cars passing by as a crowd cheers for their favorite driver to win is a common scene at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio on a hot summer night.
Eldora is a ½ mile, high banked, dirt race track and was built in 1954 by Earl Baltes, a local Ohioan who had no previous racing experience. Under Baltes ownership, the track flourished. Baltes went on to become a prominent racing promoter while running the track. After many years in the business, Baltes retired and sold the race track to NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series Champion, Tony Stewart in late 2004. Eldora hosts events for sprint cars, late models, modified and stock car racing.
This certainly would not be the place most would picture KUHN equipment, but the track uses a KUHN HR 4004 power harrow on race day.
“We use a KUHN power harrow to grade and till the dirt,” explained Rob Platfoot, Facilities Manager at Eldora Speedway.
The track uses the power harrow to get deep down into the soil to help set the moisture before and after each race.
Eldora purchased the power harrow two years ago and they were using it, but it was not digging down deep enough into the track for their liking.
“At first I wasn’t a real big fan of the KUHN, but then we put the stronger, heavier teeth on there and now it’s a tool we can’t live without,” explained Platfoot.
The “teeth” Platfoot is referring to are a part of KUHN’s MaxiPacker roller that attaches onto the power harrow. The MaxiPacker has a large diameter of 21”. The roller requires less traction power and is less subject to sinking in light soil.
“I’ve noticed how the harrow marbles out the track when it’s time to send the push trucks out onto the track and how it smooths out all the holes after. When it’s time to send out the push trucks for a race, the ground is smooth and there’s better dust control too thanks to the job the harrow does,” added Platfoot.
The track also has another power harrow that is not a KUHN, but as Platfoot explained this harrow only scratches the top of the ground while the KUHN digs deep down into the soil mixing it up.
“With the KUHN power harrow, I can adjust the height, so it easily mixes up the soil to get the track the way we need it on race day,” explained Platfoot, “The knives are easy to change and the machine is real user friendly.”
As Platfoot stated, the roller height is easily adjustable with a simple multi-hole and stop-pin selector. Having no downward restriction, the roller holds the ground even when the machine is forced up during work. Due to the rounded shape of the pin and stop arm, the contact area is increased and any problems with burring are prevented.
The height adjustment and MaxiPacker roller are not the only advantage that Platfoot has noticed with the KUHN power harrow.
“It doesn’t take as long to work the track now. The harrow is a major asset because you can add more water to the track when it’s 100 degrees outside to work it into the soil to last awhile. Vice versa the harrow helps the track dry out on rainy days, when it’s too wet to dry by itself,” explained Platfoot.
Eldora’s KUHN experience would not be complete if it wasn’t for their KUHN dealer, Kenn-Feld Group in Coldwater, Ohio.
“We have an easy, good relationship with Kenn-Feld. They get us anything we need pretty quickly,” said Platfoot.
With both a strong dealer relationship and a positive experience using their HR 4004 D power harrow, Platfoot would highly recommend this piece of KUHN equipment to fellow race track facilities.
“The harrow digs down deeper not just scratching the surface of soil. It just works so much better for us.”