The durable KUHN Krause in-line rippers provide an efficient solution to soil compaction while retaining surface residue. Leading the category with its no-till shank capability, KUHN Krause in-line rippers aggressively remove compaction and leave the soil surface virtually undisturbed, retain residue for no-till farming, allow water infiltration and deep root development.


The 4835 in-line ripper provides efficient compaction removal, while allowing crop residue to remain virtually undisturbed on the surface. Working widths ranging from 10’ to 27’6”, and a variety of shank and point options are available to meet your agronomic needs.

What is an in-line ripper and how does it fight soil compaction?

An in-line ripper is a primary tillage tool designed to alleviate compaction at depths of eight inches or greater by using shanks mounted side-by-side to maximize soil fracture by shattering compaction with the point and wing. Coulters are used in front of the shank to cut the residue and let it pass through the machine without plugging. Adjustable gauge wheels are mounted under the frame of the machine for depth control of the shanks. The machine can be fitted with a variety of shanks to accomplish different agronomic goals. A no-till shank disturbs the soil very little for customers who want to maintain surface residue to help mitigate erosion, MRD (minimum residue disturbance) shanks disturb the soil slightly more for customer who intend to work the ground before seeding, and a parabolic shank is used for conventional-till where maximum mixing of the soil and residue is desired. No-till shanks are widely used in most of the United States and are the most popular configuration. In-line rippers are valuable tools in conservation agriculture and are an easy way to increase yield potential, especially as farm equipment keeps getting bigger and heavier, contributing to increased compaction concerns.


What is deep tillage?

Deep tillage is generally considered eight inches or more with the goal of reducing compaction typically caused by truck traffic, grain carts, and wet harvest conditions. Removing compaction allows plant roots to penetrate the soil profile for better access to air, water, and nutrients required to thrive. Ripping also opens the soil for better water infiltration, increasing the water storage capabilities of the field.

How much horsepower does an in-line ripper need? 

Many factors affect the horsepower required to pull an in-line ripper; soil type, moisture conditions, tillage depth, desired speed, as well as shank and point type are all factors. For example, a no-till shank of equal thickness is going to take more horsepower than a parabolic shank, since the soil tends to slide up the leading edge of the shank, thereby reducing draft. If the compaction is severe that will increase the horsepower per shank, as it takes horsepower to remove compaction. Horsepower per shank is going to range from 35 to 50 engine horsepower.

How deep should you run an in-line ripper?

The ripper should only be run with the point and wing (if equipped) just slightly lower (about 1”) than the compaction layer for maximum fracture. Running the tip just below the compaction layer forces the layer up and out destroying the compaction. If the point is too deep, the layer will not be forced up and out, and the shank will only cut a small slot through the compaction causing an excessive wear-line in the shank above the point.

What is the difference between a subsoiler and a ripper?

A ripper is generally used in the corn belt at maximum depths of 16”. A subsoiler is designed for deep tillage, working at depths greater than 16” for specialty crops. Some manufacturers use both terms to describe an in-line ripper.

What is the difference between an in-line ripper and a disc ripper?

The difference between an in-line ripper and disc ripper is the amount of soil surface disturbance, and shank spacing is usually wider on in-line rippers. Disc rippers are typically offered on 18” or 24” effective shank spacing that removes more of the compacted zone and the discs cut residue into smaller sizes mixing it into the soil to promote residue decomposition. In-line ripper shank spacing starts at 30” and goes all the way up to 40” for bedded crops. Typically, in-line rippers do not tend to disturb the soil surface as much. However, if equipped with a parabolic shank, the in-line ripper can achieve good soil and residue mixing, especially if equipped with cover boards. 

What is the best in-line ripper for me?

The optimum inline ripper for your farm depends on the size of your tractor and your soil conditions. For tractors equipped with a 3-point hitch there are sizes as small as 4 shanks going all the way up to 11 shanks. For tractors without a 3-point hitch, a pull-type hitch can be utilized on all but the smallest size. Shank spacings up to 40” are available, but the 30” spacing is the most popular in most parts of the U.S. There are a variety of shank and point types to leave minimal disturbance as desired or conversely as much mixing of the soil and residue as possible. The no-till shank is the most popular and leaves the surface virtually undisturbed, so it is possible to drill or plant into afterward. For an even smoother finish when using no-till shanks, some rippers may be equipped with an attachment called closing wheels which minimize soil blow out. The MRD (minimum residue disturbance) shank is a little more aggressive and is used when a vertical tillage tool or other light tillage is going to be used afterward. Finally, the parabolic shank is going to be much more aggressive and may be used for incorporating manure and where more aggressive seedbed preparation will be performed later. Kuhn offers rigid and folding models utilizing heavy duty 6” X 6” steel tubing frame for durability with easy to adjust depth gauge wheels and can be equipped with shear bolt, spring reset, or the exclusive Pathfind’r™ shank mount designed for articulated or two track tractors to reduce stress on the shanks and ripper frame as well as the tractor hitch.  The machine offers an optional rugged rear lift style pull-type hitch with tires in the back and that raise and lower the machine. Closing wheels are also available for the ultimate field finish in conservation tillage.

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