Gregoire Besson has been building ploughs since the 1900s, and it seems the French company has put all its considerable experience to good use in its latest design. The updated SP9 range is aimed at larger tillage farmers. The configuration on the bodies allows this plough to be sold as essentially a six-furrow semi-mounted, with the option of adding two extra furrows. An extra body can be added between the first and second furrow and then an extra body at the rear to make up the eight furrows.

Working in a field in Ashbourne, Gregoire Besson displayed the seven-furrow variant. It was powered by a Case Optum 300, but a lesser-powered tractor of around 220hp would probably be good enough. The big Optum seemed underwhelmed by the draft requirement.

Robin Immink, managing director for Gregoire Besson in the UK and Ireland, said the advantage of the interchangeable design is variable fields and ploughing for deep root crops when horsepower is not available. The auto-reset has a double tringle in the leg for a greater clearance height of 850mm over obstacles in the field. It essentially means there is a double movement in the plough leg. It trips without carrying the weight of the plough over the obstacle.

Picture one

The plough uses a rack and pinion turnover system. This is exclusive to the company, with over 15,000 units in use. This headstock is found on the larger semi-mounted ploughs only. There is no external ram, just a rack and pinion gear. The gear is hydraulically moved when the ram shifts the rack gear over and back, causing the pinion gear to move in the chosen direction to turn over the plough. Robin says this system is beefed up considerably on the new plough, and added that it never gives trouble. The system eliminates jerky turnover and reduces the shock load to the plough. The turnover can be stopped at any stage, allowing the articulated rear wheel to be steered on the headland. The plough was fitted with number eight bodies, and with hydraulic auto-reset protection system.

Picture two

The headstock features a 110° turning angle – Robin says this allows tight headland turns. The plough can be steered more by turning over the weight from one side to the other using the turnover mechanism. Also, the headstock features a hydraulic weight transfer system to keep the traction on the tractor. Robin added that, when turning tight, the plough points are located so as not to cause tyre damage to the tractor.

Picture three

The wheel position is just inside the last plough body – this allows for tight ploughing into the hedge on the headland. Robin claims this wheel is the largest on the market, with a diameter of 1.2m. The larger wheel design is fitted to deliver more lift capacity and improve stability, according to Robin. The wheel has a hydro-pneumatic suspension that can raise or lower for field work or road work. It acts like a soft ride system on the road. The wheel attachment has also received the bulking-up treatment, with stronger pin bushings and frame design. From the seat of the tractor, the plough runs aligned square with the toplink running in line with the plough and the tractor. For the in and out at the headland, the front furrows can be lifted first followed by the last three furrows when driving over the scribe line. The plough can be lowered in to work in a similar fashion, with the front furrows followed by the rear furrows. The articulated wheel design allows this to happen in combination with the tractor’s link arms.

Pat Kenney, general manager of IAM, is very pleased with the reaction to the new plough. The ground here is strong and the plough has performed very well, according to Pat.

The plough with seven furrows is expected to retail for in the region of €50,000. The price of the wearing metal on the plough is now more competitive, added Pat. A finance scheme is available, and it is expected that IAM will push for a bigger cut in the market.


  • No. 8 plough bodies.
  • 850mm clearance.
  • Pivoted headstock.
  • Compact frame.
  • Hydraulic auto reset.
  • Single rear disc.
  • Large wheel.
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