Wednesday, 13 March 2019 07:10

Bigger tractor means bigger gear

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Ben Parkhurst has operated a set of 4500 Express Plus Speed Discs for four seasons. Ben Parkhurst has operated a set of 4500 Express Plus Speed Discs for four seasons.

The Murray family-owned distributor FarmChief says that as tractors get more powerful there is also an opportunity to update the machinery being used.

They say that in doing so farmers and contractors can reduce costs by saving time and fuel, and preserve soil structure with fewer passes. 

At the Northland field days the company will show high-performing implements such as the Rollmax folding trailed rollers. Offered in 4.5 to 9.5m working widths, the French manufactured machines use German steel for key components such as the 70mm section axle.

These implements are said to have the strongest roller rings on the market, allowing the manufacturer to offer a six-year ring warranty. 

They use clever geometry to maintain even weight distribution for best consolidation and germination. The units are also said to be stable on undulating ground and in the transport position.

For working the tough stuff, particularly in primary situations, FarmChief’s primary discs will be exhibited, e.g. the SOL-V 32 66 23 offset discs. 

With high weight-per-blade ratios these discs can incorporate crop residues easily while opening the ground to promote more rapid aerobic breakdown. This gets paddocks back into production more quickly. An extensive range is available from 2.7 to 6m working widths. 

For even faster turnaround, Express Plus Speed Discs can be used for primary or secondary cultivation. These can be used for working ground after winter feed, stubble incorporation or to break-up paddocks after compaction – typically at twice the speed of conventional discs. 

Available in widths from 3 to 6m, the discs can operate at up to 16km/h. The optimum disc angle achieves greater precision and accuracy, and the fitment of SKF sealed bearings reduces maintenance costs. 

For example, Pankhurst Contracting, Greta Valley, North Canterbury cultivates about 1000ha a year on sheep and beef properties between Amberley and the Hurunui River.

Ben Pankhurst has operated a set of 4500 Express Plus Speed Discs for four seasons and says the machine has done a lot of work in harsh conditions, including winter green-feed paddocks that’ve been heavily pugged by cattle. 

“They work well in all soil types and on steep and rocky terrain,” he says. “Their versatility has changed the way we work the ground, at much lower running costs for us and our customers.”

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