The Gaspardo Contessa, a versatile cultivator/planter combination, has three key elements equipping it for multiple tasks in one pass, or individually.
It can deal with extremes of conditions -- from winter-pugged ground, through cereal stubbles with high levels of crop residues, to high-country hard-baked ground during mid-summer.
The 4m unit has 150mm row spacing and a construction and layout designed for maximum penetration in all conditions.
Up front it can be hitched to a suitable tractor via a crossbeam mounted to the lower links and incorporating a swivel to the drawbar. That heavy-duty drawbar and main frame assembly is made from heavy duty steel to impart weight, which helps deliver coulter downward pressure of up to 250kg per unit to penetrate the soil in all conditions.
To improve machine stability, the hopper assembly has been turned 90 degrees to sit over the machine spine; its lower, wider profile creates a lower centre of gravity making filling by machine or hand easier.
Oversized wheel and tyre equipment complement the modified layout for greater stability on difficult country or when travelling at high speed on the road between jobs.
The hopper is split 60:40 into two compartments for grain and fertiliser. These can be used separately or combined if, for instance, the machine is being used in a grain-only configuration. The hopper is pressurised by a drawbar-mounted, hydraulically driven fan.
The grain and fertiliser feeds are controlled by a Genius e-drive metering system that is steplessly adjustable by speed or the use of interchangeable metering cartridges. This handles a wide range of products – from fine seeds to high application rates of fertiliser.
The metering system conveys materials to an externally mounted distribution head tucked in behind the hopper assembly. As part of the upgrade process the machine has extra bracing for stability, extending its operating life, and similarly through to the drilling element.
The first noticeable point is a 42% increase in diameter to 50mm of the main pivot at the front of the seeding unit. Likewise, bearings, bushes and pins have been upgraded to extend service life.
The soil-engaging elements have much tighter manufacturing and fitment tolerances to improve drilling performance, with special attention to the boot retention set-up to encourage positive drive in all conditions.
On the seeder, the single-disc units, with a large amount of movement, benefit from a twin, independent spring layout working with a large diameter depth control wheel. This combination is said to create a fine tilth, despite a minimal disturbance, to create an ideal germination zone, which after sowing is firmly and consistently closed by independent press wheels.
The Gigante Pressure is fully ISOBUS-compatible, allowing the operator to plug in and go to work, controlling the machine directly from the tractor’s integral display terminal which negates the need for a second terminal in the cab. This also allows the machine to be used with automatic shut-off and on at headlands when used with a GPS signal.
Maintenance is by a cluster of grease nipples that make for prompt daily set-up.