New plough model works in-furrow and on-land
Every few years, Lemken
holds a two-day event in
Alpen, Germany, to reveal
and demonstrate latest
developments and new
products. Andy Moore went
to see what was on offer
IN-FURROW and on-land ploughing represent two well-defined concepts of turning the land.
With plough designs falling firmly into each camp, to bridge the gap, Lemken has introduced a 12-furrow semi-mounted plough capable of performing both roles.
Unveiled at a demonstration in Alpen near Dusseldorf, Germany, last week, the Vari-Titan reversible plough follows Lemkens focus on offering wider and more versatile cultivation equipment for the large farm or contractor. The plough, says Lemken, is its largest version ever, requiring a minimum of 250hp to produce a working width up to 6.36m.
"The plough offers the flexibility of in-furrow and off-land ploughing, which eliminates the need to buy a dedicated or purpose built version," says Lemkens UK managing director, Mervyn Hutton. "It also allows compatibility with dual-wheeled tractors in both settings or with crawler tractors which can only operate in the on-land ploughing mode."
Key to the two-in-one operation is a tie bar which uses a hydraulic or mechanical system to alter the position of the tractor in relation to the plough. In the in-furrow position, the bar becomes shorter and pulls the plough into work. When the tractor is driven on-land the bar lengthens, increasing the offset position.
An articulated joint breaks the line of the body for the wheel support, which together with an undercarriage, is designed to adjust to the depth and width of the rear of the plough to suit ground undulations.
For on-land ploughing Lemken has included a low-slung drawbar with even draught forces imposed on either side of the axle to prevent crabbing.
As to wheels, the plough is decked-out with 500mm x 980mm (20in x 38in) tyres to provide stable semi-mounting with further in-field support provided by three small wheels on the undercarriage.
Also demonstrated at the event was a new 10m version of the existing Terradisc stubble cultivator. Comprising two 5m sections, the Terradisc employs a series of spring-loaded duck-foot tines to break-up compacted soil, while concave discs and a crumbler reduce tilth before the drill.
But chiefly this implement was used to demonstrate the firms new semi-mounting system, with a three-point linkage designed to carry the firms own Solitair pneumatic seed drill and other makes.
"Before, the cultivator and drill had their own rigid chassis; with the new version, the Solitair is mounted on the undercarriage axle of the cultivator," Mr Hutton explains. "The semi-mounting system enables weight to be hydraulically transferred from the undercarriage to the Terradisc to cut soil compaction."
Lemken also says varying the weight distribution of the drill hopper which can hold up to 2t, will change the crumbling and consolidation effect on the rear cage rollers. Furthermore, if the Terradiscs working depth is adjusted, or completely raised at the headlands, a converging link system within the semi-mounting ensures the drill depth remains consistent.
For working heavier soils after the plough, the firm has developed the semi-mounting system on its folding 4, 4.5 and 6m power harrows with the implement suspended underneath an arched frame on wheels.
With the drill mounted at the rear of the frame, the aim, again, has been to reduce compaction at headlands. In work, the two wheels are hydraulically raised which lowers the power harrow and drill into the soil, while the reverse occurs for transport or turning at headlands.
To match the hungry working widths of rear-mounted tillage equipment, Lemken also demonstrated its 6m folding 3.5t Variopack front press. With 90cm diameter cast rings, the press features a push and pull steering system which adjusts to the tractors own turning angle
On the Solitair drill front, changes include widened pipe work to allow extra and constant air flow, an air filter and an improved seed emptying system which can discharge 1000 litres from the hopper into a trailer.
The modified drill will be put together at Lemkens new assembly building at the factory in Alpen instead of the old site in Butzbach 160 miles away.
The 10m Terradisc with semi-mounting system will be on sale in August, and the dual-purpose Vari-Titan plough next year. *