24 October 1997

Vaderstad refines Rapid drill to customer wishes

IN A MARKET where take-overs, buy-outs and acquisitions seem to dominate, its encouraging to find smaller manufacturers striving to maintain their independence. Swedish drill maker Vaderstad is one such firm.

And to build on its philosophy of remaining independent, the family-owned company has now developed its own seed metering system for the Rapid pneumatic drill range, to replace the existing Accord unit.

"We want to maintain total control over the development of our products for the benefit of customers," explains managing director Crister Stark. "We have listened to customers comments which have enabled us to refine the Rapid drill."

Visually, there is little to differentiate the updated Rapid from the previous model – the P suffix (for pneumatic) which follows the model number is now an F, denoting the in-house designed Fenix seed metering system. Working widths remain unchanged and span 3-8m (10-26ft).

The fluted seed barrel of the Fenix system is smaller in diameter and operates at a higher speed than the Accord-equipped versions. Vaderstad says this results in a more even seed spacing along the row. The barrel also uses tapered flutes which enables a stepless seed rate from 0kg/ha up to its maximum setting to be used – with the majority of seed types.

Development of the new metering system has also enabled Vaderstad to simplify calibration.

Previously requiring the main seed pipe to be removed and seed caught in the usual way, the Fenix incorporates a sprung-loaded trap door into which a test tray and seed collecting bag can be inserted.

A criticism often levelled at pneumatic drill makers is the amount of surplus seed funnelled into the other coulter outlets when tramlining takes place. Vaderstad has overcome this problem by using diverter flaps in the distribution head.

When the tramline sequence is activated, the flaps block the path to the coulter and create an opening where any seed entering these tramline outlets is simply dropped back into the seed hopper.

In the cab, the Rapid F benefits from an uprated electronic control box/on-board computer system which has GPS compatibility and contains marker controls, tramline functions and drill monitoring systems all in the same box.n

Changes to Vaderstads Rapid drill for 1998 include a new seed metering unit and an on-board computer/control system prepared for GPS use.