10 single-pass cultivator options for heavy land

Heavy cultivation might not be the trendiest of topics these days, but machines that can whip up a seed-bed in a single pass are still in high demand.

Since it burst onto the scene in 2001, Sumo’s Trio has been the benchmark for this type of cultivator.

It features a set of legs that will work down to 400mm, a twin row of discs for generating a tilth and a packer to help leave a tidy finish.

The popularity of this configuration means there are plenty of alternatives, too. Most follow a similar design, but there are subtle variations in the setup.

That means some make it simpler to lift the legs out of work for a bit of light scuffling, while others allow the discs to be adjusted independently or dropped off completely for drilling oilseed rape.

Almost all brands offer a small-seeds applicator for this purpose, and some go a little further, with disc or tine coulter arrangements for more accurate seed placement.

See also: Six-furrow plough round-up: Specs and prices of every UK model

Generally, 3m mounted versions of these cultivators require a tractor with about 180hp up front.

However, smaller tractors can handle them when working in lighter soils, at shallower depths or with lower-disturbance legs fitted.

For those with a little less firepower, there are a handful of smaller 2.5m versions, as well as easier-to-pull 3m options, such as Weaving’s Subdisc, which uses a single row of discs.

There’s also Teagle’s Multidisc Vario, which has legs that work to a slightly shallower depth.

Below, we’ve priced up 10 of the more popular choices in the UK. In some cases, we have published list prices from the manufacturer, so there will be a decent (albeit variable) chunk of discount to be had on these.

However, where we have managed to get accurate figures for what someone will actually pay, these are marked ‘on-farm’.

In all cases, the prices are for a fairly typical UK-spec machine, but they will vary depending on the options selected.

Sumo Trio 3

Sumo’s Trio has stuck to the same format for almost 20 years and it is the Yorkshire firm’s biggest seller.

The design allows the disc unit to be removed for drilling oilseed rape or deep loosening, and the legs can be lifted out of work to just run the discs.

Sumo Trio 3 specs

  • Working width 2.9m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 6
  • Leg spacing 500mm
  • Leg protection Hydraulic auto-reset or shear-pin
  • Leg/point type Sumo Concord, quick-change points
  • Working depth Down to 400mm
  • Number of discs 22 – 11 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 500mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer 760mm Multipacka roller with shouldered rings or diamond
  • Seeder options Sumo seeder and disc coulter
  • Minimum power requirement 180hp
  • Weight 2,855kg (auto-reset)

List price £24,673 (auto-reset)

McConnel Discaerator 3000

The Discaerator has been around for 15 years and McConnel has sold a serious number during that time.

Unlike most other brands, it uses an individual gas-strut arrangement for its auto-reset system, rather than the common hydraulic accumulator setup.

This apparently makes sure the break-back pressure is always even.

McConnel Discaerator 3000 specs

  • Working width 2.9m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 5 or 7
  • Leg spacing 600mm (5-leg) or 430mm (7-leg)
  • Leg protection Gas-strut auto-reset or shear-pin
  • Leg/point type Euro or Delta wide
  • Working depth Down to 400mm
  • Number of discs 17 – 6 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 508mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer options Smooth, ridged, or shark-fin
  • Seeder options Stocks seeder unit
  • Minimum power requirement 180hp
  • Weight 2,450kg (auto-reset)

List price £25,500 (5-leg auto-reset)

Kverneland DTX

It might sport Kverneland livery today, but the DTX was originally the work of Sleaford firm Simba.

It also appeared in Great Plains colours for a few years, before Kubota bought the brand and rolled it in with Kverneland.

It comes with the option of Pro-lift or LD low-disturbance legs and features on-the-move hydraulic depth adjustment on the packer.

Kverneland DTX specs

  • Working width 3m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 5
  • Leg spacing 600mm
  • Leg protection Hydraulic auto-reset or shear-pin
  • Leg/point type Pro-lift or LD
  • Working depth Down to 400mm (250mm with LD legs)
  • Number of discs 24 – 12 front and 12 rear
  • Disc diameter 520mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer DD600 packer
  • Seeder options A-Drill seeder
  • Minimum power requirement 150hp
  • Weight 2,970kg (auto-reset)

List price £31,442 (auto-reset)

He-va Combi-disc 300

He-va’s take on the single pass cultivator allows the discs and packer unit to be adjusted independently of the legs via a pair of hydraulic rams.

This means the legs can be dropped in to 350mm or pulled out of work entirely, without the driver having to get their hands dirty.

The discs can also be adjusted hydraulically, or taken out of work altogether.

He-va Combi-disc 300 specs

  • Working width 2.75m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 5
  • Leg spacing 550mm
  • Leg protection Hydraulic auto-reset or shear-pin
  • Leg/point type Hardox Combi-disc points in various sizes
  • Working depth Down to 350mm
  • Number of discs 22 – 11 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 510mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer DD-type packer
  • Seeder options Opico Varicast
  • Minimum power requirement 170hp
  • Weight 3,420kg

List price £23,497 (auto-reset)

Plowman Bros Omni-til

Plowman Bros has been building cultivators at its workshop near York since 2013 and the Omni-til was its first creation.

As standard, it uses the high-end tungsten-tipped NG leg system from fellow Yorkshire firm JJ Metcalfe, which promises longer life and better performance.

Leg protection comes in the form of the firm’s own shear-bar leg system or hydraulic auto-reset. The legs are also staggered over three rows to improve trash flow.

Plowman Bros Omni-til specs

  • Working width 2.9m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 6
  • Leg spacing 500mm
  • Leg protection Shear-bar or hydraulic (auto-reset)
  • Leg/point type JJ Metcalfe NG system
  • Working depth Down to 400mm
  • Number of discs 22 – 11 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 508mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber
  • Packer 508mm shouldered packer
  • Seeder options Various options, but typically Stocks
  • Minimum power requirement 180hp
  • Weight 2,900kg

On-farm £22,000 (auto-reset)

Philip Watkins Tri-till

Another machine to hail from Yorkshire is the Tri-till built by Philip Watkins. This comes with the option of Simba-type Pro-lift legs or JJ Metcalfe’s NG system, both of which are arranged in a V-formation to make it easier to pull.

Most models come fitted with hydraulic disc adjustment and there’s the option of having hydraulic rams on the legs too.

It can also be converted into a strip-till rig, by removing the discs and replacing them with a set of Bourgault tine coulters.

Philip Watkins Tri-till specs

  • Working width 3m
  • Transport width 3.2m
  • Number of legs 5
  • Leg spacing 600mm
  • Leg protection Hydraulic auto-reset
  • Leg/point type Pro-lift or JJ Metcalfe NG system
  • Working depth Down to 380mm
  • Number of discs 22 – 11 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 510mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer 600mm DD-type packer
  • Seeder options Stocks seeder unit and stip-till system
  • Minimum power requirement 180hp
  • Weight 2,700kg

On-farm price £17,550 (auto-rest with hydraulic disc adjustment)

Cousins Patriot

Norfolk’s offering comes in the form of the Patriot from Cousins. This is fitted with the firm’s leg and bolt-on point arrangement, which is capable of working down to 450mm.

Its up-and-over frame means transport and working width are 3m and the discs can be hydraulically adjusted on the move. They can also be lifted out of work completely.

Cousins Patriot specs

  • Working width 3m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 5
  • Leg spacing 600mm
  • Leg protection Shear-pin
  • Leg/point type Cousins Quickfoot bolt-on points
  • Working depth Down to 450mm
  • Number of discs 22 – 11 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 500mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer 650mm Razor Rings
  • Seeder options Techneat V2 or similar
  • Minimum power requirement 150hp
  • Weight 2,600kg

On-farm price £14,400 (shear-pin)

Bullock Tillage Tinecut

Bullock Tillage is UK importer for Polish-built Agripol cultivators, which makes the Tinecut.

It’s a lower-cost option, but uses parts readily available in the UK, such as Sumo legs and SKF disc bearings.

Neatly, the outer discs fold for travelling on the road, so it has both a transport and working width of 3m.

Bullock Tillage Tinecut specs

  • Working width 3m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 6
  • Leg spacing 540mm
  • Leg protection Shear-pin
  • Leg/point type Sumo-style legs with various wing options from narrow low-disturbance to 200mm
  • Working depth Down to 450mm
  • Number of discs 24 – 12 front and 12 rear
  • Disc diameter 560mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer Steel shoulder packer
  • Seeder options T15 Flexi Seeder or SP200 Air Seeder
  • Minimum power requirement 180hp
  • Weight 2,700kg

On-farm price £9,800

Teagle Multidisc XL Vario-S

Teagle’s Multidisc XL Vario-S is built by Dutch firm Tulip and takes a slightly different approach to the other cultivators in this group, by placing the legs between the two rows of discs.

These can be put in and out of work hydraulically and will work down to 300mm – a bit less than the other machines here.

This does make it easier to pull though, and a 150hp tractor should be able to manage it in all but the heaviest of conditions.

Teagle Multidisc XL Vario-S specs

  • Working width 2.9m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 5
  • Leg spacing 600mm
  • Leg protection Hydraulic auto-reset
  • Leg/point type Tulip Vario
  • Working depth Down to 300mm
  • Number of discs 22 – 11 front and 11 rear
  • Disc diameter 560mm
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer Five options
  • Seeder options Various can be fitted
  • Minimum power requirement 150hp
  • Weight 2,505kg

List price £20,420 (auto-reset with 500mm packer roller)

Weaving Subdisc II

Weaving’s Subdisc is another option for slightly lower-horsepower tractors. Its approach to reducing drag is to run a single row of discs behind the legs, rather than most makers’ twin-row setup.

To help give a bit of added soil movement, it usually comes specced with a Guttler tooth packer. However, there’s also the option of the firm’s 700 Razor Ring.

Weaving Subdisc II specs

  • Working width 3m
  • Transport width 3m
  • Number of legs 7
  • Leg spacing 428mm
  • Leg protection Shear-pin only
  • Leg/point type Narrow or wide Shakaerator-style knock-on points
  • Working depth Down to 400mm
  • Number of discs 11 – single row
  • Disc diameter 500mm 
  • Disc mounting Rubber mount
  • Packer 560 Guttler or 700 Razor Ring
  • Seeder options Manual 7-outlet or 14-outlet Subdisc seeder, pneumatic 7-outlet seeder, 7 disc coulter for oilseed rape or cover crops.
  • Minimum power requirement 140hp
  • Weight 2,500kg

On-farm price £12,800 (shear-pin)