High-output Standen bed tiller slashes running costs

Standen Engineering has revealed a new version of its Powavator rotary tiller, which is said to offer higher work rates and lower running costs than previous models.

The firm purchased Dowdeswell’s rotary tiller business in 2004 and has been making its own market-leading iterations at its Ely factory ever since.

Available for 2024, the new HS400 “high-speed” machine is available in two-bed straddle and triple-bed configurations. Key to its new design is a deeper hull.

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Standen’s Ed Gilbert says this larger gap between rotor and hull makes it easier to drive, reduces the power requirement and means the tractor will use about 25% less fuel than previous equivalent models.

The extra room in the hull also slows rotor tine wear, minimising maintenance costs.

For a three-bed machine, a 300hp tractor would have been recommended before, but with the HS400, owners can probably get away with 250hp, depending on soil type.

A new simpler side drive design is said to be easier to maintain, and its slimmer profile minimises soil disturbance during work.

A beefed-up gearbox is now rated at 400hp-plus, and a faster rotor speed of 330rpm, instead of 266rpm, resulting in a finer finish and the ability to push up forward speed.

Blades and bodies

There are several rotor blade options, including 10mm and 12mm ‘L’ or speed blades, and buyers can add ridging bodies to turn the machine into a combined rotovator and bed-tiller.

An optional wider point for the ridging bodies gives a furrow bottom that accepts larger quantities of stone and can be protected by a shear-bolt or auto-reset system.

The addition of a rear hood, primarily for planting on ground that doesn’t need a de-stoning, is also on the extras list.

The Powavator has completed three years’ worth of testing in tough conditions and will be available to order for next spring.

Prices will vary with options, but a guide for a well-specced two-bed machine is about £48,000 on-farm, with the three-bed setup about £53,000.

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