Niemeyer unveils its Delta
plough in UK
In depth research, computer aided design and precision manufacturing are the key ingredients to making longer lasting, high output tackle, according to one of Germanys oldest makers of farm machinery. Stephen Howe reports
UK FARMERS are to be the first to benefit from a new range of ploughs and grassland equipment introduced by German manufacturer Niemeyer.
The companys Delta Power Beam ploughs and Twin-Rake windrowers will make their European debut at Tillage 97 and the European Dairy Farming Event, respectively, under the flag of UK importer Opico. The company replaced Amazone as sole UK distributor at the beginning of September.
The Delta plough range features four basic models: The Delta 2, Delta 3, Delta 4 and Delta 5. They are designed for tractor powers of up to 120hp, 160hp, 210hp and 240hp, respectively.
The main difference between models is the strength of the beam which measures 180mm x 90mm (7.1in x 3.5in) at the headstock, on the Delta 2 and 222mm x 160mm (8.6in x 6.3in) on the Delta 5.
According to Niemeyers export manager, Hubert Brüning, the Delta beam was developed using computer-aided design and a stress analysis technique developed by Germanys CAE research institute. "By monitoring the stress along the beam during transport and work, we have been able to manufacture accurately a plough beam which will withstand the variable load forces along its entire length," explains Mr Brüning.
The result is a tapered beam which is beefier at the headstock, which takes most of the stress during transport and, to a lesser extent, in work. It also means there is less weight on the rear of the plough to produce stress on the headstock during turnover, he says.
Strength is enhanced by a hardened turnover shaft made from a one-piece casting which does away with the need for welding.
Shock loads during transport are taken out by a full-width cross shaft, which is also fitted with a collar at the lower link points to present a square edge to the linkage ball ends. This design not only reduces wear, it also eliminates a common weak spot on larger ploughs, says Mr Brüning.
The new ploughs are available in standard form, semi-variable or fully-variable width versions. Other options include shear bolt leg protection or auto-reset. That system uses spring pressure: A high pivot point, coupled with the shape of the break-back assembly, allows the body to move both upwards and sideways on hitting an obstruction.
Lessons learnt from Niemeyers plough technology have been put to good use in the companys range of grass rakes. There are two models of Twin-Rake – the single-rotor 4.6m-wide (15ft) Twin 470-DH and the double-rotor 8.4m-wide (27.5ft) Twin 850-VS.
Both incorporate the double-row system DRS tines. The first row of straight tines collects between 60 and 90% of the crop; the second row of slightly longer curved tines, which follow at a gap of 250mm (10in), is more flexible and gathers up any remaining grass.
The twin tine design encourages more efficient raking and allows lower rotor speeds to be used in hay and light silage crops, or higher rotor speeds to be used at fast forward speeds of up to 18mph, explains Mr Brüning.
"The ability to select rotor speed according to crop conditions ensures less leaf loss, a lower power requirement and minimal soil contamination," he says. A four-wheel floating chassis beneath the rotors ensures that the tines follow ground contours and do not scrape the soil at higher working speeds.
Both models fold within the width of the tractor for transport. The rotor on the smaller model is turned through 90í and locked in a vertical position on the floating headstock.
The twin rotor model is more sophisticated. As the rotors are raised for transport, the telescopic box-section arms are pulled in by tie rods. The main carrying frame is then lowered by hydraulic ram to reduce the transport height even further as the rotors are raised into the vertical position.n
Delta plough range
ModelDelta 2Delta 3Delta 4Delta 5
Furrow width (cm)30-4535-5030-5030-50
Power req (hp)Up to 120Up to 160Up to 210Up to 240
Bodies: Two options, 40.6cm (16in) and 45.7cm (18in) NU Universal body for light to medium soils; 40.6cm slatted SH15G for heavy soils.
Opico, new UK importer for Niemeyer equipment, is set to launch the companys new Delta Power Beam plough range this autumn.
Tedding with Niemeyers 470-DH grass rake. Inset: The DRS tine design is claimed to encourage more efficient raking.