Kiwi DNA

Ti­tan 6300 roller seed drill

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents - Jaiden Drought

Wayne and Jac­qui An­der­son have been con­tract­ing un­der the W& J An­der­son brand for 14 years, cov­er­ing the re­gion be­tween Po­ran­ga­hau and Waipawa in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay, from the Ruahine Ranges to the sea, and keep­ing out of trou­ble by also run­ning 400 bulls on their beef farm.

Their fleet com­prises three mod­ern John Deere trac­tors with two new 7230R ma­chines that have the E23 trans­mis­sion, and one 7430.

Be­cause the com­pany’s small but ded­i­cated team only does ag work, they usu­ally wrap up the spring work be­fore Christ­mas, al­low­ing them some time to en­joy the sum­mer months on the wa­ter with fam­ily and friends – some­thing silage con­trac­tors are no doubt a lit­tle en­vi­ous of. Hav­ing said that, when it’s busy, the An­der­sons run 12-hour shifts. We headed out to the North Island’s east coast to check out their new 4AG Ti­tan 6300 ‘Profi’ roller seed drill which, with a 6.3m width and out­put in ex­cess of 5 hectares per hour, leaves the old 3m model for dead.

Hav­ing de­cided to re­place their old 3m roll-seed-roll com­bi­na­tion, sta­bil­ity on the hills and the in­creased work­ing width were two fea­tures at the top of Wayne and Jac­qui’s list. And once you start look­ing, there are many fea­tures which re­ally do make this ma­chine stand out above oth­ers on the mar­ket. (See side­bar on page 48.) Be­cause of the very steep go­ing in the area ser­viced by W

& J An­der­son, of­ten putting your feet on the front or side win­dows of the trac­tor is not out of the ques­tion.

I like the steep stuff ev­ery now and then as it keeps you on your toes, but not ev­ery day and night! And it doesn’t make for the most ac­cu­rate seed­ing, ei­ther.

Well, it turns out this isn’t a prob­lem for the Ti­tan 6300 due to its large work­ing area and sure­foot­ed­ness. The new ma­chine hangs tight on steep sidel­ings, and does not slide down the hill and come along be­side the driver’s door to meet them like the old roller combo.

It is not just the steep pad­docks that can pro­vide the headache. As many read­ers will know, get­ting to steep pad­docks of­ten re­quires go­ing up nar­row gravel and dirt tracks which are only usu­ally as wide as the ma­chine, so the nar­row trans­port width comes in very handy.

A large por­tion of the An­der­sons’ ex­tra work­load is from the sheep and beef guys in NZ hav­ing a cou­ple of great years, al­though hav­ing said that, they de­serve it as they have had plenty of av­er­age ones in the past.

Sig­nif­i­cant in­creases and science for an­i­mal ge­net­ics, as well as grass hy­brids, have sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved the per­for­mance on this type of coun­try and, as a re­sult, the ac­cu­racy of the air seeder and the sta­bil­ity of the roller fit

per­fectly into this sys­tem. Luck­ily the dairy dol­drums that have af­fected most of the coun­try haven’t af­fected the An­der­sons’ work load, as most devel­op­ment work has been put on hold.

The suc­cess of this ma­chine is largely to do with the ex­cel­lent build qual­ity, but also 4AG’s will­ing­ness to lis­ten to their cus­tomers and use them­selves as the ve­hi­cle be­tween the of­ten bril­liant ideas of the guys who spend hours go­ing around pad­docks, and the European fac­tory where they have the tools and the de­sign knowhow to make it hap­pen.

The weight of the ma­chine gives good con­sol­i­da­tion for seed-to-soil con­tact, with large 550/575mm di­am­e­ter Cam­bridge and breaker rings.

A FEAST OF FEA­TURES

The first is what they have dubbed the ‘Ti­tanLoc’, which is a clever play on words as this ‘tighten-lock’ is ex­actly what it sounds like – it sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the life ex­pectancy of the most ex­pen­sive wear­ing part on the ma­chine: the rings.

This is a 90mm hex nut which can be tight­ened (with the large span­ner stored on the ma­chine) to re­move any play in the rings, and add strength and pro­tec­tion to the axle shaft. This will prove a very handy tool, par­tic­u­larly in stony con­di­tions.

Speak­ing of keep­ing rings tight, this is even more im­por­tant with the large, heavy rings fit­ted to the

Ti­tan se­ries rollers.

The ‘Du­raForge’ roller ring is ideal for work­ing stony vir­gin ground, ex-forestry blocks and the like. The GGG50

duc­tile iron (cast steel) rings have high im­pact re­sis­tance and come with a five-year man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty, which will give you a good dose of peace of mind.

These rings are not built strong from fancy light­weight ma­te­rial ei­ther – these things are heavy.

The ma­chine weighs five tonnes empty but the team at

4AG, along with the fac­tory, quickly dis­cov­ered there is no point hav­ing the heav­i­est roller if that ex­tra weight isn’t distributed evenly across its full work­ing width.

This brings me to my next key fea­ture, which is the clever float sys­tem that al­lows all the wings to be mounted (where the strength is) from the chas­sis of the ma­chine, and large hy­draulic ac­cu­mu­la­tors to take care of the con­tour fol­low­ing of the wings and weight trans­fer.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

This ma­chine, like most European-man­u­fac­tured gear, is built to a very high stan­dard.

What I like about these par­tic­u­lar roller/drill com­bi­na­tion ma­chines is the ex­ten­sive in­put by farm­ers and con­trac­tors – these good, hon­est ideas that have made this ma­chine ideal for Aus­tralasian con­di­tions.

This, com­bined with the build qual­ity, weight and clever fea­tures it al­ready came jam-packed with, makes it hard to see why you wouldn’t want to have a gan­der at it.

Main pic: The 6.3m work­ing width hangs on in the steeper go­ing

1: The 4AG Ti­tan 6300 roller seed drill com­bines a qual­ity build with out­stand­ing fea­tures

2: Wayne An­der­son strikes his best pose to demon­strate the easy load­ing via the large plat­form 3: The in-cab mon­i­tor isn’t mar­ketlead­ing in terms of looks, but is func­tional

4: The uni-strut bar al­lows the seed­ing out­lets to be moved if nec­es­sary

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