Titan 6300 roller seed drill
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