Pulling to­gether

The newly re­leased 4.5m Ti­tan CVU 4500 roll seed roll from 4Ag is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of in­fus­ing a stan­dard de­sign with a lit­tle ex­tra in­ge­nu­ity,

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents - writes Brent Lil­ley

4Ag Ti­tan CVU 4500 roll seed roll

Nine months ago, dairy farmer and con­trac­tor An­drew Storey ap­proached New Zealand com­pany 4AG with what seemed a fairly straight­for­ward re­quest – he wanted a roll seed roll unit to suit the dairy farms he op­er­ates on.

His needs seemed sim­ple enough – he wanted to be able to drive down 5m-wide races and be able to turn into pad­docks through a 12-foot gate­way.

How­ever, any­one who has used a dou­ble roller will know they can be some­what tricky to get through gate­ways, let alone 12foot gate­ways.

The team at 4AG tested their ex­ist­ing rollers and quickly re­alised they were go­ing to need some clever en­gi­neer­ing to meet Storey’s needs. After dis­cus­sions with the fac­tory in Europe where the rollers are built, they set­tled on hy­draulic steer­ing draw­bars as the sim­plest so­lu­tion.

For­tu­nately, the fac­tory team were keen to help and be­tween their en­gi­neers, 4AG’s ideas, and the client’s in­put, the per­fect ma­chine was cre­ated.

CON­STRUC­TION

At the front of the ma­chine, rather than hitch­ing to the draw­bar, both rollers use a two-point link­age which in­cor­po­rates pivot points for 3D move­ment in all di­rec­tions.

The rear roller uses the same two-point link­age setup as the front, and there are sim­ple, quick-link hook ends at the back of the front roller that this hitches up to.

This setup gives am­ple move­ment in all di­rec­tions and also means that ei­ther the front or rear units can be eas­ily sep­a­rated and used on their own, adding to the ma­chine’s ver­sa­til­ity.

To achieve a 4.5m work­ing width, there are wing sec­tions ei­ther side of the cen­tre that are hy­drauli­cally folded ver­ti­cally with hefty rams, giv­ing a trans­port width just un­der 3m.

The de­sign of the wings with pivot points closer to the cen­tre of the ma­chine not only en­sures a nar­row trans­port width, it also makes sure the weight is car­ried as close to the cen­tre of the ma­chine as pos­si­ble for sta­bil­ity.

When the wings are folded, a me­chan­i­cal lock (which au­to­mat­i­cally un­locks when there is hy­draulic pres­sure to un­fold them) pre­vents them from creep­ing back down. There is also a tap on the hy­draulics for ex­tra safety.

Wheels at the rear of each roller are fit­ted with large 400/6015.5 tires and are used to lift the rollers clear of the ground. Car­ry­ing the weight of the ma­chine in trans­port, they are spaced nice and wide apart for added sta­bil­ity.

The main frame is engi­neered from some se­ri­ously heavy-duty box sec­tion, and the paint­work and fin­ish over the ma­chine is ex­cel­lent.

STEER­ING DRAW­BAR

As men­tioned, the goal for An­drew Storey was a roll seed roll setup that could turn into a 12-foot gate at a right an­gle, off a 5m-wide race.

To achieve this, both the front and rear rollers were fit­ted with hy­draulic steer­ing draw­bars.

The clever de­sign of the rollers, us­ing a three-point link­age style con­nec­tion be­tween the roller and the draw­bar, means the hy­draulic draw­bar can be eas­ily fit­ted to any Ti­tan CVU roller.

The main pivot point uses a heavy-duty solid steel cle­vis and pin. A hy­draulic ram is used to change the an­gle of the draw­bar in re­la­tion to the roller, to ef­fec­tively steer the roller wide when turn­ing into tricky gate­ways. It works in­cred­i­bly well.

Each ram is fit­ted with a valve in­cor­po­rat­ing a small light, which sig­nals when the draw­bar is back in the straight po­si­tion.

As well as get­ting through tight gate­ways, the steer­ing draw­bar will also find other uses such as slightly off­set­ting the rear roller to en­sure a smooth over­lap and steer­ing the rollers up­hill when work­ing on slopes.

THE ROLLER

Both rollers are iden­ti­cal and use a com­bi­na­tion of stan­dard rings spaced apart with breaker rings to help to smash up any clods on the sur­face of the soil.

As the breaker rings can move sep­a­rately of the other rings, they have a self-clean­ing ef­fect in sticky con­di­tions and can help pre­vent a bow wave form­ing in front of the roller.

The Du­raforge rings found on the ma­chine are made from cast steel rather cast iron so they can with­stand a lot more pun­ish­ment and have a longer life.

Loose rings are tra­di­tion­ally what cause break­ages, so en­sur­ing that the rings on each sec­tion are tight and se­cure add to the strength and pro­tects the cen­tral axle.

This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in rough or stony con­di­tions to pre­vent wear and break­ages.

The Ti­tan­loc sys­tem which 4Ag uses on these CVU 4500 roll seed rolls makes it straight­for­ward and easy to tighten each sec­tion up. On the end of each of the axles is a large hex nut that can be tight­ened us­ing a pur­pose-built span­ner (which is stored on the ma­chine).

Two in­dexed wash­ers and a lock­ing bolt then en­sure that once the nut is tight­ened, it will not undo it­self.

This is a great sys­tem that is easy to use and leaves no ex­cuse for op­er­a­tors not keep­ing the gangs tight.

APV SEEDER UNIT

Fit­ted to the rear roller is an APV PS500 seeder unit. This has a 500-litre plas­tic hop­per, which holds around 220kg of grass seed. One of the only neg­a­tives I found on the whole ma­chine is that the plas­tic lid on this hop­per can be some­what tricky to screw back on, as it has to be lined up ex­actly.

Other­wise, it is an ex­cel­lent unit and even in­cludes a low-seed alarm sen­sor in­side.

Me­ter­ing is elec­tron­i­cally driven and the ground speed is taken from a radar for ac­cu­racy. There is a choice of me­ter­ing wheels to give sow­ing rates from 1kg/ha to more than 200kg/ha and these wheels are eas­ily changed. The seed bin does need to be empty, so make sure you change it be­fore fill­ing the hop­per.

There are 16 seed out­lets, mak­ing this an ideal unit for ma­chines wider than 3m.

When fit­ted to the CVU 4500, the splash plates are spaced just 300mm apart, which gives a good over­lap with­out ‘Y’ junc­tions in the de­liv­ery hoses, al­low­ing for even and ac­cu­rate flow of seed to each out­let.

The seed is blown through the hoses with a hy­draulic fan mounted on the back. This fea­tures an ad­just­ment valve and an oil flow gauge that makes it sim­ple to set the fan to the de­sired speed re­gard­less of the oil flow com­ing out of the tractor.

Some­times I think we are spoilt with how easy it is to cal­i­brate drills these days, and the APV is no ex­cep­tion. A flap opens un­der the me­ter­ing unit and the seed that is me­tered out is col­lected and weighed. The weight is then en­tered into the mon­i­tor and you are all ready to go.

CON­TROLS

Only three sets of re­motes are re­quired on the tractor: one set for the hy­draulic fan, one set to fold the wings, and a third set for the wheels and steer­ing draw­bars. As they all have elec­tronic switch­ing valves, they can be op­er­ated in­de­pen­dently.

A small, sim­ple con­trol box in the cab al­lows the op­er­a­tor to choose which rams are be­ing con­trolled and to choose be­tween op­er­at­ing both rollers to­gether or in­di­vid­u­ally.

A sep­a­rate APV mon­i­tor is used to con­trol the seed unit. This is sim­ple and straight­for­ward to use, dis­play­ing the usual info such as seed rates, for­ward speed, and area cov­ered. It also al­lows the op­er­a­tor to ad­just the sow­ing rate on the move.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

This is a great ex­am­ple of every­one in­volved work­ing to­gether to meet the cus­tomer’s re­quire­ments. Owner An­drew Storey is happy with his ma­chine; it does ex­actly what he asked for and he can ma­noeu­vre it through some se­ri­ously tight gate­ways. Up­grad­ing from a 3m ma­chine to the 4.5m work­ing width gives him in­creased work rates at around 3.5ha/hr. Storey be­lieves this is an ideal width as it still fits through most gaps around troughs and trees.

Since the ar­rival of the ma­chine in late March, it has sown around 200ha into maize ground and he is pleased with the re­sults so far.

Over­all, the Ti­tan CVU 4500 Roll Seed Roll is an im­pres­sive ma­chine with some clever fea­tures and en­gi­neer­ing, mak­ing it the ideal ma­chine in this sit­u­a­tion.

1. The Ti­tan CVU 4500 RSR rear roller/seeder unit

2. The trans­port lock­ing sys­tem and Ti­tan­Loc axle span­ner

3. The low-seed sen­sor can be seen in the base of the hop­per

4. There are large 400/60-15 duro­grip flota­tion wheels on both rollers 5. The two rollers track per­fectly in line

6. One of the op­tional seed rollers

7. Both rollers fold to a com­pact 2.9m trans­port width 8. The Ti­tan CVU 4500 shows what can be done when

a com­pany goes the ex­tra mile for a cus­tomer

9. Two-point hitch with full 3D swivel on both rollers 10. Hy­drauli­cally driven blower fan

11. The sim­ple elec­tro-hy­draulic con­trol box,

along­side the APV seeder ter­mi­nal 10 9 7 8 11

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