Crack­ing combo

Celli ALCE-P deep rip­per and Celli Tiger 280 DD ro­tary hoe

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Get­ting tasks done ef­fi­ciently is cru­cial in most farm­ing op­er­a­tions. It be­comes even more im­por­tant with high­value veg­etable pro­duc­tion to max­imise yields of lim­ited amounts of fer­tile soil in the right lo­ca­tions.

Hinemoa Qual­ity Pro­duc­ers is a fam­ily op­er­a­tion farm­ing more than 200ha of land in Pukekawa, near Auck­land on New Zealand’s North Is­land.

The prop­erty mainly re­volves around 150ha of land planted in dou­ble crops of pota­toes, onions and bar­ley. The Hinemoa team plants al­most all year round to achieve con­tin­ual sup­ply of pro­duce to the mar­ket.

There is a strong fo­cus on look­ing af­ter soils while im­prov­ing yields, so when pre­par­ing for plant­ing, get­ting the land cul­ti­vated in a timely man­ner is hugely im­por­tant. When pre­par­ing the ground for pota­toes, the soil is first deep ripped to re­move any com­paction and a ro­tary hoe is then used to achieve a fine seedbed to a depth that can be ridged into beds.

Hinemoa re­cently bought two new Celli ma­chines – a Celli ALCE-P deep rip­per and a Celli Tiger 280 DD ro­tary hoe — so I caught up with one of the com­pany’s lead­ing operators, Brett Parker, to see just how well these ma­chines work to­gether in the field.

CELLI ALCE-P DEEP RIP­PER

When you look at this ma­chine, its heavy-duty con­struc­tion is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent. A ro­bust box sec­tion frame car­ries the rip­ping legs and the rear roller, while a strong link­age on the front uses CAT 3 pins to hitch up to the trac­tor.

A mod­u­lar sys­tem, where the legs are bolted to the frame, means that the num­ber of legs or spac­ings can eas­ily be ad­justed to fu­ture-proof the ma­chine.

The over­all weight sits at a lit­tle more than two tonnes, which helps keep it in the ground when work­ing. As a large amount of this weight is at the rear of the ma­chine in the roller, you

def­i­nitely re­quire a de­cent-sized trac­tor with some se­ri­ous bal­last on the front to lift the ma­chine out of the ground.

Across the 3.5m width of the ma­chine are seven legs. These are stag­gered in two rows to pre­vent block­ages and can rip down to around 600mm in the ground.

The curved de­sign is said to lower horse­power re­quire­ments, although I would sug­gest the 210hp John Deere 6210R we used in the test is prob­a­bly the ab­so­lute bare min­i­mum, with the rip­per usu­ally be­ing run on an 8235R.

An­other ben­e­fit to the curved de­sign is that it lifts dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the soil pro­file at dif­fer­ent times. This helps min­imise bring­ing the lower sub­soil to the sur­face.

A 50mm-wide re­place­able square chisel point is used on the end of each leg, and as an op­tion that was fit­ted, there are three soil blades that can be bolted to the ma­chine.

Two hor­i­zon­tal wings on ei­ther side of the main leg have a lift­ing ef­fect, which en­sures all soil be­tween the legs is loos­ened.

A third vertical blade on the front of the leg slices through the soil be­fore the leg.

This also helps break up the soil pro­file and min­imise the amount of sub­soil clods brought to the sur­face.

The legs are held in place with two bolts. One large re­tain­ing bolt from side to side and a 16mm shear bolt from front to back. If an ob­ject is struck, the 16mm bolt will shear and the leg will pivot back and up away from the ob­sta­cle to pre­vent dam­age to the ma­chine.

On the out­side are side de­flec­tor plates. These are great to see, as they keep the soil in­side the width of the ma­chine. These plates can be folded up for trans­port to keep the ma­chine to a 3.5m width.

At the rear are two spike-toothed rollers to help break up clods and lightly cul­ti­vate the sur­face. The clever de­sign and close prox­im­ity to each other means that the teeth on each roller help clean the other roller as they turn.

Be­ing in the mid­dle of quite a wet win­ter over here, I would de­scribe the con­di­tions as sticky and test­ing for any ma­chine. The rollers didn’t clog or stop turn­ing, which I think is quite im­pres­sive.

This roller on the rear can be hy­drauli­cally ad­justed from the cab, which in turn changes the work­ing depth of the legs, mak­ing it easy to al­ter on the move. It would be a great im­prove­ment if there were a scale on these depth ad­just­ment rams that could be seen from the cab, so the op­er­a­tor could eas­ily re­turn to a pre­vi­ously set height.

CELLI TIGER 280 DD RO­TARY HOE

The sec­ond ma­chine is a Celli Tiger 280 DD 4m-wide fixed-width ro­tary hoe. This is quite an in­ter­est­ing piece of kit, and while it won’t suit every­one, it has some mer­its in its sim­plic­ity, with­out the pivot points and hy­draulic rams or the price tag that come with a fold­ing ma­chine.

Even still, the ma­chine weighs in at more than two tonnes. This weight helps keep the ma­chine in the ground, and the fact that it is spread evenly across the ma­chine, with the three gear­boxes spaced evenly, also helps keep it level when work­ing.

While this model is nor­mally fit­ted with a cen­tral gear­box rated to 280hp, which is more than ad­e­quate for most uses, this par­tic­u­lar ma­chine took the op­tion of a 360hp cen­tral gear­box, which en­sures a good safety mar­gin and fu­ture-proofs it.

The po­si­tion­ing of the cen­tral gear­box en­sures that the drive­shafts to the outer gear­boxes are run­ning straight.

This is de­signed to limit wear, but when the blades were lifted clear of the ground it does cre­ate a sharp an­gle on the main drive­shaft be­tween the ma­chine and the John Deere 8235R that is usu­ally on the front.

This prob­a­bly wouldn’t be as much of a prob­lem on other trac­tors, how­ever.

Two se­condary gear­boxes are found on ei­ther side of the ma­chine. Rated to 280hp, this is more than ad­e­quate once the power has been split. There is also a cam clutch found on ei­ther side to pre­vent dam­age.

The fact the drive is trans­ferred to the ro­tors on the out­side means only an ex­tremely thin strip in the mid­dle be­tween beds is missed and a sin­gle straight tine in the cen­tre takes care of this with ease.

Syn­thetic oil is used through­out the ma­chine and each of the three gear­boxes is self-con­tained with its own fil­ter and pump as well as a sight glass for daily checks.

Clev­erly, the oil from each gear­box is also pumped through an area of the box sec­tion frame of the ma­chine. This acts as a heat ex­changer with the air tem­per­a­ture to keep the oil cool as well as dou­bling as a reser­voir. I’m told this setup works well with lit­tle trou­ble keep­ing the oil cool and no prob­lems with radiators block­ing up with dust.

Un­der­neath the ma­chine, the ro­tors use L-shaped blades that are bolted onto flanges on the cross shafts.

With 90 blades across the Celli’s 4m width, these can work down to a depth of around 300mm to give a fine bed of tilth, which is quite im­pres­sive.

Im­por­tantly, there is plenty of clear­ance around the ro­tor to en­sure the ma­chine can han­dle a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions with­out block­ing. The hood at the rear is ad­justable on a threaded bar and in­cludes a ten­sion spring that al­lows any large ob­jects to pass through. This hood does an ex­cel­lent job keep­ing soil in the ma­chine un­til all clods are bro­ken down.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

Both the Celli ALCE-P rip­per and the Tiger ro­tary hoe are a great fit for Hinemoa Pro­duce. The com­bi­na­tion of these two ma­chines has cut down the num­ber of passes in the field and in­creased out­put. Most im­por­tantly, though, the busi­ness has had a trou­ble-free run from both ma­chines so far with no down­time.

The ALCE-P rip­per does an ex­cep­tional job loos­en­ing the soil and re­mov­ing com­paction. The spike-toothed roller on the back of­fers fur­ther cul­ti­va­tion with­out too much con­sol­i­da­tion, which is ideal in this sit­u­a­tion.

The Tiger 280 DD ro­tary hoe is built to han­dle some se­ri­ous horse­power, which is ex­actly what Hinemoa was look­ing for af­ter hav­ing prob­lems with the gear­boxes on its last ro­tary hoe.

While both ma­chines work ex­cep­tion­ally well on their own, when used to­gether in this sit­u­a­tion, they proved to be al­most the per­fect com­bi­na­tion.

42

Brent Lil­ley Celli ALCE-P deep rip­per Celli Tiger 280 DD ro­tary hoe

1. The Celli ALCE-P deep rip­per and Tiger 280 DD

ro­tary hoe be­hind a John Deere 6210R trac­tor

2. Spike-toothed rollers break up clods and level

the sur­face

3. The work­ing depth of the ma­chine can be

hy­drauli­cally ad­justed

4. An ad­justable rear hood en­sures ma­te­rial is kept in

the ma­chine un­til it’s bro­ken down

5. The Celli Tiger can work to a depth of

about 300mm

6. The ro­tary hoe leaves a smooth, level

seed bed

7. The John Deere 8235R han­dled the 4m

ro­tary hoe with ease

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