A South Australian engineer has developed a hydraulic coulter system to suit fixed frame seeder bars.
Nigel Eckermann, of Moose Industries, said his system was designed to provide a lift mechanism for turning at the end of a row without having to lift the whole bar.
“We saw the need for a coulter to fit on to a fixed frame machine, such as a Seed Hawk, Simplicity SeedMaster, Bourgault Paralink or Morris Contour,” Mr Eckermann said.
“With these machines the frame will lift and the coulters will lift with them to get ground clearance, but our system will just lift the coulters hydraulically.”
He said besides reducing hydraulic load on the tractor in lifting and saving fuel, pressure on the coulter could also be adjusted.
“You can hydraulically adjust the downward pressure to give you a bit more control,” Mr Eckermann said.
“If you’re coming up to a rocky reef, you can either back off the pressure or lift the coulters out of the ground.
“Then when you’re in clear ground again, you can dial up your pressure. The alternative is to get out and manually pin up each coulter unit, which isn’t something people want to do when time’s the issue.”
The system can be controlled from the cabin and the mounts are interchangeable with cheaper spring units.
Mr Eckermann said while prices varied depending on the specification, a spring unit costs about $980 compared to $1400 for the hydraulic version.
“So if you went with an entry level spring system to start with, it can be simply upgraded to hydraulics,” he said.
The disc coulters are imported from South Africa and are made from boron steel.
Large pins and bushes were used for mounting to increase surface area and reduce wear on the pivot points.
Mr Eckermann said while the hydraulic coulters were designed for fixed seeder bars, they could be used on other machines.