Pottinger announced new and updated machinery at an exclusive event
Pottinger announced new and updated machinery in its grassland and arable ranges at an exclusive press and dealer event in Austria. The highlight was a completely new range of round balers, designed and built by Pottinger with features to match the wish lists of its dealers and customers. David Williams reports.Pottinger is celebrating its fourth consecutive year of sales growth, with a turnover for 2013-2014 of 314m euros. Grassland products including forage wagons, mowers, rakes and tedders, currently account for some 61 per cent of its sales but, missing from its range until now, with the exception of a re-badged Gallignani machine which sold mainly to users in central Europe, has been a round baler.New Impress baler range
Starting six years ago with a completely clean sheet the Pottinger design team was able to consider exactly what aspects of current baler design were successful and which were poor plus, with its 50 years’ experience of producing forage loader wagons, it was able to use its expertise in picking forage up off the floor to develop a unique collection system for its new balers.The main difference between Pottinger’s crop collection design, and that of other manufacturers, is that after the forage is lifted over the pick-up it is fed over the rotor into the bale chamber rather than under it, a design which reduces crop damage and requires less power. The pick-up has a cam-track action for efficient and clean lifting on undulating ground, and a pair of augers direct the crop inwards for central feeding to the rotor.The over-the-top feed rotor means the crop enters the knife bank higher than conventional designs, allowing the chopping system to be positioned higher in the machine. This makes it easier to service, and Pottinger has included a handy sliding gantry-mounting for the knife bank so the knives slide out as a set, in just a few seconds, for inspection.A further benefit of the design, explained Pottinger, is that material falls away from the knife after chopping, allowing the knife bank to run cleaner, extending the time between sharpenings. The chopping rotor has 32 knives, all reversible for reduced downtime, and produces a chop length up to 20 per cent shorter than that of competitor machines claims the company.The Impress range includes fixed and variable chamber models as well as combined baler-wrappers, and is designed to handle the full range of dry and green forage crops including dense wet silage. Variable chamber versions have three wide belts, which Pottinger explained reduces losses compared to balers with more belts, and the range will include models to produce bales from 1.2m up to at least 1.8m diameter. All models, including non-chop versions feed over the top of the rotor, which runs in the opposite direction to almost all other round balers.Pottinger innovation has also had a part to play in the design of the baler-wrappers, where the satellite arms which hold and apply the wrap are base- rather than top-mounted. The company explained that this design provides more strength, and there is less flexing when working on bumpy ground which results in consistently even application of the wrap for better bale protection. A further benefit is that with no framework required from which to hang the arms, access to the wrapper is unobstructed. The pre-production example demonstrated had storage capacity for 12 rolls of wrap. Pottinger UK general manager Shaun Groom commented; “While the UK round baler market is well established we have seen a demand among our customers and dealers for a range of Pottinger round balers. The innovation and features of the Impress range are all about improving efficiency, making work easier and reducing running costs.”The balers shown were early preview models, and were a small sample from what Pottinger said will be a comprehensive range to suit the needs of all users. The biggest market for round balers is in mainland Europe, and Pottinger is investing heavily in baler development and testing to make its Impress range a success. Ten machines will be operating during the 2015 season, and Agritechnica 2015 will be the Impress range’s official launch.Fuel-efficient mowingAdded to the mower range is the Novacat S12, which Pottinger claims is the largest mounted mower available.It has a working width of 11.2m but requires just 160hp, and the manufacturer claims only two litres of diesel are needed to cut a hectare of grass. Also available is a 9.52m version, the S10, requiring just 130hp, but capable of outputs in excess of 11ha/hr.Rakes
A new centre swath rake was demonstrated. The TOP 842C twin rotor rake offers a working width from 7.7-8.4m, and is equipped with DynaTech rotor units for optimal spreading performance while minimising contamination due to ground contact.The demonstration machine was also fitted with the Multitast offset front wheel on each rotor unit, which the company explained results in a smoother ride and reduces raw ash content in the crop by up to 25 per cent.Arable products – Drills
The main news was updates to the Aerosem range of pneumatic seed drills. The new Aerosem 1002 series is available in working widths of 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0m and the drill can be mounted over the rear roller of a leading tillage implement such as a Fox disc or tine cultivator or a Lion power harrow. The compact design, with the weight of the drill forward over the implement, means the drill combination is easy to lift with its centre of gravity close to the tractor.The seed hopper capacity is 1,250 litres and it is designed to be easily filled using bulk bags, with a large 2.2m opening. Agitator feed to the metering system ensures an even flow, and a hydraulic blower drive allows precise air flow adjustment to suit the type of seed being handled.There is a choice of mechanical or electric drive systems for the seed meters, and rates of between 1.5-340kg/ha can be achieved, at speeds up to 12kph. Calibration is achieved quickly and easily; a calibration pan which runs on a pair of rails, used to collect the sample from under the calibration chute, and then pulled out along the rails for easy removal and weighing at the side.Mechanical calibration is by land wheel, and an infinitely-variable oil-filled transmission is used to vary the seed rate. Hydraulic land wheel lift is an option.The Compass control terminal is standard and operates the tramline system, as well as offering calibration test, speed indicator, partial and total area recording and seed hopper indicator functions.
Benefits of the electric drive option include infinitely variable seed flow rate adjustment, and a seed library using the Power Control terminal or the tractor’s Isobus. Speed information for metering is provided by DGPS sensor, and when using half-width drilling or during tramlining, the seed flow rate is reduced automatically.Coulter options are 3-row trailed, 2-row single discs or 2-row dual discs, allowing easy adaption for any working conditions.A new mechanical seed singulator has been developed for the Aerosem. The Precision Combi Seeding System (PCS) has been developed especially for drilling maize. Up to 10 metering units are fitted to a 4m drill, providing row spacings of 37.5 or 75cm, or 12.5cm on the ADD version.The metering units, which contain a pair of steel ‘fingers’ which open and close as they revolve, collect single seeds during each revolution and then drop them into the air tube. The metering units have their own drive system, separate from that of the drill, and the grains are metered mechanically, then carried to the coulter by the standard air flow. The company explained that the simple system is reliable and doesn’t suffer the complications of vacuum or pressure based precision seeders. Any size seed can be handled.For precision seeding the large Dual-Disc coulters are used, moving trash to the sides to create a clear seeding area, and achieving a tidy seed groove. A stopper roller catches the seed as it emerges from the air hose, pressing it firmly and ensuring even spacing. The standard pressure roller compresses soil around the seed.Set-up and operation is achieved using the Pottinger Power Control terminal, a CCI terminal, or the tractor’s Isobus system if available. Row spacing, seed gap within the groove and seed number required per hectare can all be entered. The seed rate is easily adjusted without the need to swap drive chains or gears, and the performance is constantly monitored by optical sensors on each row.
Accurate application of fertiliser is carried out while drilling the seed through the standard metering system and an additional distributor head, which allows application of nutrients between the seed rows. Other options include the ability to drill grass as a cover crop while precision drilling the main crop. The hopper is divided into two sections; 400 litres available for individual seed drilling and approximately 850 litres for fertiliser or the second seed. Switching between normal drilling and individual seed drilling is achieved by moving the partition between the two sections, and dual level indicators, one at either side, allow the user to monitor the contents.Also shown at the event was Pottinger’s award winning Intelligent Distribution System (IDS), which is said to guarantee a consistent flow of seed to each row, reducing seed wastage. An electric metering drive is used, controlled by Isobus or the Pottinger Power Control terminal. The distributor head controls the flow, reducing it for tramlining or half-width drilling, the distributor outlets controlled by a BUS system.Direct fertiliser through Terrasem
Pottinger introduced a combined seed and fertiliser version of its Terrasem drill two years ago, and the latest version uses an extra set of coulters, mounted behind the compact harrow unit, to place fertiliser between each seed row, providing an additional option for users.The Dual-Disc Exakt coulters allow the fertiliser placement depth to be adjusted independently of the cultivating and sowing depth, so in dry weather fertiliser can be placed closer to the seed, and in wet conditions further away, ensuring slower uptake.The Terrasem combination drill has a 4000-litre hopper and a movable partition allows the capacity to be divided 50/50, 40/60 or 60/40. Row spacing is 12.5cm for quick establishment.
A secondary smaller distribution head directs fertiliser to the front row of coulters.
The seed coulters are mounted on parallel linkages, all with the same length arms to ensure consistent performance between the staggered rows. Up to 130kg of pressure can be applied per coulter, ensuring the seed drilling depth is constant, even at higher travel speeds. Shaun Groom explained that while establishing cereal crops in Scotland with the drill, an application rate of 400kg of fertiliser and 220kg of seed per hectare had been applied, which was well within the drill’s capabilities, but he added that if the required fertiliser rate is more than 500kg/ha then the ground speed must be compromised. “Applying fertiliser with seed is well-established practice in the north of the UK,” he said, “but we are seeing growing interest from farmers in the south, keen to get crops established rapidly. There is undoubtedly a benefit to placing fertiliser while drilling the seed.”
Asked about the potential for equipping the Terrasem with the precision seeding units demonstrated on the smaller Aerosem, Shaun confirmed that this is a possibility, and that the increasing acreage of maize being planted has already created interest. Flexibility for smaller farms
The Multiline system was displayed for the first time at the Cereals event in June. The system allows users to replace the power harrow component of a 3m power harrow combination drill with a Terradisc disc cultivator, providing flexibility and reducing costs.A mounting frame and a full width rubber packer convert the mounted drill into a high speed trailed system. Swapping the box drill from the power harrow to the Multiline frame takes just 15 minutes, and means the user has the flexibility to use the power harrow when conditions dictate, but can save fuel and maximise output with higher speed drilling by using the disc cultivator when operating conditions are suitable. The Terradisc can also be used without the drill.The rubber press is used to lift the whole trailed combination and forms the transport wheels for headland turns and road transport. The roller profile has 12.5cm spacings which line up precisely with the coulters, ensuring even consolidation across the operating width.At the event in Austria, Pottinger showed further developments to increase the flexibility of the Multiline system, as it can now be used with the Synkro 3m cultivator.”The disc cultivator-based Multiline displayed at Cereals created considerable interest, mainly from medium sized farms as it offers flexibility to cope with a range of working conditions, and it is seen primarily as a high speed trailed drill with the power harrow mounting an option,” said Shaun. “In its trailed form it will operate at 10-15kph, requires only 130hp or so, and it can also be used as a disc harrow cultivator when the drill isn’t being used. It is an attractive and cost-effective proposition.
“Being able to combine it with the Synkro cultivator will further increase its appeal to farms in the UK.”Synkro options increased
The Synkro tine cultivator range is updated, and new 1030 series 3-row versions are lighter, shorter and more compact than before. Greater underbody clearance of 800mm makes them better suited to working in heavy after-harvest trash.2.5 and 3.0m versions have a rigid frame and 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0m models fold for transport. All have shear-bolt leg protection as standard but Nova leaf-spring trip protection is available as an option, with a trip force of 500kg, and providing 300mm clearance in the tripped position. If very large obstructions are encountered and the Nova system reaches the extent of its travel, then a shear-bolt provides a failsafe back-up.Central depth adjustment is provided at the front of the machine now, and the rear packer can be lifted, transferring its weight to the tines to aid penetration. The leg angle is adjustable allowing the legs to be angled back slightly for greater penetration in very tough conditions.Concave levelling discs are scalloped and mounted on maintenance free bearings. The working depth is regulated by the rear packer, and they are rubber-mounted on machines equipped with Nova leg protection.New trailed versions have been added to the range with working widths of 4-6m. These fold in to two sections, allowing the centre of gravity to be lowered during transport, and reducing overall height. Trailed models feature front jockey wheels used, with the rear packer, to control depth.New 2-row Synkros
A new 2-row Synkro cultivator range has been introduced. The 1020 series uses duckfoot shares to cultivate across the full width, and is available in widths from 2.5-6.0m, with 4.0m and wider versions folding for transport.Under-frame clearance is 80cm, to allow use in large quantities of trash.
The leg spacing provided by the two rows of tines is larger than that of the 3-row models, at 45cm, and this means the power requirement is considerably lower. The 2-row series is also shorter than the 3-row allowing their use with smaller, lighter tractors, and Pottinger quotes a power requirement of just 70hp for the smallest versions.Ensuring compatibility with a wide range of tractors the headstocks have two-position lower linkage mount lugs and three top link positions, and further versatility is provided by the adjustable angle headstock.The duckfoot shares mount on curved legs with a guide plate to improve soil flow around them. They can operate from 5-20cm deep and have a width of 470mm per pair of wing shares. The user can select the angle, steeper for better penetration and mixing, or flatter to reduce surface disturbance leaving a more level finish.As on the 30 series Synkros, central depth control is now provided, rather than the previous separate front and rear adjustment, and the new concave harrow discs are completely maintenance-free and are adjustable for depth in conjunction with the rear roller.The Nova trip system is available as an option in place of shear-bolts, with a trip force of 550kg.
The 4, 5 and 6m versions all fold in to two sections for transport, using a pair of double-acting hydraulic cylinders. Hydraulic locking of the folded sections is provided for road transport, and the cultivators are available with either air or hydraulic braking.For shallow tillage, the Terradisc disc cultivator is now available in working widths of 3-6m.
New features include a twin arm mounting system with each arm secured to the frame on a wide clamping bracket. This keeps the disc angle constant and prevents sideways movement, even in heavy working conditions.Disc thickness is increased and the diameter is 13 per cent larger at 580mm, a change which Pottinger claims will extend working life up to 45 per cent. The disc bearings are maintenance-free, have six-fold seals and are protected from long harvest trash or bale twine by a plate cover.
Working depth is preset hydraulically, and then locked using swing clips.The larger Terradisc T trailed versions have rear transport wheels which fold up and over the cultivator, transferring weight forwards over the discs during field work. Pottinger explained that this design allows the cultivator to run very smoothly attaining a constant depth even on undulating ground. The rear packer is used to lift the cultivator during headland turns.The outermost discs are depth-adjustable for tidy merging from bout to bout, and edging plates to keep the thrown soil within the working width of the machine are standard. A tine harrow with 14mm thick tines is an option.”As well as the new 2015 machines, there are many improvements and additional options for our existing range, extending their versatility and flexibility for working in a range of operating environments,” said Shaun. “Users are keen to save fuel, while maximising work rates and optimising crop establishment and we have a wide range of products which will help them achieve this.”