Maschio Gaspardo has launched its Chrono high speed, precision drill into the UK, equipped with several features designed to increase output and seed placement accuracy.
Featuring a new seed delivery system, air bag suspension for each unit and electronically controlled metering for both seed and fertiliser, the manufacturer suggests working speeds of 14 to 16kph are achievable, while improving the accuracy of seed spacing and depth placement.
It says improved precision is down to a newly-designed metering unit. Using a combination of traditional vacuum singulation and pressure delivery down the coulter tube, it says the moment the seed leaves the metering disc it is kept under control. A volumetric lobe compressor and venturi in the seed pipe puts the seed under positive pressure, controlling its speed and ensuring it ends up in the soil without bounce.
In addition, the manufacturer says the angle of each metering unit also contributes to accurate spacing. Set on an incline of 15 degrees, seed drops off the disc and straight down the coulter tube without touching the sides, thus the seed is not slowed down at any point.
The manufacturer says one of the biggest challenges when working at speed is maintaining consistent seeding depth. Rather than employing traditional springs to generate downforce on each coulter unit, it has integrated air-bag suspension into the Chrono’s parallelogram linkages.
As well as providing protection against shock-loading from stones and obstacles, the firm adds that the system maintains constant downward-pressure, avoiding the units bouncing at speed.
Fully IsoBus compatible, the electrically-driven seeding units and micro-granular applicator are also GPS compatible, enabling automatic section control and individual row shut off as well as the potential for variable rate seeding and fertiliser applications.
The manufacturer says there has also been a deliberate focus on keeping maintenance to a minimum. Brushless long-life electric motors, fully sealed from dust ingress, are used for the seed and micro-granular metering units. In addition, there are individual filters for the air-intakes on each seeding unit as well as a larger one for the main lobe compressor to ensure zero contamination of the workings, claims the manufacturer.
Standard specification includes air-bag suspension, GPS-compatible IsoBus controls, 60-litre, low-level seed hoppers and front disc-openers designed for consistent coulter penetration in UK conditions. Electronically controlled micro-granular applicators with 16-litre hoppers are an option, as are trash-cleaning wheels for minimum tillage and direct-drilling situations.
The Chrono has been tested across Europe for the last two years and has been used by a contractor in the west country this season. A range of six and eight-row models are available in the UK, with prices starting at £53,534 for a six-row Chrono 306 with 1,200-litre fertiliser hopper.