CLAAS Harvest Centre (CHC) this week started what might be the perfect demonstration.
It comprised a 18.2 metre (60 feet) Seed Hawk seeding bar and Seed Hawk 660 Air Cart, pulled by a CLAAS Axion 950 tractor on large single tyres.
It will be in action over the next six weeks at selected sites from Northam to Katanning.
According to CHC Northam branch manager James Moss, the idea is to showcase the three products, even providing farmers with an opportunity to drive the Axion to judge how it performs pulling the rig.
“We wanted to provide farmers with an opportunity to see these products in action because they all have points of difference in the market,” Mr Moss said.
The Axion is rated at 306 kilowatts (410 horsepower) and like other models in the series, boasts a six-cylinder, 8.7 litre FPT Cursor 9 engine.
The Tier 2 engine includes a new variable geometry turbo that delivers optimum charge-air pressure according to the load and engine speed.
“All models are capable of transferring their full power from a standing start and at all forward speeds without a boost,” Mr Moss said.
“This reduces fuel consumption in all field and transport applications.”
Further fuel savings are achieved by the AXION automatically matching the engine speed to the load and aiming for maximum torque at around 1300rpm.
All models are equipped with an upgraded ZF Terramatic transmission to match the higher output of these tractors.
The Seed Hawk iCon 45 Series bar has been set on 30 centimetres (12 inches) spacings and comes with section control for all of the six 3m (10ft) sections.
When activated (by GPS references), tine assemblies lift out of the ground for the designated period identified before returning to the working position.
Seed Hawk says the reason for lifting the assemblies is to maintain the integrity of already seeded ground.
The Seed Hawk assemblies have been designed for accurate seed placement and safe fertiliser separation.
The fixed height bar with hydraulically-controlled openers employs press wheels for depth control and soil consolidation after sowing.
The large trailing opener is pulled down into work by its own hydraulic ram creating up to 1200psi which gives about 160 kilograms (350lb) packing pressure.
The opener design has two major pivot points which are fitted with hardened steel bushes and composite wear pads to minimise wear and lateral movement, while the constant oil pressure in the system means that each shank can break-out if it hits an obstacle, without affecting the depth and pressure on the remaining openers.
The bar also has standard wireless seed and fertiliser blockage monitors, which operate off acoustic sound and can be adjusted to suit product.
The bar itself is a ‘terrain-following’ frame with five independent sections with fixed wheels at the rear and castors on the front.
This design allows the machine to follow behind the tractor even on sloping and rolling paddocks.
The contouring ability of the bar isn’t only down to the opener.
Each wing hinge has a folding ram and the pressure in these rams can be increased or decreased, depending on the soil conditions and whether or not the seed cart is mounted on the bar or trailed behind.
Operating off the same continuous flow hydraulic circuit as the openers, but with a separate relief valve, the entire bar can flex up and down to follow contours, even on seven section machines.
Hydraulic down pressure is maintained on each section all of the time, irrespective of contours.
The ‘iCon’ is wireless technology to provide section control for the bar and variable rate capability for the air seeder – both via a cab-mounted tablet app.
A receiver mounted on the air seeder acquires the iPad signal and provides a virtual ‘bubble’ of wireless signal around the bar and the air cart, enabling a one person operation of calibrating the air cart (at the cart) and providing the necessary paddock map GPS coordinates for section control.
According to CLAAS Harvest Centre Seed Hawk product specialist Russell McCagh, the iCon Seed Hawk, with section control and variable rate capability, will cater to the needs of farmers looking for the accurate metering of seed and fertiliser while reducing input costs associated with overlapping.
“A new electric metering system for the iCon air carts allows accurate sowing between one and 500 kilograms per hectare of seed and fertiliser at speeds of up to 15 kilometres an hour,” Mr McCagh said.
“Each individual tank has three load cells for accurate weighing of product and increases efficiency when filling a required amount to finish a paddock or planning a re-fill.
“The iCon carts feature up to eight independent electronic metering systems and each meter is driven by a high torque 40 watt electric motor fitted to a 64:1 reduction gearbox, allowing it to run efficiently at a low rpm while seeding at a wide range of rates.
“The metering roller itself is made of polyurethane, which prevents damage to the motor by a foreign object.
“The Icon system runs dual fans allowing for accurate air delivery especially for canola seed placement, reducing seed bounce and hose blockages.”