WALKAWAY farmer Dean Levitt can remember when a toolbox was something you accessed from the back of the farm shed.
"Now the toolbox is housed by a shed," Mr Levitt said.
It's a joke but it does underscore how things have changed in farming from pioneering days when you cropped every three years while raising livestock and clearing and fencing more land.
His latest tool is a 12.2 metre Nufab HydraMax deep ripper which is involved in an annual program averaging 2000 hectares.
"In recent years, the majority working depth has been between 400 and 450 millimetres, but plans to go back over some trafficked country has triggered the need to get down to about 500mm," Mr Levitt said.
"The HydraMax will be easier to pull because we've now adjusted the front tynes to allow shallow forward shattering."
Timing is more a case of when the opportunity arises.
"You can't go by the calendar," Mr Levitt said.
"If it rains during the summer months I'll mainly rip where I'm putting in wheat crops but I won't do pastures because any paddock you rip dry is one less you've got for sheep feed.
"I'd rather do an opportunity rip in August if there's a bit of moisture because the rip won't affect the plants and you can still graze the sheep."
The HydraMax is based on the Queensland Tilco deep ripper and is manufactured by Nufab Industries under licence to Tilco.
It is designed with shallow leading tynes that can dig to 700mm with rear tynes able to penetrate up to 800mm.
In average working conditions, the front tynes can be adjusted to dig to 400mm to reduce draft loads.
Nufab is into its fifth season with the Hydramax and the company estimates there are in excess of 1000 Nufab tyne assemblies "renovating soils in WA".