A SPECIALISED hard-wearing, self-lubricating thermopolymer material is used instead of nylon bushes to reduce maintenance on Equilizer precision seeding equipment sold in Australia.
Vesconite bushing material is designed for challenging dry and gritty operating conditions and is said to provide up to 10 times the life of traditional bronze or nylon bushes under similar conditions.
It also does not swell in wet conditions, maintaining low-friction tolerances.
Both Vesconite bushes and Equilizer crop seeding equipment are manufactured in South Africa.
An Equilizer spokesman said the company "aims to use only the best quality and fit-for-purpose components on the market, to ensure that we manufacture world-class machines which meet any farmer's highest standards".
"To ensure all parts keep moving as intended for as long as possible, we spec SKF hubs and bearings on all our machines," the spokesman said.
"We also use Vesconite bushes on almost all of our oscillating pivot points, as many years of in-field feedback has led us to believe it is the best self-lubricating engineering polymer on the market for our applications."
Prior to switching to Vesconite bushes on its seeder units, Equilizer had used nylon bushings on pivot points typically on the parallel arms and closing wheel pivots, he said.
The spokesman pointed out these oscillating points are under high loads, as hydraulic or spring force are used to ensure the unit has adequate downforce to plant at a consistent depth and create proper seed-to-soil contact for the best germination and emergence.
The seeders also sometimes operated in rough, undulating terrain or rock-filled paddocks so the bushess worked very hard.
"The main reason for the material change was to increase the life of the bushes and therefore increase the time between maintenance intervals," the spokesman said.
"This keeps the equipment running as intended for longer, especially on larger farms due to the fact that mid-season maintenance is not feasible with the narrow planting windows.
"The other advantage of increased bush life is a reduction in maintenance downtime, allowing clients to go through a number of seasons before needing to do anything more major than the standard greasing, which also has a significant cost saving when considering the labour component.
"Under higher loading cases, we have found the Vesconite resists deformation more than our previous nylon.
"This keeps the bushes in shape, which prevents the joints becoming floppy," he said.
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