A new disc harrow unit released by local company Fairbrother Industries has thrown a huge challenge to incumbent imported European models as new areas of New Zealand undergo cultivation for agriculture.
This new design is seen as a major win for New Zealand manufacturing; apart from the advantage of domestic support and part supply, Fairbrother’s 3400HDF folding tandem disc harrow has several features to save time and money.
- A floating draw bar system
- Significant disk angle and tighter blade positions
- It can be folded for transport
- Hydraulic controls
- Road transport legal
- Parts interchangeability
According to Mr Matt Fairbrother, the company believes its 3400HDF has by far the “most angle” of all the disc harrows on the NZ market.
“What we have developed and manufactured here is a unit that can go up and down the steepest of hills much more easily than what the market has seen to date,” said Mr. Fairbrother.
“There is a lot of new country being broken in as agriculture expands. All the fields have been done but the hillsides have presented a greater challenge, particularly as many agriculture cultivation contractors have invested in bigger tractors.
“Our way of providing an operating advantage for users come mainly from the unit being designed 860mm shorter than previous models.
“Therefore the shorter the frames the closer the blades are together, and this allows it to operate up and down steeper hillsides.
“Manufactured from 250 x 150 x 9mm box section, we believe it is the strongest frame of any disc harrow unit on the national market.”
Until now, most agricultural contractors did things the old school way – using a plough. But this old method is very slow (about 4km/h on paddocks) whereas the 3400HDF operates far more quickly at 10-12km/h.
Fairbrother Industries also developed the frame of its 3400HDF to accommodate sets of discs from 3.4m to 5m.
Equipped with a short compact disc, Fairbrother’s 3400HDF is designed mainly for primary and secondary cultivation on all terrain from the flattest to the very steep.
With an oversized frame of 250mm x 150mm x 9mm, the unit provides 120kg-135kg of pressure per blade. Standard spec includes 26-inch blades, taper roller bearings, and reversible wear plates.
“Another advantage of this model over the European units is that it folds down to 2.6 metres, therefore it falls under the classification for standard road transport.
“This adjustment is facilitated by hydraulics rather than manually. One of the greater challenges posed by the European units is that they require manual bolt adjustment and tightening etc, making it more labour intensive.
“Because we are a local manufacturer, Fairbrother also provides greater ease when interchanging parts whereas the European gear is imported and can’t be switched and customised without great effort and delays,” said Mr Fairbrother.