Vertical till with Versatile Viking

LANGHAM, Sask. — Versatile has entered the vertical tillage tool world with the Viking, designed to address many issues that faced early generation vertical till machines.

Viking falls into the high-speed compact category.

“This is definitely a next-generation machine,” said Versatile’s Trevor Jubenville.

“The Viking is a vertical tillage tool. It’s not a cultivator, not a disc, not a chisel plow. It’s what we call a vertical tillage tool.”

He said the new machine is designed to cut, chop and size the residue and mix it up in the soil rather than throwing it sideways the way a disc or chisel plow would.

“Farmers are coming into the dealerships now to trade their original first generation vertical till units,” he said. “They’ve been demanding adjustable gang angles and a different type of blade that won’t go dull. Some guys have been asking for size options, so we’ve incorporated those criteria into the Viking. When you examine the machine, you’ll see some interesting innovations.

“The SoilRazor blades are a quarter inch thick and have a jagged sharp edge that stays sharp all the way through that entire wear zone, to give you precise cutting for many acres. That scalloped edge stays sharp through four or five inches of wear zone. You don’t need to worry about blades going dull. As long as you can see scalloped edge, you know it’s sharp.”

Jubenville said many of the first generation of vertical till machines had fixed gangs of two or three degrees. Other designs had zero degree gang angle or they were built on a tandem disc frame at an aggressive gang angle. The Viking has adjustable gang angles that run from zero to 16 degrees. Working depth ranges from zero to five inches.

“This wide range of adjustment is in response to grower demand for different angles to suit a variety of field conditions,” Jubenville said.

“In the fall you can set the machine to leave just enough standing stubble to trap snow, yet still allow seeding in the spring. In the spring guys will run maybe four degrees or eight degrees. They’ll sometimes have conditions where they run very shallow at zero degrees.

“There’s a dirty little secret in the world of vertical tillage. The vertical till purists, like the university agronomists and researchers, wanted farmers to run at a very shallow angle or at zero degrees. That’s why the original vertical till designs were zero degrees.

“But the farmer knows he often has to do emergency work. For example, he often needs to fix some deep ruts after a wet harvest, as we’ve seen in recent years.

“He desperately needs a more aggressive angle on some occasions. So our gang angle is manually adjustable in four degree increments of four, eight, 12 and 16 degrees. The hydraulic option lets you adjust in one degree increments from the cab.”

The Viking is available from 28 to 38 feet. Blade spacing is on either eight-inch or nine-inch centres. Blade diameter options are 20, 22 or 24 inches. Versatile also offers a choice of bearings. Viking comes with a sealed maintenance-free standard-duty bearing. As well, there’s an optional extreme-duty bearing with a seven-year warranty.

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