REGINA — There are a few must-see machines each year at Canada’s Farm Progress Show, and Bourgault made that list this year with its new 100 foot 3420 Paralink Hoe Drill.
Many producers were aware that Bourgault was working on the 100 foot drill with pictures of its testing shared on Twitter and online discussion boards.
However, this was the first time the public could view the seeder up close and Bourgault staff could openly discuss it.
The drill’s features are similar to the company’s 3320 Paralink Hoe Drill with the same opener and packer options, ability to adjust packing pressure from the cab, depth control system and the option for 10 or 12 inch spacing with or without the company’s coulter mid-row banding system.
What sets this new machine apart from Bourgault’s other seeders and other drills on the market is its unique folding design that can get it from field to field even on North American grid roads.
Robert Fagnou of Bourgault said the seeder’s folding design is the brainchild of farm implement designer Terry Frigstad, who used to develop seeding systems for Flexicoil.
“Terry had something that showed a lot of promise so he teamed up with our designers in Saskatoon and they worked hard over two years putting together the drawings and design for a prototype of Terry’s concept in a full sized unit,” Fagnou said.
When preparing the drill for transport, the wheels near the centre of the drill and the winglets, which are two small section of the frame, including some openers near the centre of the drill, lift up and lock in place.
The rear outside wheels then turn in to steer the outsides of the drill inward and back when the tractor drives forward.
When the tractor drives ahead, the drill moves in two halves by pivoting in the centre.
A structural beam is connected in the middle and back of each side of the toolbar, which pulls the outside of each section back and toward the middle of the unit when the tractor moves forward.
The wings are lifted up and locked into transport position once each half of the drill is in line with the direction of travel.
Operators will go through the same process in reverse order to put the seeder back into working position.
The drill transports at 18 feet wide by 16 high and 69 long. The length necessitates the rear wheel steering during transport.
Once the wings are folded down into field position, the in-frame running gear is turned to guide the wings out, the unit is driven backward to spread the wings, it’s locked into field position and the winglets and wheels near the centre of the drill are lowered.
Operators are guided by the X30 Controller in the cab when folding and unfolding the drill.
The drill weighs 75,000 pounds when tooled up with 10 inch spacing and mid-row banders.
Fagnou said 14 tires during transport and 22 when in working position support the weight.
The 3420 comes with steering assist to help navigate the seeder around corners. The steering assist is also available on some Bourgault air carts.
Fagnou said producers will need tractors with advanced hydraulic systems set to produce 3,200 to 3,400 p.s.i. to service the drill.
“On every spacing, we will test all the runs. We’ll test with urea, with wheat, with phosphate and make sure that they stay within industry standards,” he said.
“There was a PAMI (Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute) report that was released quite a few years ago that specifies the coefficient of variation that air kits need to meet in order to be able to have an even crop. Bourgault Industries has always been able to design the air kits to meet and exceed those recommendations and that’s the same thing with this 100 foot also.”
A limited number of drills will be available next spring. Pricing will be available later this year.