Long life or low cost, soil engagement comes at a price

Steel and soil go together like love and marriage, horse and carriage. Regardless of what kind of farming you’re into, putting steel to soil takes its toll on wear-parts.

Whether you farm abrasive sandy loam or Red River clay, in-ground wear-components on your seeding and cultivation equipment will do just that — wear.

It’s a financial factor easily overlooked when figuring cost of production. Much like workshop hand tools that are lost over the course of a year, in-ground working tools have an annual cost.

The question arises of whether it’s better to buy low-cost, fast-wearing tools; high-cost tools that last longer; or something in the middle price range.

Often, economic reality dictates that the low-end tools will need to suffice for the current year. But the time factor involved in swapping tools in a busy season can steer a grower in the direction of higher-end soil-working pieces.

As farm size increases, the time required to change in-ground components becomes more of a factor, both on seeding and cultivation equipment. Farmers don’t want to stop for nuisance maintenance work if there’s 10,000 acres yet to cover.

With that in mind, Lemken has focused its designs on high-end, longer-lasting in-ground working tools.

Recently, the German equipment company explained the creation of its new, separate division for Dural and DuraMaxx wear part lines.

“Wear parts are a significant economic factor for any farm and the part selection should be based on local farming conditions and projected acreages,” according to the company’s spokesperson.

Lemken says they have subdivided their tillage wear parts range into the Dural line for what they call “long service life.” The DuraMaxx is its “extra-long service life” product line. Prices reflect these two designations.

The company introduced its first-generation Dural plow bodies in the mid-1980s. Ten years ago, Dural bodies were followed by DuraMaxx bodies made from specially hardened steel.

DuraMaxx increased service life by 150 percent. In addition to standard discs for the Rubin compact disc harrow, Lemken has begun offering discs made from highly tempered steel that provide 20 percent longer service life.

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