Duraquip of WA is best known as a builder of innovative transport equipment solutions including its range of Tornado seed and fertiliser trailers.
Now however, the Gnowangerup based manufacturer has made a bold move into the seeding market with its Seed Storm seeding bar.
The company said it saw an opportunity at the upper end of the market and decided to put its background of 110 years of farming experience to work to create an implement that would tick all the boxes.
Garry Richardson, Director of Duraquip, says he has a passion for perfection that led to the development of the Seed Storm, an Australian made seeding bar demonstrating strength and flexibility. The newly released bar has been subjected to rigorous testing and scrutiny over the last 10 months.
The Seed Storm is aimed at serious professional farmers – those who have a lot to do and want to do things well. The popular Tornado seed fertiliser trailer is known for its seeding efficiency, and the Seed Storm bar was built with the same ingenuity.
“The 80ft seeding bar market is growing, there are farmers out there who want to get more done, and we now have tractors that can pull these machines,” said Garry.
“Farmers are chasing efficiency. Times and seasons are changing, to the point that what was once considered a good start date for seeding has now become a finish date.
“We wanted to build a bar that would perform well in whatever conditions it had to work in and get a lot of crop in fast.”
In creating the Seed Storm, Duraquip introduced a number of innovations to make it a truly versatile machine. Bars are available in widths from 10.5 to 24.5m (35 to 80ft) and with 25 to 30cm (10 to 12in) spacings.
Transport width is up to 7.5 metres maximum and the bars feature flexible frame connections. In addition, there is a retractable tine system, a single lift cylinder controls whole frame and there is the option of castor lock system to assist with bar tracking.
During development, the company ran two bars, an 80ft and a 60ft, each covering approximately 4,000 hectares with minimal reported issues.
To eliminate uneven depth control Duraquip developed its single cylinder hydraulic lift system to mechanically maintain a level frame 100 per cent of the time.
“The Seed Storm has a strong frame but we made it flexible enough so it would avoid cracking. It also has a floating drawbar for contour following ability and excellent fore and aft frame stability. It rides where you set it, doesn’t twist into the ground, and doesn’t skate along the top either, even in exceptionally hard digging conditions,” said Garry.
The Seed Storm 24.5m (80ft) bar features 20 large diameter, high flotation wheels to keep it rolling with ease and to provide excellent flotation across deep sandy or wet soils. Rim patterns and wheel bearings are uniform across the machine.
Trash flow is maximised by keeping all wheels clear of the seeding area, situated in front and behind the tine ranks. This positioning avoids any drag up around wheels.
Ease of maintenance was also a key requisite in the Seed Storm design. The main frame uses long-lasting Gar-Max bushes throughout, making it virtually greaseless.
The innovative retracting hydraulic tine system and main frame lift provides for the manageable 7.5m transport width and good road clearance of the 24.5m (80ft) bar.
“It also makes for a lot of room to change points – you’re not crawling through a jungle of tines only just off the ground,” said Garry.
To field test the Seed Storm, an 80ft bar was turned over to Queensland agricultural contractor, Jase, who put it to work in a range of conditions . Involved with farming for most of his life and having had exposure to many other seeding bar brands across Australia, Jase was unsure at first if the Seed Storm at 80ft width would work when put to the test.
He found the Seed Storm sustained its performance in both dry sandy ground and the hardest ground he could find, as well as heady, rocky, clay ground.
“It blew me away,” Jase said, “most new products have teething issues but for something of this quality to work straight away, that’s a feat in itself. It doesn’t move around, everything stays level, and precision wise, it’s one of the best I’ve seen.”
“The thing I like about Duraquip is that they take a critical eye to their own products, which makes it easier for owners down the line…they want a machine out there that people can’t fault.”
“It folds up beautifully. It’s a big bar, but easy on the road too.”
Jase said one of his biggest concerns was pulling ability, but the 30 tonne standard weight kits on a Versatile 620DT solved that issue.
“It’s nearly a 100-tonne seeding rig when all the tanks are full and [the Versatile] loves it!” said Jase.
“Driving five inches into ground at 80ft with a total of 96 tines and 1200psi tine breaks certainly put the pressure on, but it was ripping like a deep ripper.”
Jase also says the Seed Storm has one of the cleanest seeding airflow systems he’s ever seen – there are hoses from the bin to the front of the drawbar, with stainless steel then leading to the heads.
“It’s incredibly smooth and streamlined, and any wear points are easily replaceable in the stainless-steel system,” he said.
“The trash flow is excellent. We ran it across header trails that had been missed baling, across broken bale patches, and through long wiry canola stubble and it just sailed through it all,” he said.
According to Jase, after 4000ha, there was nothing major to change or fix on the bar. “Operating it was easy, just a few tweaks around the adjustment area, but the seed placement is perfect.”
Duraquip plans a limited production run of the Seed Storm for 2021 before full production the following year and has appointed McIntosh & Son as exclusive dealers.
“The timing of our initial R & D program has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted supply chains throughout the world,” Garry said. “So, we’ll have to wait a year before fully gearing up.”