Product Focus: K-Line Ag Speedtiller

By: Brad Lockyer

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The K-Line Ag Speedtiller high-performance disc-tilling machine and MaxxRipper ground-breaking tool combine to rehabilitate the hard, compacted soil

The K-Line Speedtiller penetrating the soil
The Speedtiller allows users to penetrate the soil at the ideal depth without going too deep
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Getting your soil right is one of the most important tasks for any farmer, and ‘plough pans’ of compacted, dry soil are regularly encountered across the often drought-stricken Australian continent.

David McMillan knows this all too well. McMillan’s property in Young, New South Wales is a mixed operation with stud cattle and lambs, as well as various grain crops.

"We’ve got stud beef cattle and fat lambs," McMillan says.

"And we also grow canola and other cereals including feed for the livestock."

Dry, compacted soil affected by decades of ploughing and planting needs to be carefully worked to allow moisture back in, which in turn allows roots to grow deeper.

Across his property, McMillan has been using the K-Line Speedtiller in combination with the heavy-duty MaxxRipper ground-breaking tool to get his soil to the right consistency and balance. Recently, K-Line used his property for a demo day of the two products.

"It was great, we had around 40 to 50 people on site having a go with the machines," McMillan says.

"We actually bought one of the first 6m Speedtillers that K-Line built about seven years ago, and our paddocks are a lot better for it."

The K-Line Speedtiller is a high-performance dual-purpose disc tiller designed for soil conditioning where high penetration is needed. Suited to tilling at high speeds, the Speedtiller can cut, size and incorporate crop residue, increasing the carbon content of the soil.

Users can quickly and easily adjust disc positions on the fly to ensure they are getting maximum weed control without the need for multiple passes.

The Speedtiller allows users to penetrate the soil at the ideal depth without going too deep and ruining the microbial makeup. This also helps to stave off soil erosion and minimises the need for burning off, which McMillan says is just as well.

"The Speedtiller saves you from having to burn off. It won’t be long until burning off won’t be allowed or will at least be heavily restricted," he says.

"It also builds the organic matter up in your soil and stops erosion on your property.

"You’re not actually ploughing the paddock, you’re only chipping the stubble in to stimulate the microbes in the soil," McMillan explains.

"It’s improved the quality of our soil out of sight. It’s really been a big improvement. We’ve got granite soils, which don’t have that much organic matter in them naturally."

K-Line Ag says the Speedtiller’s jump arms are the heaviest and strongest on the market and designed for a long life. The individual cutting discs can deliver up to 540kg of cutting force per disc which gives better control of working depth in soft soils.

The K-Line Speedtiller is available in various sizes, and is suitable for virtually any type of farming from large-scale production farms to hobby or lifestyle properties.

"I think you could say it would fit into nearly any farming situation," McMillan says.

"I have one of the bigger Speedtillers on my property, but there are people running all sorts of models including the little 2.5-metre ones."

Another problem often encountered when preparing soil is the sub-soil plough pan. This is an extremely compacted layer of earth underneath the cultivated soil layer that has been packed down hard over decades of ploughing.

The K-Line Ag MaxxRipper range working the soil
The MaxxRipper range feature heavy-duty tynes that can go down to a depth of up to 600mm

These layers are problematic as roots cannot penetrate the hard soil and moisture struggles to get in as well. To fix this, you need to get down deep to the compacted layer and break it up. This is no easy task, which is where the K-Line MaxxRipper comes in.

"We use the MaxxRipper for doing the sub-soil ripping. On our property you encounter plough pans. It opens the paddock up to take moisture down further so the roots go down deeper," McMillan says.

There are three models in the MaxxRipper range — the 4.5-tonne 7-tyne MR7; the 5-tonne 9-tyne MR9; and the 5.5-tonne 11-tyne MR11.

Built with an extremely robust frame, the MaxxRipper features heavy-duty deep-ripping tynes with a shear pin system that can go down to a depth of up to 600mm.

The tynes are laid out in a V-pattern to give the ripper a lighter draft and better tracking ability, and are spaced at 500mm intervals.

McMillan says plough pans and compacted soil are a particular problem in the Young area.

"Around here, most of the paddocks have got plough pans from using the old mouldboard ploughs. A paddock we did the other day, we went down 500mm and found a tight pan there. The MaxxRipper really opened the soil up," he says.

The relationship between David McMillan and K-Line Ag is a strong one that goes back many years, which David says is a testament to their quality products and professionalism.

"Oh yeah, they’re really good to deal with," he says enthusiastically.

"Whatever K-Line builds is going to be a quality product. You can also go and get most parts you need straight off the shelf to do repairs.

"I’ve been dealing with them for a long time, many years, and our relationship is fantastic. If there’s a problem you can just ring them and they’ll sort it out straight away.

"That is the honest truth too, they’re very, very good. K-Line are always working to improve their products, not resting on their laurels. Always working to improve their machinery and their gear, listening to farmers and improving their machinery accordingly."

The K-Line Speed tiller

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