REVIEW: Taege 6m air seeder

By: Brent Lilley, Photography by: Brent Lilley

Presented by

Taege 6m Airseeder 4 Heavy-duty phasing rams on the wheels lift all the sections evenly and are used to control the depth of the drill with simple ram shins. Taege 6m Airseeder 4
Taege 6m Airseeder 5 Heaight lift for ground clearance on the headlands is excellent. Taege 6m Airseeder 5
Taege 6m air seeder cassettes The 'cassette' slides in under the hopper effortlessly. Taege 6m air seeder cassettes
Taege 6m air seeder distribution head A large centrally-mounted distribution head divides the seed out to the 49 runs on the drill. Taege 6m air seeder distribution head
Taege 6m air seeder drill tine The drill and tyre roller following behind both feature impressive contour following, with a simple slotted hole on the folding arms. Taege 6m air seeder drill tine
Taege 6m air seeder drill It has been a long time coming for Taege's 6m seed drill. Taege 6m air seeder drill
Taege 6m air seeder fan A hydraulically driven fan at the front of the drill uses a heat exchanger, keeps the tractor oil cool and pushes warm, dry air through the hoses. Taege 6m air seeder fan
Taege 6m air seeder hopper A sturdy platform at the front of the hopper provides easy access for loading. Taege 6m air seeder hopper
Taege 6m air seeder metering rollers A variety of metering rollers are available for the removable 'cassette'. Taege 6m air seeder metering rollers
Taege 6m air seeder on the field Taege 6m air seeder on the field
Taege 6m air seeder two point linkage The solid two-point linkage on the drawbar. Taege 6m air seeder two point linkage
Taege Airseeder tines 'S' shaped spring tine mount onto the box section that is rotating forward. This causes the tines to pull themselves into the ground with little downforce. Taege Airseeder tines

Brent Lilley heads down to Canterbury to meet Johnny and Paul 'Wal' Crawford and their new Taege six metre air seeder built completely in-house.

This is my first chance to get a close-up, in-depth look at the Taege system and it seems only right that I throw my two cents in and take everyone back to the school of Taege with an overview of the key features found not only on this drill, but across the range of Taege drills.

 

 

Contents

Tynes

Seed boot

Harrows

Roller

Construction

Hopper

Metering system

Control and calibration

Verdict

Specifications

 

Taege 6m air seeder tynes

An ‘S’ shaped spring steel tine is mounted on a box section frame, but a closer look at the mounting point of the tine and you’ll notice the box section is tilted towards the front.

This tilts the tine on a forward angle at the top, allowing it to move in an upwards and backwards motion while working.

The tine on the Taege drills naturally wants to pull itself down and into the ground with very little force or weight required.

The other clever part is that it moves the point of the tine further away from vertical with the mounting point, which in turn allows greater freedom for the tine to move up and down with the contours of the ground, or over any obstacles that are struck.

On the new drill there are 49 tines spaced across a 6m working width to give 121mm row spacing. Interestingly this is slightly narrower than nearly every other drill on the market.

Tines are staggered over four and a half tine bars which, along with the shuddery nature of the spring tines, help prevent trash build-ups and blockages.

 

Taege 6m air seeder seed boot

Taege _6m Airseeder _4

What looks like a fairly simple seed boot is in fact one that has some clever ideas built into it upon closer inspection.

The replaceable tungsten tip at the front is probably the thinnest I’ve ever seen on any drill. It disturbs a strip that is just wide enough to create a fine tilth to bury the seed in without tearing up the whole paddock.

My first thought is whether such a fine tip will stand up in harsh conditions. To demonstrate, the team at Taege drilled a section of laneway running through the farm that consists of hard packed river shingle.

The tips are absolutely fine and pull themselves into the shingle, showing no sign of damage afterwards.

Although the machine tested is a single box seed-only drill, all Taege drills feature the same double shoot seed boots.

Another clever idea is hidden in the angle of the boot and the placement of the shoots. If the machine is running fertiliser and seed, the fertiliser goes down the front shoot where it’s placed lower in the slot that is opened.

It will then be covered slightly before the seed is placed above it, preventing fertiliser burn on the seed while promoting early seeding growth.

 

Taege 6m air seeder Harrows

On the back of the machine are two rows of tine harrows that are set at opposing angles. These tines sweep any loose soil to one side then back to the other, covering the seed and leaving a flat and smooth finish.

The bar that carries the tines is mounted to the drill with a parallel linkage that ensures the harrows always follow flat to the ground.

There is an adjustable spring that can be used to vary the down pressure to suit the conditions. The harrows are lifted clear of the ground when the drill is lifted to prevent damage.     

 

Taege 6m air seeder roller

Taege -6m -air -seeder -drill Tine

Taege suggests its 6m tyre roller is used behind the drill.

Its distinctly unique design uses two rows of tyres that mount to the chassis on an oscillating beam. This not only insures contour following, but also prevents a wave forming to leave a flat and firm surface.

The 6m model is merely an upscaled version featuring the same folding floating wings as the drill that uses a slotted hole on the folding rams (which ensure the wings follow the contours of the ground), while achieving a transport width under 3m.

It draws the same criticism from me that, as yet, there is no locking device for the wings on the model I see. Taege assures me this is in the pipeline though.

 

Taege 6m air seeder construction

As mentioned, this 6m drill has been in the pipeline at Taege for some time now and it is no coincidence that the company’s 6m cultivator frame — which the drill we tested is built on — was originally designed to accommodate an air seeder set-up. It’s a clever way of getting your machine out there and tested.

With any folding drill the biggest hurdle to overcome is transferring weight from the central frame to the outer wings to keep the coulters in the ground, while still allowing them to float with contours.

The simplicity of the Taege system stands out once again; because all those ‘S’ tines are pulling themselves into the ground, no downforce is required.

A simple slotted hole at the end of the fold rams gives the wings an impressive amount of travel up and down, from level to following the ground contour.

A clever gravity-operated lock mechanism also prevents the ram from sliding in the slotted hole when unfolding the wings.

Two wheels under the centre section are used for transport and, along with a further wheel on the outside of each wing, control the height of the drill, while phasing rams on each wheel ensure that all three sections lift at the same time on the headlands.

Shims on the rams provide a simple yet reliable method to set the working depth of the coulters.

The big difference between the standard cultivator and the drill is the draw bar frame, which bolts on the front.

On the drill it’s longer and stronger to accommodate the seed hopper and the air set-up. Taege has also done away with the towing eye in favour of a hefty two-point linkage hitch to the tractor, which allows for independent contour following, tighter headland turns and the ability to level the drill.

As usual Taege has galvanised the whole frame, which means it will certainly stand up to the test of time.

 

 

Taege 6m air seeder hopper

Taege -6m -air -seeder -hopper

The hopper is a tough moulded plastic unit with an impressive 1,400-litre capacity, a wide opening at the top and an access platform at the front.

It’s simple to load too, whether from 25kg or 500kg bags. A canvas cover with a steel frame folds to one side for easy access and secures with bungees to ensure moisture stays out.

As yet there is no grate inside the hopper, which could lead to problems, although I’m sure one is already on the radar for the Taege team.

Up front a hydraulically driven fan is fitted with a heat exchanger. Increasingly commonplace now, this ensures the tractor’s hydraulic oil temperature is kept down and the warm dry air is fed through the machine.

Fan speed can be adjusted through the oil rate from the tractor and is displayed on the monitor in the cab.

 

Taege 6m air seeder metering system

After having recently tested a number of drills featuring the same well-known reliable metering system (which remains a good system), it was a breath of fresh air to see Taege once again doing something a little different.

Metering units have been developed in-house and use a plastic block or ‘cassette’, which fits snugly under the base of the hopper and locks itself to the shaft from the seed drive motor.

 It is held in place with two sturdy retaining clips. Inside the cassette are the metering rollers, which can be chosen from a range that includes the tried and tested Taege sponges along fluted and notched plastic rollers.

The beauty of this idea is that you can have as many cassettes set up with different rollers as you need. Sowing Swedes at under 1kg/ha? Simply undo the retaining clips; swap the cassette for one with different rollers and, in a matter of seconds you can switch to sowing peas at over 300kg/ha as soon as you’ve emptied the bin out.

Ingeniously simple, the ability to completely remove the metering system also helps when cleaning out the drill and preventing damage when the drill is not in use.

The addition of a slide shutter between the hopper and the metering unit enables the metering cassette to be removed while the hopper has seed in it.

 

Taege 6m air seeder Control and calibration

Electronic metering is where it’s at now in my opinion.

Fortunately for Taege the reliable electronic drive motor and control box it has developed for smaller gravity box drills is easily transplanted to the new air seeder. Although the box might not be as flashy as some, it’s straightforward to use.

A small screen displays the important info and membrane panel buttons are easy to use regardless of the state of your hands.

Handy features include the ability to switch between two pre-set rates or bump the rate up or down on the move. Different seed types and jobs can be stored in the memory and the monitor also has the ability to control more than one metering unit.   

Calibration of the drill is simple: without the fan running, open a hatch under the metering unit, hold the prime button on the monitor to run some seed through the rollers, then slide a container under the metering unit and press the calibration button.

This will meter out a set amount of seed, weigh it then enter the amount into the monitor. You’ll be set to go.

Taege realises people never get around to reading encyclopaedia-sized manuals, so instead supply a single A4 sized laminated card covering everything you need to know. 

 

Verdict

As mentioned, I’ve been a little critical of the untidy jobs left by tine drills in the past. But now I’m starting to think that was probably simply because I hadn’t tried a Taege.

It really seems to be versatile machines, from direct drilling grass to cultivated ground in some of the harshest conditions in the country. It appears to be able to handle whatever is thrown at it.

When it comes to the 6m machine, I was impressed with its simplicity and cost when compared with other machines this wide. The fact Taege has largely managed to make it happen by combining components and design features from other machines in the wider range should give prospective owners confidence in a well-proven concept. 

Taege 6m air seeder Hits

  • Very simple, robust design
  • Tines pull themselves into the ground with no down force required
  • ‘Cassette’-style metering system means it’s easy to change rollers
  • Large 1,400-litre hopper capacity

Taege 6m air seeder Misses

  • As yet no locking mechanism for the wings on the drill or the roller (although this is being worked on)
  • No grate in the seed hopper
  • A slide on the bottom of the hopper would make it possible to remove the metering unit with seed in the hopper

 

 

Taege 6m air seeder Specifications

Make/model: Taege 6m air seeder

Runs: 49

Transport width: 2,800mm

Weight unladen: 3,850kg

Row spacing: 121mm

Sowing width: 6,000mm

Hopper capacity: 1,400 litres seed

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For the full report, pick up a copy of NFM issue 15, out November 3. Subscribe to the magazine to never miss an issue. 

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