Agrolux XRWT-OL plough review

Brent Lilley heads south to check out Farmchief’s heavy-duty on-land Agrolux XRWT-OL plough and discovers the benefits of such a unit.

Never one to turn down the opportunity to check out the latest and greatest machinery, last month I set off to the Southern Field Days at Waimumu near Gore in Southland where I was suitably impressed by the event, hospitality and enthusiasm shown by all. The highlight for me, aside from the rows of shiny machines, was definitely the Inaugural Farmlands Cup pre-season friendly between the Highlanders and Crusaders played on Fred Booths paddock next to the event. Even if the result was a draw – it was still great entertainment, but I digress, as the real reason for my visit, was the opportunity to see an Agrolux XRWT-OL plough in action.

The plough in question was sold by Farmchief to local Southland contractor, Luke Mainland who was running it in the demonstration area at Southern Field Days. Mainland was happy to share his thoughts on how the plough has worked out for him over the past 18 months. Due to the fact that he finds himself ploughing in some stepper country at times, the Valtra tractor he uses to pull the plough is usually running on duals, therefore an on-land plough was really his only option and so far he’s been really pleased with the decision to purchase the Agrolux plough.


The Agrolux XRWT-OL plough sits at the top of the Agrolux plough range and has been designed and built with the high-end, heavy-duty user in mind. Up front, the solid headstock incorporates multiple mounting points to ensure it matches the tractor and a quick hitch bar for easy coupling. A seriously heavy-duty 180mm main pin is used to mount the plough to the headstock and a hydraulic ram is used to roll the plough over on this pin reversing the bodies.

The main beam is built from a single length of heavy 220 by 120mm box section for strength which the pairs of plough bodies are then mounted to. Disc coulters are fitted in front of each set of bodies to ensure turf is cut and turned into the furrow cleanly. At the rear of the plough, a large wide land wheel keeps the plough running evenly from front to back. A brake mechanism makes sure the wheel reverses smoothly when the plough rolls over.

Cleverly, the plough is transported on its side in a butterfly position which keeps the weight evenly spread. To take some of the weight off the tractor, the rear land wheel runs on the ground.


On-land ploughing

Traditionally, ploughs have been designed to be used in the furrow, which means the tractor pulling it runs with the wheels on one side in the previous furrow which keeps the tractor and plough lined up with the previous pass. While this works fine in most situations, it does often limit the wheel options for the tractor pulling the plough. For those ploughing stepper ground or concerned about compaction in the furrow and want to run wider tyres, duals or even tracks.

Another reason that on-land ploughing is becoming more common is its use of GPS. An on-land plough using GPS allows the tractor to steer in a straight line without trying to fit its way out of the furrow.

The Agrolux XRWT-OL, is the on-land variant of the heavy-duty XRWT and, as mentioned, uses separate linkage in-between the headstock and the main beam of the plough, offsetting the plough. This allows the tractor up to four metres in width to be used. This linkage is a heavy-duty parallel setup that ensures the beam maintains the same angle as it is pushed out to the side, and the hydraulic ram features a graduated scale making it easy for the operator to set it in the same position. Cleverly, this movement of the plough also doubles as a side-shift when ploughing to straighten out any deviations from that perfect straight furrow.

This machine is heavier than the ‘in-furrow’ equivalent due to the extra mechanics and linkages required for its on-land abilities. Therefore, over 6.5-tonne of lift capacity is required, but as I discovered, even with 1000kg of weight on the nose of the tractor, the front wheels were barely on the ground. Luckily when it comes to rolling the plough over, it is incredibly smooth compared to a traditional reversible plough, which is due to the mounting point being around a third of the way down the main beam.

Auto reset

A mechanism to prevent damage to the plough if a solid object is struck is vital on any plough and while shear bolts have been the standard in the past, really the only way to go is hydraulic auto reset, which I’m pleased to say the Agrolux plough is fitted with given the extremely stoney nature of the ground we were working in. It uses an accumulator and hydraulic ram which are fitted on each set of plough bodies to allow them to move upwards and away from damage. 


Furrow width adjustment

The hydraulically adjustable furrow width allows the overall width of the plough to be altered from the cab of the tractor.

This is achieved with a hydraulic ram that changes the angle that the plough is pulled from in relation to the headstock. Mechanical linkages down the length of the main beam ensure that the angles of the plough bodies also adjust as the main beam is adjusted to keep them straight and true. In practice, this is a pretty handy feature. In heavy weather conditions, the furrow width can be reduced to ease the power requirements or widened when lighter soils allow.

The verdict

The humble plough has come a long way since it was first invented and the Agrolux XRWT-OL is a great example of continual improvement. Hydraulic auto-reset, which allows you to individually adjust the plough bodies to suit the conditions, is great to see and will keep the operator moving, even in poor conditions.

Hydraulic vari width is another positive for this machine which makes it easy to plough out odd shapes or the last run and leave a tidy job. The key feature on the machine tested is its ability to be used in the furrow or on land which was what Mainland required when using the plough with a tractor on duals. With GPS gaining popularity and the constant trend to large horsepower tractors, I’m sure that the on-land plough configuration will only become more common.


  • On-land plough, allows for duals or tracks to be fitted to the tractor, or used with GPS
  • Can be used on land or in the furrow
  • Individually adjustable hydraulic auto reset
  • Hydraulic variable width is ideal for tidy ploughing out
  • Butterfly transport position with land wheel on the ground to spread weight evenly
  • Very smooth and balanced roll over


  • Heavier than the ‘in-furrow’ model due to the extra mechanics required
  • On-land plough takes more skill than working in the furrow unless you have GPS Auto-Steer

Read the full test in issue #229 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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