Reviews

Falc Super Magnum P power harrow review

Jaiden Drought heads deep into the south to put the Falc Super Magnum P five-metre power harrow through its paces.

When the southern solstice occurs in Southland, 16 hours of daylight can be achieved. The reason I mention this seemingly random information, is the fact that this test at Otautau in Southland was conducted at around 7pm, after having been travelling since 5am.

The machine we tested had been pushing on also. This power harrow hadn’t had a day off since it was purchased, clocking up over 3000ha worth of work in spring alone, since upgrading from a fixed 3.5-metre (of another colour) to the five-metre folding, due to the significantly increased workload as the popularity of fodder beet explodes.

If you have been to Southland, you will know that the land can vary and change quite quickly, so this has not been 3000ha of plain sailing.

Falc Super Magnum P power harrow features

Build quality

The first thing that stood out for me was the amount of metal in this power harrow. At 3.6 tonne, the machine is no lightweight. For the five-metre working width and given the 550mm packer roller, the John Deere 8260R knew it was on the back.

The Super Magnum frame has been strengthened to take the massive strain these folding machines are placed under. The frame is fully supported from top and lower linkage, with front to back heavy RHS bracing and wide pivot points for the wings.

Bearings and seals

This was almost top of the list for Eddie when looking to purchase a power harrow, as these two things were giving him a lot of grief with his old machine. On the Super Magnum, a nifty design of the bottom seal, made from rubber and cellular polyurethane, is fully enclosed in the rotor housing above the rotor lip.

Falc _harrow _4

Quick fit system

Whoever invented quick-change anything is a genius in my books, as mower blades and power harrow tines which need to be changed manually feel like you are back in the dark ages. On the Falc, the blade carriers use a simple pin with a linch pin on each side.

Housing-rotor clearance

Another key for Eddie, due to the amount of stone and wood in some of the country they work on, was a large amount of clearance between the trough and the rotors to allow trash to flow through, With the Super Magnum, this received a big tick.

Another new feature is improved trash protection plates. These stop trash and obstacles from going through the rotors which are turning back, but allow trash to clear through rotors moving forward.

Number of rotors

This can be a critical element to the horsepower requirements of the machine, as large rotors and large gaps mean a heap of torque is required to turn them. Falc has opted for 25cm spacing of the rotors regardless of width. The two centre tines overlap by 15mm for an even cultivation job on the complete width.

Low vibrations

The tine rotors are phased at different angles rather than at 90 degrees to each other, which allows the tines to be working across the face of soil rather than bulldozing. This reduces vibration and also power requirements. It is an option to have tynes at 90 degrees for biggest trash flow.

HD tines

The machine comes with the option of 15mm or 18mm tines. The power harrow we tested had 18mm HD tines which are 320mm long. Tungsten chip hard facing is also an option for $21 per tine which will increase working life.

Falc _harrow _5

Rear rollers

There are a number of different roller options; cage, flexi coil, etc or the spiked packer roller which was on the test machine. Again two different options are available: the 460mm diameter, or larger and much heavier 550mm diameter maxi packer roller that was on the test machine.

The verdict

I was very impressed with the build quality of the machine and the ease in which seals could be replaced. The maxi roller is the business on the back; I was very impressed with the firmness of the finish. This combined with top build quality, hydraulic unlocking and depth control on the roller, means it will tick the boxes of many buyers’ requirements.

Pros

  • Hydraulic unlock.
  • Large 550mm diameter packer roller is very impressive.
  • Very easy seal replacement should the need arise.
  • Quick-change tines.
  • Hydraulic rear roller means depth adjustment on the move.
  • Hydraulic levelling board off the rear roller allows you to carry more or less dirt with you depending on the conditions.
  • Solid centre drive shaft can handle large torque loadings.
  • Phased gearing and close tyne spacing resulting in lower power requirements.

Cons

  • The side plates contour following could be better.
  • The ridging and trash burying was a little disappointing although the conditions were unfair on the power harrow.

Read the full test in issue #230 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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