Review: He-Va Disc Roller XL Contour

Farm Trader travelled to one of the most popular speed disc regions in NZ to find out more about the new He-Va Disc Roller XL Contour

We travelled to one of the most popular speed disc regions in the country – the Canterbury Plains – for a gander at the new kid on the block: the He-Va Disc Roller XL Contour, which had freshly arrived in the country the week we tested it.


As this is considered as a specific stubble cultivator, what better way to test it than getting stuck straight into some long barley stubble. The machine didn’t disappoint and felt right at home behind the big Magnum 310.

One of the key benefits, and the reason it works so well in stubble, is the way the discs are arranged and how the soil flows through the machine. There are some crucial key upgrades from the previous model disc roller.

He-Va has virtually redesigned the entire machine from front to back. Extra strength has been added throughout, but at the same time, the brand has been mindful not to move away from the core principles, which make the old model so robust, successful, and popular with contractors. 

Drawbar and depth control


Starting at the front, a new two-point linkage mount replaces the drawbar, giving a tighter turning circle even with duals. A higher pivot at the front of the machine and extra bracing on the drawbar give added downforce for traction and strength.

The frame position itself has been raised, designed with more ‘headroom’ between the discs and the frame, allowing soil and trash to be filtered through with ease. The wheels are now located in the middle of the machine.

This means that at the headland, the whole thing can be picked up, or run just in the rear roller simply by lifting the large depth control ram at the front (ram clips ensure you return to the correct depth).

With elevation now from in the middle, thanks to large transport wheels, the folding is done in a different sequence to the old model. The He-Va XL has a higher but narrower transport width (2.6 metres) than previously, and larger tyres offer safer and faster transport speeds, also making for more stable towing of a rear roller.

Paddles and discs


With 50 discs, the 6.5-metre machine requires a minimum of 200hp. When working at any sort of depth, this would increase significantly. There are two disc options of either 570mm or 610mm, and our test machine was fitted with the larger option to go deeper into the soil (therefore creating more tilth) while still being able to offer superior trash flow.

The discs are rubber-mounted, which allows them to penetrate deeper into the ground and also gives flexibility when they hit an obstacle. The major change in the disc department is the distance between the two sets of discs.

Increased by 90mm, this allows the soil to move freely through the machine, particularly at higher speeds, then fall back down with heavier material such as rocks falling first and finer top-soil falling last, creating a well-presented finish.


He-Va has stuck with its DSD-System. This is the same as existing disc cultivators, albeit with larger discs. This works by enabling the discs to automatically gain a more aggressive angle as they penetrate deeper into the ground.

While the disc size has been increased, they are also stronger, with larger scalloped notches resulting in excellent soil grip and penetration. This, along with increased distance between the sets of discs and also the disc and the frame, creates serious residue flow.

The paddles are mounted on nice short rams, which are kept close to the frame. The paddles can have different tips on them depending on the application. These do an outstanding job, particularly on the finishing pass. When combined with a rear roller (also with paddles), a bowling green finish can be created. 

Rear roller


The He-Va designers have really gone for it at the rear of the machine, with another space increase between the second set of discs and the rear roller (giving an extra 90mm).
There are a number of roller options available. Our test machine featured the staggered, twin row, deep V-ring roller.

There are two size options available: 600mm and 700mm, and our test unit was equipped with the larger option, which did a magical job at allowing crop residue to flow through, giving it another chop as the deep V got stuck into it.

With two-point linkage and hydraulic depth control at the front, along with the large amount of weight at the back, this results in an impressively smooth finish with no machine bounce, both forward to back and side to side on a second pass at >14km/hr.

The other major benefit with this sort of twin-row roller is that you don’t get any
build-up of material in sticky, wet conditions or a bow wave in very powdery conditions.

Part of the reason why the machine is so stable is due to the hydraulic down pressure on the wings. A nitrogen accumulator takes care of any contour deviations and the rear roller smothers and chops anything in front of it.



It’s a beast of a machine – big and heavy with plenty of space allowing maximum chopping and penetration while still allowing material to flow easily through. It’s also true to He-Va’s roots: well-built and smart-looking with an excellent finish.

This really is a heavy-duty soil mover, particularly at speeds of 12 to 15km/hr, and for a truly one-pass finishing machine, combine with the He-Va tip roller to make a formidable combo.


  • Large notched discs really bite in and chop residue
  • DSD system means the further the disc is in the ground, the more aggressive it becomes
  • Larger gap between the disc rows mean better crop and trash flow
  • Twin-row 700mm roller is an impressive beast and eliminates sticking in the wet and creating a bow wave in the dry
  • More room between the discs and the roller creates better crop flow
  • ‘Headroom’ between the frame and the discs allows soil to be thrown up and fall with the heavier material (like rocks) on the bottom
  • Narrow transport width and large stable wheels for high-speed transport


  • The weight and penetration ability that make it so successful is also its downfall. The 310hp Case IH Magnum definitely felt the load.

Find more tillage and seeding equipment for sale in NZ

Photography: Justin Bennett

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