Profile: Lemken new-generation Solitair DT Seed drill

The first new-generation Solitair DT seed drill is bound for Australia and then should also be landing on New Zealand shores later this year.

The redesigned model has a transport width of 3m

Lemken has improved its already-popular Solitair DT seed drill, adding a new metering system, reducing the overall weight, and providing a variety of options for customisation.

Ahead of the machine going into official production later this year, the first unit of the next-generation trailed Solitair is on its way to Australia from Germany and could be set to feature at field days there this autumn, with the first units also set to arrive in New Zealand shortly after.

“We’ve had the compact Solitair on the market for a number of years around the world already, and this is the introduction of a newer model,” Lemken Australia area sales manager Craig Hopkins says.

“It’s a lighter machine that’s easier to pull, requires a lower horsepower tractor to pull it, and has a completely new design.

“A lot of customers have asked about the machine already, and they’re very keen to see it in action when it arrives.”

The new Solitair DT is available in four- or six-metre working widths and with capacities between 3400 and 5100 litres.

It also has two hopper variants, which are a single-seed hopper or a split-seed and fertiliser hopper.

The latter option allows for the fertiliser to be running in front of the tyres and comfortably away from the seed.

Plenty of work has been put into the next-generation Solitair by Lemken, Hopkins says, with all units planned for production globally this year already sold ahead of time.

Lemken will also be building a new factory to cope with the expected demand attached to the new model, he adds.

There are multiple changes and standout features in the new Solitair DT, which Hopkins believes will appeal to customers.

“There’s a completely new metering system from Lemken, which is very easy to access underneath the hopper,” he says.

“If you need to change between different seed varieties, you can easily change it through your calibration process. Various working tools can go in front of the machine, so you can have the tyre press rollers on the front, or you can have a crush board or cross board to knock your stubbles down first.

“Behind that, you’ve got another option of either speed discs from our Heliador or a straight wave disc to pre-cut the soil.

“Behind the tyres, we have our trapeze packer ring roller, which is a new design from Lemken integrated into the Solitair, to create the seedbed for the coulters to go into.”

The smaller of the two Solitair models – the four-metre DT/400 – can be towed by a tractor as small as 140hp (103kW), with Lemken recommending between 140 and 240hp (103–176kW).

On the bigger six-metre DT/600, a tractor between 180 and 300hp (132–221kW) is recommended.

Both models can seed into rows spaced between 125mm and 167mm apart and have transport widths of three metres.

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