Tough conditions this season haven't stopped two Versatile DeltaTracks from making an impression in a major seeding program on the Warakirri property, ‘Willaroo’, at Boggabilla, NSW.
Contracting predominantly for Warakirri and the Mills family of Moree, contractor Ian Leader said his new Versatile 620 DeltaTracks had proven bone fides.
One of the machines was in operation last season and was joined by the second unit this year with both pulling 24-metre Morris C2 contour drills.
After good rains built a nice moisture profile in January, conditions have dried out with the team digging chickpeas in 17 centimetres chasing moisture last week.
It’s been a good test of the Versatile’s tractive performance, according to Mr Leader.
“We had good rain in January and a full profile out of it, but we are sadly lacking now,” he said.
“Our canola got a rain on it just after we planted and it looks magic and the wheat and barley are doing pretty good, but right now we could do with an inch of rain.”
Last year’s sowing saw the first of the Versatile’s steaming along burning just 3.75 litres a hectare while this autumn’s deep sowing now sees them consuming a still modest 5.1L/ha on the 38cm spacings at about eight kilometres an hour.
“It’s tough going now doing 19ha an hour but when conditions are good you can run along at 10.5 to 11km/h and you are up around 26 or 27ha/h.”
The 2015 planting pitted the first Versatile against an existing 393 kilowatt New Holland tyred machine which recorded nine per cent wheel slip and the Versatile 3pc with the same planter at the same depth.
Fuel economy saw the Versatile use 3.75L/ha and the New Holland about 4.7L/ha in the good conditions.
“A litre a hectare on 10,000 hectares is $10,000 saving to our clients,” Mr Leader said.
“They are a basic tractor with a beautiful Cummins engine and Caterpillar transmission, which is just faultless, and without all the electronics in them.”
The 620 DeltaTrack delivers 460kW to the four track system which has a walking axle style mid roller setup that offers movement back and forward but also allows some side pivot to absorb shock load and maintain ground engagement.
The 76.2cm wide standard belts provided 5.55 square metres of ground contact on each assembly.
Mr Leader sows about 21,000ha a year.
“They don't get it easy and they were dropped straight in the deep end and they've been wonderful,” he said.
“They get stopped in about the middle of the plant for an oil change and away they go.”
“I’m happy if they don't catch on - if the dealer sells more of them it'll be less time to spend with me if i need him.”