February 2014 saw delivery of NZ’s first Bednar 10mtr disc cultivator, into Canterbury cultivation and drilling contractor Te Pirita Enterprises. Owner Steve Roberts says he was not sure what to expect operating such a wide machine, but after using the Swifterdisc XE 10000 he is pleasantly surprised how simple and maneuverable it is for it’s width. Having stepped up from our previous 6.5mtr machine to the 10mtr, I was expecting to take some time adjusting to the extra width, and not be able to take it as many places, but we are finding due to the machine design we can go most places we could with our old cultivator. The clever design with main transport wheels forward of the working sections, coupled with the optimum length drawbar for our tractor, means I can simply raise the working sections hydraulically, back the machine into a corner of the field and drive straight out, all done quite quickly. Another feature of the machine that has surprised me is how easy it is to pull. We are pulling it with a JD 8335R tractor, and pulling it comfortably at 10-12km/h. Pretty impressive considering it’s working width and fact it weighs over 9 ton. The Swifterdisc XE 10000 has two rows of 520mm scalloped discs, with the unique benefit of having the discs mounted in pairs off one central arm. This design gives more even load on the disc hubs as well as providing a lot greater trash clearance when working in heavy quantities of straw or crop stubble. Hydraulic levelling paddles mounted in front are useful when operating over ploughing, and the machine is specced with a large 590mm diameter rubber V-ring packer roller. Another benefit of the Swifterdisc design is it’s compact transport dimensions. Folding to 3mtr width for transport and large dimension transport wheels, the machine feels safe and stable on the road. The designers have done a brilliant job of getting a machine that is so wide in work down to very manageable and compact dimensions for road travel. The increased throughput of this machine will allow Steve to keep ahead of schedule during the busiest periods of his season. When the pressure is on, workrates of 8-10 ha/hr will mean we can blow a lot of ground out in one day. Working 10mtrs each pass instead of 6.5mtrs eases the pressure somewhat!