A ripper of a unit

The West Australian

The very first of a new Australian-engineered heavy-duty soil renovator designed to be "simple, strong and reliable" has gone to work in WA.

The Dickins family has farmed in the area for more than 100 years.

Nigel Dickins, who has continued the family enterprise for the past 20 years growing wheat, barley and canola, recently took delivery of the first Paxton Plow Company SR7 Series Soil Renovator.

And with seeding due to start shortly, the super heavy-duty deep ripper has already worked more than 500ha of the Dickins' 2700ha of arable country.

A demonstration day has also been held at the family farm.

Mr Dickins said at that event, the Paxton Plow machine was put into "a pretty ugly situation where it turned up a few rocks".

But he said other than making a bit of work for himself, the machine handled this situation with no problems at all.

Agricultural engineer Wade Smith, who developed the Paxton Plow implements, said he believed it was the only machine of its type to boast a demonstrably heavy-duty 400 x 400 x 16mm RHS main beam-drawbar. The frame is just 150 x 150 x 9mm RHS.

He also pointed out "more meat around the heel" and a unique design incorporating a full-face shinguard and inbuilt adjustment of working depth by varying shank length as evidence of the unit's working credentials.

"This is an innovation in hard pan or subsoil renovation," Mr Smith said.

"Every farm's hard pan is at a different depth and every hard pan is of a different thickness.

"That's why our SR7 Series has tine shanks adjustable to suit working depths from 200mm up to 535mm."

Mr Dickins said over the past couple of years, he became aware of a hard pan problem between 300mm and 400mm.

"Previously we'd not really been 'deep' ripping - we'd been using a lighter two-row machine and not working deep enough. We'd also tried a big offset disc but the problem was worse than we'd thought, " he said.

"Our local dealer Boekeman Machinery made us aware of the plans for the new Paxton Plow and it looked like what we were looking for - a much heavier design and it allowed us to get a bit deeper.

"The adjustable hydraulic breakout - up to 2000lbf -- also appealed greatly, with very few options that I've found on the market that can do that.

"Some people over here are trying to get down to 500mm, I think if you could pull it, this machine would be capable of that - we're probably getting down to 425 to 450mm where the depth of soil is available.

"We're currently pulling only 19 tines (of the implement's 23) with a 440hp Case Quadtrac and we're flat out doing that.

"I think I made the case out for a bit of extra depth (but) I didn't do my maths quite right - I think we need a bit more horsepower per tine than we first thought - we probably need 600hp I think."

Mr Dickins bought the Paxton Plow SR7 on specifications alone.

"We don't normally do business that way but on this one it paid off," he agreed.

For more information, contact Wade Smith on 0429 866 640.

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