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Sunday, 31 July 2016 10:07

Shake it and help grass grow

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The McConnell Shakaerato. The McConnell Shakaerato.

Thinking about subsoilers, few farmers in New Zealand and beyond will be unaware of the McConnell Shakaerator; after all it's been around for 35 years.

It differs from traditional subsoilers in using vibration to reduce draught requirement, meaning a smaller tractor can be used, and a smaller fuel bill to complete the job.

In practice an eccentric weight is mounted under the machine's headstock and connected to the tractor's PTO. The resultant vibration allows the low draught legs to penetrate easily and in doing so improve vertical drainage, ease compaction and help promote vigorous grass root growth.

Ideal in typical NZ situations for removing pugging created by overwintered stock, the machines are also said to be ideal for removing the tractor 'pans' typically found 200-250mm below the surface. Depending on the selection of a 24 or 30 inch length leg, working depths of up to a maximum of 350-400mm can be achieved respectively.

Easily optioned to suit specific tasks, the grassland version is supplied with individual spring-loaded disc assemblies which slice through the surface mat to allow the subsoiler legs into work without creating any bulldozing of the sward.

At the rear of the machine a full width large diameter smooth roller offers incremental depth control, as well as helping to reinstate the surface after the machine has passed through, ensuring the pasture is brought back into production pronto.

Dependent on soil type the units can be equipped with standard or long-life points, and the 2.5m frame can be equipped with two-five leg assemblies dependent on terrain and available power. 

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