Friday, 03 May 2019 13:03

Sumo GLS wrestles compaction

Written by  Mark Daniel
Sumo GLS grassland subsoiler in action at Mystery Creek. Sumo GLS grassland subsoiler in action at Mystery Creek.

A recent demonstration of a grassland subsoiler in the heavily compacted car park at Mystery Creek impressed visiting dairy farmers.

Farmers were grabbed with its ability to improve drainage, aerate the upper profile of soil and allow nutrients to get to plant roots.

Giltrap Agrizone, importer and distributor of the UK-made Sumo range, showed its GLS Grassland subsoiler, described by factory specialists in attendance as the ideal tool to revitalise compacted grassland, including land that is waterlogged, badly pugged or compacted by heavy machinery during, for example, harvesting.

Offered in three-, four- or five-leg versions, the GLS series is available in two frame sizes with working widths of 2.3 or 2.8m, equating to transport widths of 2.5 or 2.9m, respectively, and with frame configurations and leg numbers resulting in spacings of 830 or 580mm.

Legs are manufactured from 20mm Hardox steel fitted with narrow points and wings designed to create lift and fracturing but with minimal surface disturbance. The legs are carried on a heavy- gauge box section frame offered in operating weights of 1490, 1625 and 1875kg, respectively, in the three-, four- and five-leg configurations referred to above.

To help penetration while protecting the surface sward, the front rail of the frame carries serrated opening discs mounted on individually suspended arms; these allow the subsoiler to enter the soil with tearing the sward. The discs are adjusted by a single bolt fixing for each unit.

The low draught subsoiler legs are protected against trash/junk damage by a hydraulic non-stop auto reset function that operates at pressures of up to 150bar. 

Working depths are 100 - 350mm. 

The manufacturer recommends the operator uses a spade to dig around and examine the soil profile, before setting the machine to work about 50mm below any plough ‘pan’ (compacted ground).

At the rear of the machine, a 508mm flat packer roller is configured with a helically mounted shark-fin design to aerate the upper level of the profile as it rotates. 

The roller also carries a row of paddle teeth behind each subsoiler leg to close the ‘cut’, while also imparting a positive driving effect to the roller assembly. 

An optional following harrow can also be fitted to spread loose grass and create a ‘de-thatching’ effect.

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