SimTech Aitchison Drills

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling Machinery' started by Dim Reaper, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Dim Reaper

    Dim Reaper Member

    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Have any of you had experience of or have any thoughts on the SimTech Aitchison drills used in an arable situation, particularly clay soils? Would it be realistic alternative to the John Deeres, Dales, Moore etc?

    It looks a blissfully simple machine and the T slot looks less likely to open up and expose the seeds than some other low disturbance drills if the weather turns dry ofter drilling. Trash and cover crops shouldn't be too much of a problem. However, depth control looks a bit hit and miss and the slot looks like it might be a motorway for slugs, but is it any worse than other low disurbance drills?

    I would be interested in your thoughts on this.
     
    sephy likes this.
  2. rob1

    rob1 Member

    Location:
    wiltshire
    Hired one for a couple of years did a good job, used it for rape and wheat, the wheat into some really heavy clay did pretty well considering the season in 2012 and for the first time since I've known the field there was no ruts as it disturbs so little soil. Would have bought one but at the time they didnt do a 3mtr one with tramlining, they do now. Would have one quite happily
     
  3. Andrew K

    Andrew K Member

    Location:
    Essex
    How much HP per metre width Rob?
     
  4. rob1

    rob1 Member

    Location:
    wiltshire
    Used it on my tm 120 so thats 40/mtr but didnt know it was there but needed a bit of weight on the front. It is heavier than its looks
     
  5. Dim Reaper

    Dim Reaper Member

    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    Thanks Rob. That sounds quite positive.
     
  6. BSH

    BSH Member

    Location:
    Romsey, Hampshire
    I use a Sim Tech drill in an arable situation but not really a heavy clay soil situation. It works very well and is as you say a very simple drill. I haven't had a problem with slugs in the slot as you don't really get a slot in an arable situation but you do going into turf. I had misgivings about depth control, but in practice it hasn't been an issue. I think if it is wet and you are getting slots in clay then they will dry open as much as a slot from any other drill, although I did drill into some pretty wet soil in a patch of a field in autumn 2012 and the chains covered the slots ok , but then it stayed wet! It is pretty forgiving on soil moisture from what I can see so far, but I don't have any other drill to compare it to.
     
  7. Jim Bullock

    Jim Bullock Never Forgotten

    I have avoided replying to this thread as I do not actually own a Simtech-T-Sem drill and hoped that Simon C or Richard 111 would comment..
    We were having real problems with our Kuhn Disc drill about five years ago so we tried a 3 meter mounted Simtech-T Sem and the results were very good ...it drilled into anything (ploughing, min-till, direct-drill and even loads of residue) yields were as good as anything we could achieve with our Kuhn.. So why haven't I bought a Simtech-T -Sem..? Probably because we now have a much better understanding of how direct-drilling works and as a result we have still got the Kuhn (now 15 years old and with new discs is as good as new even after about 12,000 acres of work) and Simtech do not make a 4 meter trailed drill with a 2000 litre hopper capacity.
    But if you are looking to go down the direct-drill route and have limited tractor power I would recommend the T-Sem as it comes with some very good back-up and is the basis of a very simple direct-drilling system..
     
    Wilber32 and FordsonFarming like this.
  8. Steevo

    Steevo Member

    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    @Simon C or @Richard III you say....? ;)
     
  9. neilo

    neilo Member

    Location:
    Montgomeryshire
    Doesn't @Dan Powell have one as well? And @le bon paysan has had a Grassfarmer model for a couple of years.

    I have one, but have only used it for forage brassicas and grass seeds so far (not cereals). Well built, simple drill that works well as far as I'm concerned and the backup from George is very good.(y)
     
  10. Dan Powell

    Dan Powell Member

    Location:
    Shropshire
    I stayed quiet as we're not on clay and haven't harvested a crop yet, but so far so good. Everything we have sown, has grown. Don't worry too much about seed depth unless your fields are very unlevel. They will improve in time as the drill levels a little bit each time you use it.
     
  11. I've only got a 2014 Grassland model, weight is the biggest problem when it's on my little tractor a MF362 but it pulls it with ease.
    I think a 2018 would not be a problem to pull. It's used for all drilling, grass, grass/clover mixes and cereals.
     
  12. Simon C

    Simon C Member

    Location:
    Essex Coast
    Someone mention Sim-tec and clay soil in the same sentence? Well I do have a little experience of these things. I was a bit reluctant to comment because I am a great fan of the drill and by continually harping on about it, I may start to sound like a salesman. It is a common trait on here, people going on and on about their own make of drill and running down all the others. Since I also have two disc drills, and having used all three this Autumn, hopefully I can give an unbiased opinion.

    So I will start with the drawbacks on the Sim-Tec-

    Although it is easy to pull (20 hp/metre would be plenty), it is very back heavy when lifted up on the three point linkage so you do need a decent horse on the front with loads of front weights. This means that when fully loaded with seed there is a lot of weight on the back wheels when turning, I nearly always have big terra tyres on so I can float around on the headlands without making a mark.

    If you cut the stubble longer than your row width (150 mm on my model) it will block. So definitely no high cutting or Stripping.

    The box drill will cope with anything from linseed to beans, but it is bit strange doing beans because the sponges have to be kept wet. When they get dry, they slip on the seed and the flow stops. In practice, this means getting out with a little hand sprayer and giving them all a squirt, probably twice for every fill.

    The vibration of the tines means that seed is not always dropped evenly along the row. The harder the ground, the more vibration you get and therefore the slow you have to go. This can get a bit frustrating at times.

    Now the good bits-

    The Sim-Tec is the world wide number one machine for direct drilling into wet clay, it will keep going long after everything else has given up because of smearing of bunging up. This is because of George Simon's brilliant design of the spring tines. The coil is directly above the coulter so that it doesn't just drag through the soil, but sort of shuffles along moving backwards and forwards and from side to side without lifting and loosing depth. This action means that there is hardly any smearing on the bottom of the slot, what ever the conditions.

    Whereas disc drills struggle with penetration in very hard, dry soil, the Sim-Tec will always pull itself in because of the angle of the points. I have drilled into stuff resembling tarmac and never broken a tine.

    The flexi roller on the back has the rings running between the rows, rather than on top of the seed. This means that in wet conditions it doesn't squash mud onto the seed but leaves the slot to dry. You can then decide how much you want it to dry before going back over with rolls of harrows, what ever you think it needs. Sometimes it is ten minutes, others it is two days. In my opinion, slot closing is the most important thing and just do what ever is necessary, I have various contraptions to hook on the back as well as the chains, depending on conditions, but if it needs an extra harrowing or rolling, you just have to do it.

    I drill linseed at half an inch deep with out any problem, but my fields are completely flat. If going into rough ex ploughed land, you can go a bit deeper with cereals and bigger seeds, but small seeds would be more difficult.

    The front straight discs do help with trash flow, at first glance, all those tines look like they will block straight away, but it is amazing how much chopped straw and cover crops will go through. Any lumps hanging on the back row on tines are pulled of by the roller.

    That will do for now, I'm getting hungry.

    Probably think of a few more things latter.
     
  13. Simon C

    Simon C Member

    Location:
    Essex Coast
    Couple of photos P1010053.JPG P1010099.JPG
     
    Andy26 likes this.
  14. Richard III

    Richard III Member

    Location:
    CW5 Cheshire
    I left posting on this for a while hoping Simon C would post, as you can see from what he has written above, he is the Sim-Tec on clay expert on here.

    I am another happy Sim-Tec user and although I am not on heavy clay I often have to drill in the wet, something the Sim-Tec excels at. It is a very versatile drill and will run in all sorts of different conditions. It's lack of hairpinning when drilling into wet chopped straw is particularly important to me.

    It's only down sides are that it generally needs the slots closing somehow after drilling (as Simon C says above) and it is quite high soil disturbance. For these two reasons I also run an old moore unidrill.
     
  15. htj

    htj Member

    Location:
    Ceredigion
    We are into our third season with a 3m T-sem box drill, and agree with the above comments, that it doesn't take much pulling, but is as heavy as a combo drill when full of wheat. Use a 6920 in cereals, so is boss on the job.
    We plant a lot of cover crops and forage rape, using an old Maxxum in the summer, as the bigger tractor is usually baling. This works fine.
    Very pleased with the drill, it will establish seed of any type successfully, it just needs a bit of adjustment for grass reseeding, as this needs to be drilled much shallower.
    As said, strong, simple drill.
     
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  16. tr250

    tr250 Member

    Location:
    Northants
    What would a 4m one cost roughly
     
  17. Steevo

    Steevo Member

    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Used to be about £25k IIRC.
     
  18. Not sure about a 4m - but a 4.8m 'AP model' starts at £38k
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  19. Jim Bullock

    Jim Bullock Never Forgotten

    At that price you would be better going for two three meter machines..:unsure:
     
    B&B Pig Man likes this.
  20. tr250

    tr250 Member

    Location:
    Northants
    How much is 3 metre one then
     
    Andy26 likes this.

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