Great Plains launches new sizes in the Spartan II direct drill range.

Making its global public debut on the Great Plains stand at this year’s Agritechnica event is one of the latest additions to the company’s range of new generation Spartan direct drills, the 10-meter SpartanII 1007.  This new model follows the 6-meter SpartanII 607, launched in Europe in 2016, and the 9-meter 907 model, which made its first appearance earlier this year at SIMA 2017. An 8-meter model is already available and a 12-meter will complete the range next year.

The new SpartanII 1007 can be specified with 52 or 64 rows giving row spacings of 190mm and 150mm respectively.

While sharing many of the same features as their Series I predecessors, particularly around seed placement, hydraulic weight transfer and Great Plains’ unique zonal cultivation and seeding system, the new SpartanII drills incorporate a number of significant new developments.

New tower system
The next generation of the drills’ seed tower system has resulted in primary and secondary hose diameters being increased by 20%, significantly improving seed distribution and air flow. In addition, the risk of spillages around headland turns is greatly reduced thanks to shorter hose lengths from meter to tower and a faster variable rate shut-off from the cab.

Productivity-enhancing features include tramlines, individual row shut-off, and integrated Daisy Chain Blockage Sensors (DCBS) which require fewer wires and provide accurate isolation of a blocked or faulty sensor.

Upgraded seed metering system
The seed metering system has been redesigned to meet the needs of our customers says Great Plains. All new models include as standard three meter wheel options to allow for a wide variety of seed sizes. The system is capable of seeding at a rate of 300kg/ha at 14km/hr. For cover crop applications the fluted shaft small seeds roller is standard for seeding oilseed rape, clovers and other small seeds. The shallower and narrower star configuration can reduce seeding rate by 20-50% for the same variable rate gearbox setting.

The mechanical variable rate drive fitted as standard to earlier Spartan models is now replaced with a variable rate hydraulic drive to allow population adjustments from the cab as well as variable rate mapping.

High capacity, rapid-fill hoppers
All SpartanII drills 8-meter and above come with two 3500-liter hoppers, mounted fore and aft, for seed and fertilizer application or seed and seed. The drill also incorporates a high-capacity 254mm diameter auger. Equipped with optional wireless remote control, it enables the hoppers to be filled and unloaded via the rear hopper by a single person, quickly, easily and safely.

New, advanced control technology
The ISOBUS-ready SpartanII drills now also benefit from a new control system. Great Plains’ DrillCommand software, claims the manufacturer, offers ease of use and reliability. The technology regulates, monitors and controls the drill and all its assemblies so the machine starts, runs, resumes, and shuts down faster and easier. Built-in diagnostic tools allow operators to troubleshoot any machine issue from the comfort of the cab. With many customizable configurations available, precise hopper control assured, and the ability to drill multiple seed variations, DrillCommand offers real flexibility.

The new series II generation utilizes Mueller Elektronik smart touch-screen control technology. All monitor options are individually expandable, enabling a range of functions to be added as and when required.

Zonal cultivation and seeding system
The new SpartanII models retain many of the proven technologies that were included in the original Spartan series. Returning elements include the field-proven 07 Series Opener, which, together with Great Plains’ Turbo Coulter, are at the heart of the manufacturer’s ‘zonal cultivation and seeding’ technique and meet the growing demand for minimal disturbance and operation in heavy residue.

Running directly ahead of the double disc openers, the integrated fluted-profile patented Turbo Coulter blades cultivate the ground vertically, but only in a 10-50mm wide strip of soil. Residue is cut and moved to the side. The 380mm x 4mm offset double disc blades run in this prepared strip and the seeds are placed at the bottom of the trench with a precision planter-style seed tube, eliminating seed bounce. A diagonal spring transfers pressure from the mount to the press wheel to stabilize the opener further and reduce vertical opener vibrations which enhances even seed placement. The closing wheels that follow are narrow enough to run on the soil and not on the straw ensuring the correct point of depth measurement.  With a choice of closing wheels available, Great Plains claims to offer the optimum solution for a wide variety of soil types and conditions enabling good soil to seed contact.

Precise ground contour following
Hydraulic weight transfer remains a key feature of the new series II Spartans. The openers can flex up 125mm and down 75mm, while the wings of the frame can flex down by approximately 5° and up by around 10°. Coupled with constant hydraulic down-pressure applied to the wings, the drill is able to precisely follow undulating ground conditions from side to side.

On the road and out of work
Great Plains designers have not limited the introduction of new developments to in-field performance. On-road handling for this 3-meter transport machine has been improved. All models from 8-meter upwards offer improved rear wheel stability. New style caster wheels and tires are capable of running at higher speeds. The rear casters are placed further back with a trailing design so their tracking has improved and they now follow in the same footprint as other implement tires so as not to create additional tracks. The tires now include a scraper to keep them clean. The operator can manually lock the wheels in place for safe and controlled backing on and off of trailers and for storage.

All SpartanII drills from the 8-meter model upwards also feature a new hydraulically adjusted parking stand.