The Australian farming equipment manufacturer K-line Agriculture recently took home the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia (TMA) award recognizing the best new Australian-designed and built machine at the most recent Henty Machinery Field Days event.
“It is a credit to our design team and Australian farmers buying our machines to win the TMA Award,” said K-Line Agriculture’s national sales manager, Bill Larsen.
The recognition was for the company’s new Speed tiller Powerflex. The Speed tiller Powerflex is a 12.5m machine that’s been designed, built, and fine-tuned over a period of two years to tackle heavy Australian conditions. It has solved the problem of clogging rollers in wet sticky soils while also giving more consistent depth control in sandy soils than other available machines.
“We find our competition typically out of Europe and North America are lighter as they don’t need to dig as deep, and they are generally running with more moisture in their soils,” said Larsen. “Our soils take more penetration as they are drier.”
Not to be confused with vertical tillage machines, this tiller really digs. The new one-pass tiller machine – which requires a 550hp tractor to run at a maximum of 12km/ hour – was recognized for its innovation in combining efficient seedbed preparation, effective weed control, and exceptional stubble incorporation. The tiller has a proven ability to mulch and breakdown trash residue, increasing both organic matter and microbial activity in the soil.
“We are finding farmers who have zero till-direct drill programs are finding chemical resistant weeds, and pulling back on strategic tillage,” said Larsen. “They want a one pass tillage tool and the Powerflex has filled that niche.”
The simple, easy to fold design makes the tiller ideal for broad acre farming operations. Known as the “Master of Broad acre Tillage,” the Power flex’s narrow transport width also makes road travel easier. And with operating widths from 8.2 to 29.5 feet, there are options for all size farming operations.
The Speed tiller Powerflex is best suited to hard and compacted soils that need more digging to rapidly warm the soil and prepare for earlier spring planting. The high density rubber torsion assembly on the disk arms means that each disk jumps separately, which also makes it a better tiller for working in rough terrain and stony soils.
“A farmer can use the Powerflex for shallower cereal and canola stubbles, and also for heavy duty work which typically used a tandem off-set disc,” Larsen said.
There are a range of roller options available on the Speed tiller Powerflex to suit all soil types and give a
level finish to any seedbed. The tiller includes options to cultivate at both deeper depths (for superior trash handling) and shallower depths (for surface mulching).Crumbler Rollers come standard and work in most all soil types and are especially effective in loamy soils – leaving a level finish. Optional rollers include the Spring Roller, which is a heavy-duty roller primarily suited to sticky soils. The spring action loosens dirt off the roller and is perfect for use in heavy trash conditions like corn and maize. Finally, there is the Rubber Tire Roller, which is ideal as a packer roller and suits most soil types, though it is mostly used in loose and sticky soils.
This variety of tiller options ensures that farmers can cut, size, and mix crop residue to increase humus levels in the soil. Humus is an essential component of healthy soils that allows more oxygen and water penetration. Its benefits include improving soil structure, increased capacity for holding water, and more efficient use of nutrients due to closed nutrient cycling.
Greater residue incorporation means that wind and water erosion is reduced, resulting in healthier crops, higher overall yields, and reduced operational costs.
Additional features of the Speed tiller Powerflex include wider spacing between front and rear discs and heavier disc weights. This gives better penetration for effective one-pass operation and reduced plugging. The behind disk bearing location also increases trash flow while ensuring longer bearing life.
“The design of the compact disc holds the soil within the machine leaving an even seed bed,” said Larsen.
Additionally, the Powerflex comes standard with a 22-inch disk, but the optional 24-inch disks dig deeper and last longer. The combination of weight, disk angle, and bearing position all help lower disk replacement costs over time.
For exceptional ground working ability in uneven terrain, the frame of the machine floats front and back as well as sideways. The adjustable wing pressure and floating rollers, a unique feature to the K-Line Powerflex, helps reduce sticking in soil and ensure level seedbeds are achieved.
The roller bearings are the only grease points: this minimizes service time. Additionally, Larsen notes, “The hubs of the jump-arms were non-greasing and discs simply changed with a rattle gun, resulting in ease of maintenance.”
K-Line’s award-winning Speed tiller Powerflex is the only Australian built compact disc tillage machine. It’s currently exported to both North America and Canada.