Pneumatic Direct Drill - EasyDrill
The Sky EasyDrill is the product of 39 years worth of product development which started after a chance meeting between two agricultural machinery manufacturers. Sulky and Moore worked together for many years to evolve the UniDrill which has since become the EasyDrill. At first Sulky provided the seed metering part of the drill and Moore the coulters but gradually an integrated design evolved to provide a drill which would work in arable conditions as well as grassland. At the start of 2013 Sky Agriculture was born as a specialist company to sell, support and develop trailed drills manufactured by Sulky including the EasyDrill.
The EasyDrill is one of very few drills that can truly be advocated as a direct drill, a mintill drill and a grassland and a cover crop drill. Furthermore on well consolidated ploughing it can also be used in conventional systems. It's low disturbance disc coulter and press wheel not only ensure minimal weed seed germination, they also keep hp requirement to a minimum. Available in working widths from 3m - 8m, a 6m EasyDrill typically takes 180hp to pull which reduces fuel consumption, tractor weight and therefore damage to the soil structure when drilling in damp conditions.
A large easily accessible hopper with roll over hopper cover.
- Sky’s simple clever ideas that make a difference to everyday usage.
- Easy Emptying due to the emptying shutter and split folding design of the machine
The all new electronics package maximizes the user benefits from Sky’s separate distribution systems and industry leading seed metering technology. At the heart of this is the Quartz 800 control box. All four metering units are controlled from the full colour touch-screen console making Sky drills exceptionally user friendly. Furthermore, variable rate seeding on all four hoppers is now a possibility and in addition all 20 Series drills are ISObus ready.
The Pro Hopper is an additional 120 litre small seed hopper that can be mounted on the EasyDrill. 1 or 2 Pro Hoppers can be fitted to the EasyDrill to apply slug pellets, micro-fertilisers or small seeds at the same time that the drill is seeding. Effectively this allows the EasyDrill to seed four products in one pass, with all four of the seed hoppers being controlled by the one Quartz 800 controller. The product metered by the first Pro Hopper is introduced into the seed distribution system while the second Pro Hopper has its product introduced in to the fertiliser distribution circuit.
- Steps and open design provide easy access to the metering mechanism to adjust and calibrate the machine.
- Single roller metering mechanism with adjustable opening and gearing means no spare seed rollers need to be carried with the drill. The seed rate can be adjusted from 0.5 to 450kg/ha.
- Electric driven metering system allows easy calibration, accurate setting and variable rate.
- Push button calibration makes the drill very simple to set up accurately.
- Forward speed reading provided by the GPS sensor.
- The Quartz 800 allows the operator full control of the seed (and fertiliser) metering from the cab and can be integrated with mapping systems to vary seed and fertiliser rates.
- Electronic pre-load facility for starting drilling ensures the seed is metered at full rate from the start of the drilling run.
- Seed Head – Seed is distributed by the ADS head which accurately delivers the correct amount of seed down each outlet.
- The E-Drive Premium model allows individual rows to be electronically selected and then electronically engaged and disengaged. Every other or any number of rows can be shut off allowing wider row spacing with one seed or rows to be planted with alternating seed types. Tramlines are selected in the same way and as a result spacing of row shut off's are easy to alter from field to field if necessary.
- Accuracy – The Sky metering mechanism and ADS head provide unrivalled accuracy when drilling small or large seeds. This was tested by the German agricultural research institute and given an excellent rating for both small and large seeds.
The EasyDrill uses Sky's ADS head which has been proven in German DLG tests to be "excellent" at metering both small and large seeds alike.
EasyDrills come as standard with 2x2 electronic tramlining shut off. Options include electronic half-width shut off as well as full electronic row shut off for each outlet, all of which is set and controlled from the Quartz 800 control box. This means that seed can be drilled in wide rows or on a drill with double metering systems every other row can be drilled with a different crop.
Whilst the "Seeding Line" looks very simple years worth of development have refined and honed every detail and this is what makes it one of the versatile drills on the market.
The EasyDrill "Tandem" holds the key to accurate seed depth control and allows consistent drilling in all conditions.
It consists of a rubber front depth wheel which is connected to two rear metal press wheels which pivot like a bogie. The seeding disc is mounted between the front and rear wheels so that its depth is controlled by the wheels.
When an obstacle, clod or stone is encountered the Tandem ensures that the seed depth is hardly affected giving the EasyDrill similar depth control to that of a precision drill.
When working into mintill or conventionally prepared seedbeds the front roller presses the soil and firms it up in front of the disc coulter which prevents the disc sledging in loose soils.
This also reduces the HP requirement of the drill in loose soil conditions.
When drilling into cover crops the front press wheel again performs a key role as it rolls down the cover crop allowing the disc coulter to cut through it and place the seed with ease.
Disc Opener and Skim Coulter work together to place the seed with maximum efficiency.
The hardened disc which opens the soil runs at just 3.5 degrees of angle to the direction of travel which means less soil disturbance, less power requirement and less weed and volunteer emergence. Running alongside the disc and keeping it clean is the Carbide Tipped Monobloc Skim Coulter.
The Tungsten Carbide face on the skim coulter ensures minimal wear whilst it cleans the disc and cleans out the seed slot in front of the seed tube. The height of the skim coulter in relation to the disc can be altered as the disc wears.
Behind each disc coulter is an angled metal press wheel which itself works in tandem with the one next-door. These press the soil sideways and downwards closing the seed slot and covering the seed.
The remarkable floating press wheel scrapers have been years in evolution, they faultlessly clean the perfectly flat surface of the press wheels to ensure the drill keeps running.
Importantly the distribution of the weight of the direct drill between the rear press wheels and front press roller can be altered, this allows maximum pressure on the rear in dry conditions to consolidate the seedbed and ensure soil to seed contact. Similarly in wetter conditions weight can be transferred to the front to keep the drilling running clean.
This is where Sky drills benefit from their manufacturing partnership with Sulky, experts in fertiliser metering and application. All EasyDrills come as standard with grain and fertiliser hoppers. This consists of dual metering systems feeding two distribution heads which allows the fertiliser to be applied separately to the seed but in the same pass. A single control box with independent control of the two metering systems allows different rates of seed and fertiliser to be applied. These rates can be varied by the operator on the move or controlled by a GPS mapping system. As an optional, up to 4 hoppers can be specified meaning all 4 products are independently metered and can be placed at 2 different depths. The primary seed is drilled using the disc coulter and the secondary product is applied by dedicated placement tube in front of the press wheels.
- Variable capacity split hopper – The hopper division can be moved to allow a variable split between seed and fertiliser or 90% of the hopper capacity to be used for seed only.
- The fertiliser placement tubes are positioned one behind each seed coulter. Low pressure fertiliser distribution provides for precise positioning of the fertiliser on the seed row. High pressure Fertiliser distribution spreads the fertiliser across the full drilling width.
- Paint – All Sky Drills undergo a fertiliser proof painting process to ensure their longevity no matter whether they are used for fertiliser or not.
Importantly the EasyDrill uses two separate air circuits to supply the seed and the fertiliser which reduces blocking risk in damp conditions and allows the fertiliser to be drilled at a different depth to the seed.
The top-spec option for the new drills is ‘E Drive Premium’. As well as offering left and right section control, E Drive premium provides electronic shut off for each individual outlet, with the result that the drill can be set to seed with any number of row configurations from the touch of a button.
This ability to shut off individual rows means that whatever the width of the sprayer or spreader it no longer needs to be a multiple of the drill width – simply enter the sprayer/spreader width into the control box and the tramlines will be calculated and set automatically. From now on the customer can change sprayer/spreader width without having to renew the drill - an extremely valuable function for contractors providing drilling services for customers with a range of different tramline regimes.
EasyDrills can now be specified with blockage sensing for both the seed and fertiliser distribution systems to provide an early warning in case of any issues.
Easy to hitch, allows tight turns in transport and in the field.
Large low pressure press wheels are fitted to all EasyDrills to ensure minimum damage in the field and fast stable road transport.
We are now able to offer new and current Sky EasyDrill customers with the option of a fifth hopper, ideally integrated for the application of Avadex. This pneumatic Turbo Jet seeder, manufactured and developed by Stocks Ag, and mounting kit, allows for the separate metering and accurate application of Avadex though an additional set of outlets behind the drills press wheel. As seen below, the mounting kit itself consists of a loading platform, steps and guard rail to meet all safety regulations and maintain a safe environment for the operator.
If you own a pneumatic EasyDrill, and are interested in retrofitting this applicator to your drill, speak to your local Sky Agriculture dealer for more information.