Published October 10 2013
Wahpeton cultivator spans 80 feet; folds to 21 feet for transport
“It is absolutely amazing,” said Andy Meyer, a Wil-Rich product engineer who helped design the massive implement. “You can pull into a quarter of ground and two hours later leave and have that quarter of ground worked.”
“To my knowledge, this is the largest production piece of tillage equipment that a person can buy,” said Mitch Kreps, director of global sales and marketing for AGCO-Amity JV, LLC.
The cultivator, which prepares the soil for planting, is produced in Wahpeton, where Wil-Rich is based. In 2011, Wil-Rich and Fargo-based Amity Technology merged into a joint venture with Georgia-based AGCO to develop and distribute air-seeding and tillage equipment.
Despite its massive span, the seven sections that form the QX2 can fold to a width of about 21 feet for transport.
“We could build the things 300 feet wide and be able to pull them down the field and they would stay together and do their job,” Meyer said. “The trick to it is to be able to transport this, to be able to fold it up in a convenient and reliable way to be able to transport the thing down the road.”
That folding task is accomplished by a system of hinges and hydraulic cylinders. The outermost sections fold inward 180 degrees. The next sections are folded in 180 degrees (meaning the first sections have, by that time, flipped 360 degrees). And the innermost sections are folded in 90 degrees. The end result is that the implement has sort of curled up on both sides.
“You watch the thing fold and do its thing and it’s just an all-around very impressive piece of machinery,” Meyer said. “You know, I’m biased. We did design the thing, but still. There isn’t anybody that walks up to it and goes, ‘Ah, that’s not that big a deal.’ No, it is. That is a big deal.”
That hinging also helps the cultivator flex and conform to the contour of the field that’s being worked.
“I’ve spend a lot of seed time running the thing myself, and it’s amazing how well it flexes and follows the contour of the ground,” Meyer said.
The company showed off the product this summer at Farmfest in Redwood County, Minn., in August and at West Fargo’s Big Iron show in September.
“You’ve got bigger farms,” Kreps said. “The demand is there because consolidation and growth of farms just demands it.”
Meyer notes the size of modern planters. He said staying in front of a 90-foot-planter while using a 60-foot field cultivating tool is “almost impossible.”
“There’s guys doing it,” he said. “But you kill the guy running that thing.”
The QX2 is available through Wil-Rich dealers, which can be found at www.wil-rich.com.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734