This is what we call the little brother to the 100-foot we released last year,” said Rob Fagnou, marketing specialist at Bourgault, as he stood beside the brand’s new 80-foot, centre-folding 3420 paralink hoe drill during Canada’s Farm Progress Show in June.
“The demand for the 80-foot was strong with this type of folding system in a drill,” he continued. “So right away we were in design mode, testing the 80-foot. Really, the design is very similar to the 100-foot. It has the identical fold system and transports at the same size.”
Bourgault debuted the first, centre-folding version in a 100-foot working width at the same farm show in 2015. With the centre-fold concept, both wings fold back from a middle pivot, so the drills can squeeze down to just over 18 feet wide and 16 feet tall.
It’s that transport ease that Fagnou says has spurred demand from customers. Along with the relatively narrow folded width, a steering feature on the back four sets of wheels makes the drill easier to get around narrow field approaches and other tight corners. The operator can adjust their direction through the drill’s X30 controller.
The design was originally the brainchild of engineer Terry Friggstad. “(In 2012) that’s when Terry approached Bourgault Industries with folding concept,” Fagnou said. It took some further engineering work and a couple of years of field trials before Bourgault was ready to introduce the resulting TransFold design on the 100-foot version.
Now, both the 80-and 100-foot drills are available in Bourgault’s QDC and XTA configurations with a choice of either 10 or 12-inch row spacings. They can also be ordered with or without mid-row banders.
“I think that’s what’s unique when you get to this size of a drill, not just the folding, but we sell it with 10- and 12-inch row spacing and with or without mid-row banders,” Fagnou said.
The brand also used the show to introduce a new feature on its 7000 Series air carts.
“We had some demand from farmers who had the saddle tank and wanted to be able to fill it with the conveyor or the auger,” said Fagnou. “Some guys were saying, depending on what they were seeding, sometimes the tank was sitting there not being used. So they were filling it up with wheat, let’s say, adjusting rates and stretching out fill times a little.”
So now saddle tanks on the 7000 Series carts can fill directly from the conveyor.
“The designers did come up with a fairly simple idea,” he added. “But it did take some testing for positioning and all that.”