A 24m wide drill able to fold to a transport width of 5.4m within minutes was awarded the coveted Henty Machine of the Year Award.
The 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill, entered by Canadian manufacturer Bourgault, impressed judges with its unique folding mechanism, with the wings able to be folded and unfolded in three-and-a-half minutes for transport.
As one of the widest drills on the market, the 3420 had its debut to Australian dealers at Howlong (west of Albury) in June, with Henty being its first public display.
The judges looked at the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction (durability and design), ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.
Judge Mark Bowyer said the award showcased innovative equipment already commercially available in the market place.
He said the 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill was well designed and built.
‘‘The folding mechanism was quite complex — for a big machine like that it takes a lot of engineering,’’ he said.
‘‘There has been several prototypes tested in Canada — we were impressed with the overall quality of the machine.
‘‘A computer in the tractor sets out the sequence of the fold mechanism to make it fail-safe.
‘‘For a machine that is 80 foot (24m) wide, it folds up quite narrow and the rear wheels have steering allowing it to track along nicely on the turns.’’
Mr Bowyer expects the hoe drill to have applications in broadacre cropping areas of Western Australia and northern NSW.
Highly commended was the Coolamon All Rounder multi-purpose chaser bin entered by Bruce and Heath Hutcheon from Coolamon Chaser Bins, Coolamon, NSW.
A total of 18 machines and equipment at the cutting edge of agricultural technology were showcased in the competition.