Buyer's Guide for Farmers: Used Cultivators

AMTEC has been a trusted provider of used farm cultivators and agricultural machinery to farmers worldwide, for over 30 years. Drawing on this extensive experience, we've crafted a detailed machinery buyer's guide, merging insights and expertise to aid you in selecting the best tillers and cultivators for your needs. Whether you're in the market for a second-hand cultivator a used disc cultivator or exploring options among second-hand tillers cultivators, AMTEC's used cultivators buying guide is designed to help you choose you next cultivator.

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Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Second Hand Agricultural Cultivators

Buying a used farm cultivator can be a daunting task due to the number of options available and like many other types of used farm machinery the prices of the new larger machines can be intimidating. In this guide we will be exploring the most popular types of cultivators used today, providing insights into their functionalities and applications. Additionally, we will be covering the current market landscape recommending the top brands of cultivators and shedding light on the specific models that currently dominate the industry.This buying guide will also cover purchasing used cultivators, imparting valuable insights into the buying process, including factors to consider and potential pitfalls to avoid. Navigating through the financial terrain, we address the market prices of cultivators, unravelling the mysteries behind their costs and offering a brief view of budget considerations. As safety is paramount, we provide a dedicated section on ensuring compliance with legal requirements, offering guidance on how to prioritise the well-being of both the agricultural equipment and its operators. In summary, this guide is your go-to resource for navigating the nuanced world of second-hand agricultural cultivators, offering a wealth of information to empower your decision-making process.

Different Types of Cultivators

These vital tools are essential for preparing the soil for planting, have transformed from simple, manual implements to sophisticated, mechanised devices.

Each type of cultivator is uniquely designed to suit specific soil types, crop requirements, and cultivation methods, highlighting the ingenuity and adaptability of agricultural practices around the world.

Below, we explore the distinct characteristics, uses, and advantages of each cultivator type to guarantee efficient and effective farming operations.

Short Disc

Probably the most popular cultivator used in current systems, the short disc cultivates just the top inch or two, often used in post-harvest applications, where it plays a pivotal role in creating a stale seedbed. This technique involves cultivating the soil immediately after the harvest to disrupt the soil surface and promote weed germination. By encouraging weed seeds to sprout, farmers can strategically target, and control weed populations before planting the next crop. The short disc cultivator's precision in cultivating the shallow soil layers makes it an indispensable asset in modern farming practices, contributing to effective weed management and optimising the conditions for successful crop growth.

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Stubble Cultivator

Often a combination of tines and discs which again, complete fairly shallow cultivation directly after harvest. Designed for efficient residue management, the tines loosen the soil without inversion, while the discs cut through crop stubble. Due to their low horsepower requirement, stubble cultivators, enhancing productivity for extensive farming. Their minimal soil disturbance aligns with conservation tillage, promoting soil health and sustainability. Overall, stubble cultivators offer swift, fuel-efficient, and environmentally conscious solutions for post-harvest field preparation.

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Primary Cultivator

Primary cultivators, also known as heavy cultivators, play a crucial role in deep soil cultivation. These robust machines are designed with features such as subsoil legs and large discs, making them well-suited for tasks that require significant soil penetration. Unlike ploughs that completely invert the soil, primary cultivators operate by deeply disturbing the soil structure, preparing it for planting or subsequent cultivation processes. The inclusion of subsoil legs allows these machines to reach deeper layers, effectively addressing issues such as compaction and promoting better root development. Despite not performing complete soil inversion like ploughs, primary cultivators cause more disturbance compared to their counterparts, such as short discs and stubble cultivators. The substantial soil movement facilitated by these machines is instrumental in creating an optimal seedbed and enhancing soil aeration, promoting overall soil health and productivity.

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Cultivator Brands and Models

Horsch Cultivators

Horsch is one of the leading global manufacturers of agricultural machinery for soil cultivation. Their machinery is predominately designed for highspeed shallow tillage for trash and soil management.

Horsch Terrano

A mid to shallow tillage machine the Horsch Terrano can cover a lot of ground quickly and precisely using a low horsepower requirement.  Horsch were one of the first manufacturers to focus on ‘tillage without a plough’ and the Terrano with its powerful and versatile TerraGrip tines is a key tool in this mission.

Väderstad Cultivator

Väderstad offer a wide range of cultivation machinery for a variety of working depths offering versatility in farming system and a perfect start for a successful crop.

Väderstad Carrier

One of the most popular in the short discs range of cultivators. The Väderstad Carrier it a versatile tool just as adept on stubble as in use breaking down ploughing. A well-built, long lasting, and fairly low maintenance machine the Carrier is widely used by arable farmers across the world.

Simba Cultivator

A very popular cultivator, particularly in Britain, the Simba range are extremely well-built strong cultivators mostly designed for primary cultivation.

Simba X-press

Another popular short disc machine, the Simba X-press is perfect for stubble cultivation after harvest. The large, scalloped discs are excellent for chopping up rubbish and topsoil and Simba’s legendary DD packers leaves a level, consolidated surface.

Sumo Cultivators

Another heavy British built cultivator, the Sumo Cultivator range was traditionally deep working primary cultivators, but they have since redirected their development to focus on Conservation Agriculture.

Sumo Trio

Sumo’s first and most popular cultivator, the Sumo Trio revolutionised the min-till cultivator market when it was launched and continues to be a big player in the heavy primary cultivation market to this day. The Trio was the antidote to continuous ploughing and the heavily built machine still moves plenty of soil.

Market Price of Cultivators: How much do used cultivators cost?

The price of a used cultivator depends on the size, age, and condition of the machine. Larger cultivators command higher prices, and newer models are generally more valuable due to advanced features. With manufacturers like Simba there is no new machinery to set the price, but the popularity of the brands equipment ensures a strong second-hand market. Well-maintained cultivators from trusted brands like Simba are in high demand, contributing to competitive pricing in the used machinery market. Overall market dynamics, economic conditions, and regional variations also play a role in influencing the pricing of used agricultural equipment. Buyers should carefully consider these factors when entering the second-hand cultivator market.

Price of New Cultivators vs Used Cultivators

The cost of new cultivators, like many types of agricultural equipment, has risen significantly in recent years. This trend is down to advancements in technology, inflation, and increased production costs. As a result, purchasing good quality, second-hand cultivators has become a financially savvy option for many farmers. Opting for used equipment can lead to substantial savings without necessarily compromising on performance or quality. Buying used farm machinery is also an environmentally friendly choice, as it extends the life of existing machinery. The team here at AMTEC thoroughly inspect and verify the condition of all used farm equipment to ensure it meets our standards and provides good value to our customers.

Brand-Based Price Ranges for Cultivators

Horsch

Horsch Cultivators and cover a wide range of budgets, from mighty 10 and 12m machines that command a price tag in excess of £60,000 to the smaller and older cultivators like the FG which sell for Sub £10,000 there is something in the Horsch range to suit most farm sizes and types.

Väderstad

Like Horsch, the Väderstad cultivator range covers a wide variety of options, from primary cultivators like the Väderstad TopDown to seedbed creators like the NZ, Väderstad have a solution for most cultivation needs. With an extensive range like this it figures that the prices match, again for some of the large newer models prices can exceed £70,000-£80,000 whereas the older NZ’s and Carriers can be around £5,000.

Simba

Simba on the other hand, no longer make their machinery so used Simba machinery in good condition can dictate a good price. Some of the most popular machines like the 6.6M X-press and Simba Cultipress in particularly good condition will fetch circa £40,000. Simba machinery was very well built and there is plenty of Simba discs on the market today which were made in the 1980’s and still command prices ranging from £1,000 to £5,000.

Sumo

Built in Yorkshire, Sumo machinery was designed for the UK farming industry but is now sold around the world. The Sumo range of cultivators if wide ranging from large primary cultivators to stubble rakes, so can cater for most farming systems. In the second hand market most Sumo machinery sell for mid to late teens with some of the older cultivators going for under £10,000.


Used Cultivators and Spare Parts

Purchasing a second-hand cultivator requires careful consideration to avoid buying a faulty piece of equipment. The primary structural feature to inspect is the frame's integrity; it should be perfectly square and free from any damage or deformities. Additionally, ensuring that the hydraulic systems are fully operational is crucial, as they play a significant role in the cultivator's functionality. A cultivator with a well-maintained, straight, and crack-free frame can lead to relatively low maintenance costs in the long run.

Generally, the parts that need regular replacement are the wearing metal and bearings, particularly in sections with moving components. The durability of wearing metal, like points and shins, can vary significantly based on the soil type you're working with. Opting for tungsten-tipped options can enhance the machines longevity, especially in less abrasive soil conditions, making them a worthwhile investment for long-term cultivation needs.

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Auction

Auctions have been a popular marketplace for used machinery for many years. AMTEC operates an online used farm machinery auction platform where buyers and sellers can engage in direct transactions.

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Classified Advertisement

A traditional method of buying and selling in the industry. Magazines like the Farmers Weekly used to thrive on it, but with new, low cost, marketplaces on the internet more of it has moved online.

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Private Sale

As per the above a lot of this goes on through online marketplaces these days but there is still room to move machinery between farming neighbours and by word of mouth. 

Defects to Keep an Eye Out For

When purchasing a second-hand cultivator there are a few things to bear in mind.

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Excessively worn metal

Whilst not terminal to the cultivator’s future, completely re-metaling a cultivator can be an expensive task so a cultivator with very worn metal would need to be a bargain. The other thing to look out for if the metal is excessively worn is that the hubs and legs haven’t worn as well, if metal has been left for too long it can wear other parts of the cultivator.

hydraulics

Issues with hydraulics

More modern cultivators tend to have more hydraulics and in turn electrics and hydraulics working together. If these are damaged, then the issue can be hard to trace and cost repair cost potentially high.

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Damage to the main frame

This is the really important point.  With wearing metal, bearings and other parts that are replaceable there is potential to solve most issues. On the other hand, if the frame of the machine is bent or damaged repairing it can be much more difficult. Sure, plating and welding can sort some frame cracks but often weakness can remain and if the frame is bent then the effectiveness of the cultivator can be affected.

PUWER Safety and Compliance with Legal Requirements

PUWER Regulations also known as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 were updated when the UK left the EU. The points that apply when buying and selling farm machinery are that the machinery is suitable for the intended use and most importantly that it is safe for use, maintained in safe condition and inspected correctly. If you buy machinery from AMTEC you can be sure that we have checked that it is safe to use and replaced and broken guards etc.

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