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29.
August
2012

Wrote about us: Strom is yellow

magazine Profi 5/2012

 

 


The Czech company Strom Export is playing an increasingly important role in our country. The machine has a significant yellow colour. We have thoroughly tested the 3m cultivator Ecoland 3000 RT.

 

 

 A core business area of the company Strom Export are soil tillage machines. Besides these, the Czechs also manufacture the mulch tillers and transport technique. This season we have thoroughly tested the universal three-row cultivator Ecoland, which is offered by the company Strom Export in the working width of 3.5 m. The four-row version has a working width up to 6 m. The three-row Ecoland is available also as a semi-mounted version with the designation RT and that is the machine we also tested. A cheaper mounted version is marked with the letter R. The principle of the semi-mounted attachment is simple: a drawbar is screwed to the normal three-point hitch on which there is a drawing ruler at the front and this is attached to the lower hinge arms. Unfortunately, this beam with 103 cm is rather broad and far exceeds the largest size of the category III (96.5 cm). We just made it with our hitch and this may not always succeed.  It would be therefore appropriate for Strom Export to adapt the beam.
Otherwise, there were no problems with the coupling, the hydraulic lines are protected with a plastic spiral and purely attached, so outside of the potential damage. Thanks to a ruler and drawbar length of about 2.15 m also sharp turns may be performed with the machine. Nevertheless, Ecoland is not too agile due to a hitch, because its overall length reaches 6.3 m and it moves on the road packer roller. In connection with the drawbar of the RT version, the heavy universal 3 m cultivator may be connected to the tractor with the power of up to 120 HP for a shallow tillage, although the lifting force will be hardly enough.

 

 

 

 

   
 Bright yellow colour attracts from a long distance.  But it was not only the colour that we enjoyed with the machine Ecoland 3000 RT from the company Strom.  Optionally the towing hitch is available that is fitted with the towing ruler on the side of the tractor...

 

 

 

Structure of the cultivator is really robust.

  Frames of the cultivator are made of 120x120 cm profiles and as informed from the company Strom Export, they are 8 mm thick. Ten shares fitted with the overload protection are attached to the frame.  Behind them there is a number of levelling discs and a solidifying roller. The test machine was unfortunately fitted with unevenly spaced tines. However, since they are screwed, it is possible to move them in case of doubt. Based on calculations, the width between the individual tines is 30 cm, which corresponds to the working width of 3.15 m. The frame height of 85 cm represents a new standard in its category, as well as the ground clearance of 85 cm.
The overload protection is made of two vertical coil springs, the locking torque of which corresponds to 550 daN. Therefore, all ploughshares worked properly during our test, even though we worked in a very dry soil or in the plough depth. The locking torque cannot be set. If the ploughshare encounters an obstacle, it may deviate by up to 30 cm down or backwards, sideways it is almost impossible. Attachment is designed to be maintenance free.
Tines are made of solid flat steel. First, they run almost parallel to the frame back, then the tine starts to bend gently down in an arch. At the bottom of the tine there are mounting holes to attach the chisels and/or lateral wings.
For the test purposes, the company Strom Export borrowed us a set of narrow 60 mm chisels with 365 mm wings and a set of 100 mm wide chisels. For an additional charge of 280,-EUR, a system for quick replacement may be delivered. Above the tines 60 mm the wide baffle differently rotated plates are positioned. Those are all turned inward on the outer sides of the cultivator for a clean work of the machine.

 

 

 

   
  A narrow share can be adapted to a shallow tillage by screwing on the wings. The so-called wide share with a width of 100 mm has only a limited use  Which is screwed on the three-point hitch of the cultivator. Mechanical overload protection equipment is maintenance free and keeps the shares safely even in a dry soil.
  We used narrow chisels with lateral wings to cultivate the stubble. Bolts are well protected in the shade of chisels. Of course, a bit of soil must always be removed from them before unscrewing. Chisels have a very deep working depth with these wings. This prevents a very shallow, while large scale tillage because when the chisel tip is already buried deep in the ground, its wings are not still enough to touch it. We had to work at a depth of 8 cm with this equipment to achieve the desired result. That is too much for many farmers when cultivating the stubble. On the other hand, it means a safe deepening even in hard soils.
The stirring effect is proper, even though the soil is rather pushed than turned over due to a sharp angle of tines. Narrow chisels are suitable for a deep tillage. We worked comfortably with Ecoland up to a plough depth. The maximum depth can be up to 32 cm, if necessary. The machine did not suffer from clogging during our test on grain and corn stubbles.
We used the chisels 100 mm wide only a little, because narrow chisels were entirely perfect for the conditions of our stubble and subsequent surface soil finish.
Eight bulging levelling discs worked cleanly and are already included as standard. They are not beaded, have a diameter of 40 cm and are fitted with maintenance-free bearings. Disks are attached per two onto a rectangular beam and  are secured by rubber rollers against overload. Because their beam is connected to the cross member, their settings will be necessary only rarely, if with a little effort once set to the optimum position. Strom used two mechanical connecting rods to set the individual rows of disks. They can be turned only alternately to avoid their wedging and also a scale is missing. The advantage of the linkage lies in the possibility of smooth adjustment based on actual soil conditions and crop residues. Levelling is then really good under all conditions.
The side panels keep the ground in a working width of the machine. They are attached to the telescopic beams so that they can be secured in the working or transport position. Longitudinal slots allow for adjustment of the working height.
The end of the machine is formed by the solidifying roller, mounted by flanges on two striking curved beams. The frame is hydraulically adjustable by means of double acting cylinder. The working depth can therefore be easily changed hydraulically by fitting the hydraulic clips on the cylinder piston rod. This principle is known and works well, but we would like to have more setting possibilities, because only four clips 20 to 40 mm thick are available and when compared with the setting using the perforated plate, they do not allow for so accurate setting.
On the headland and when driving on the road, the cultivator is lifted by cylinders and lower hinge arms. For a safe driving it is possible to close the hydraulic cylinder using the manual valve. For a shallow tillage it is also quite sufficient to lift the machine on the headland by means of the cylinder only. In general, such a fit is advantageous, but we must not forget that almost no load is transmitted on the tractor in the semi-mounted design and a lack of the tractor power may be evident. This includes also Ecoland, however, on the other hand, the drawbar may be unscrewed and the machine may be connected to the tractor model with the appropriate power using the three-point hitch.
The solidifying roller of the company Strom Export is called Roadpacker because it is suitable for driving on the road to a speed of 25 km/h. It is a roller made of natural hard rubber with a diameter of 580 mm. Adjustable scrapers are mounted between individual rings keeping the roller clean. Thus it is possible to drive on the road without a large amount of soil being transmitted to it. Driving on the road is very good even on broken country field roads where the cultivator moves smoothly. On whole, the roller performs a very good job, but on the wet and sticky soil, in our opinion, it is too heavy, because it digs and pushes by the entire profile and not just by tips, so there may result in a surface soil compaction. For such a soil the company Strom Export offers other types of rollers, which, however, cannot serve as a chassis. The roller is mounted by flanges on a stable frame and can be easily replaced thanks to a hydraulic cylinder. It is attached in the bearings on both sides; the bearings are easily accessible for maintenance and do not practically get soiled while working.
 
   
Levelling discs are doing clean work, when set properly The bearings require no maintenance.  The height can be changed hydraulically. The travel of the piston rod is limited by clips - that's good, but a finer gradation would be desirable.

 

A brief summary of details:

•    We liked the lighting and warning labels, for which Strom Export requires an extra charge of 500, - EUR. But the attachment of cables  should be better.
•    Stability, processing and quality of the paint made a good impression on us.
•    Hydraulic oil flows through the cultivator to the cylinder through hoses, being resistant to damage.
•    The basic price of the machine is 26 280,- EUR. The tested model with tines and lighting costs 27 750,- EUR.

Summary:

 Strom Export with Ecoland 3000 RT provided us an interesting cultivator for the test. Thanks to a semi-mounted structure this heavy 3m wide cultivator may be conveniently used to a shallow tillage in connection with the tractor powered by less than 120 HP. For a deeper tillage the more powerful tractor must be used, because the semi-mounted structure transmits only a minimum load. Processing and the working components are robust, which confirms the focusing of the Czech manufacturer on machines with a wide working width.
Ecoland makes a good impression both at a shallow and a deep tillage in friable soils. We did not miss the system for easy replacement of chisels thanks to easily accessible bolts. Strom Export could improve the attachment of chisel under the wings, since it is not possible to perform a shallow stubble ploughing because of them. But the cultivator always cuts safely with them.
In the price list the cultivator is above average. Strom Export explains it by appropriate choice of materials and equipment of the machine and its role will of course play an art of the buyer´s bargain.

Evaluation of the test:

The Ecoland 3000 RT by the company Strom Export as assessed by the expert:
(Marking:  + + = very good, + = good, o = average, - = below average, -- = poor)
   
Technika:  
 Ruler -
 Frame height / ground clearance     ++
 Levelling tools ++
 Solidifying roller +
Quality of the work:  
 Quality of the soil stirring (shallow/deep tillage) o/+
 Susceptibility to clogging of the machine ++
 Levelling  +
 Crumbling   +
 Compaction  +
 The power required for lifting ++
Handling:  
 Connecting / disconnecting  +
 Conversion to the transport position +
 Setting of the working depth (principle/graduation) +/o
 Setting of hollow discs -
 Replacement of chisels o
In general:  
 Lightning        +
 Stability/processing                        +
 Paint quality ++
 Documentation o
 Transport width +
 Maintenance +
 

PARAMETERS - Strom Ecoland 3000 RT

 

   
 Working width  3,15 m
 Transport width  2,99 m
 Transport length (2.15 meters including the drawbar)  6,30 m
 Weight (incl. drawbar)  2 800 kg
 Number of rows  3
 Rows spacing  80 cm
 Frame height  85 cm
 Number of shares  10
 Width of the narrow share  60 mm
 Wide share    100 mm
 Wings (two-part)  365 mm
 Shares spacing  30 cm
 Ground clearance  85 cm
 Number of discs / diameter  8 / 40 mm
 Dimensions of the main frame  120 x 120 mm
 Overload protection (starting torque)  550 daN
 Solidifying roller  Roadpacker 58 cm
 Connection category  III
 Price of the tested machine w/o VAT  27 750 €

 


was published in the German magazine Profi 5/2012