Ron Sheat wasn’t searching for an alternative to his cultivation set-up until he saw the ExpressPlus 6m Speed Discs from FarmChief in action. 

Ron is the 2nd generation of four currently working on their farm in Palmerston, Otago, though his 7-year-old grandson may have less to do with the running of the farm than others. Ron has been using the FarmChief ExpressPlus 6m Speed Discs for around a year now and has been thoroughly impressed with the results.

He recently spoke with FarmChief about the improvements he’s seen since using the FarmChief discs.

Ron runs around 400 hectares of mixed cropping, along with some grazing stock, with about 200ha under cultivation at any one time. Most of the work he has been doing was preparing a seedbed or bringing a paddock out of winter grazing using a 6m grubber or 6 disc roller, then finishing with a power harrow.

Historically, it’s taken a fair few passes on the land to bring the paddock back to life, something Ron has said can be costly. “When the tractor is burning 50L of diesel an hour, every hour you’re not in the seat is a good one.” 

Ron Sheat, in front of his 6m ExpressPlus Speed Discs with son, father and grandson.

Despite the costly input costs they were happy enough as they were seeing good results and hadn’t considered making any upgrades.

 So, when Anthony Murray from FarmChief Machinery in Southland approached him about taking a demo with one of their ExpressPlus 6m Folding Speed Discs, he wasn’t in any particular mood to make a purchase. “We didn’t have any intentions of buying anything new at that stage, but we took the demo regardless.”

The demonstration quickly proved one of the points that Anthony had been speaking with Ron about: the ExpressPlus Speed Discs could do in one pass what the existing lighter discs and grubbers took two or three passes to achieve.

Ron didn’t hesitate once he saw the results and performance, and in October 2022, he took delivery of his ExpressPlus 6m Folding Speed Discs from FarmChief Machinery. “It’s saving at least one pass, if not two, over all the paddocks. Even if you’re saving one pass, over 200ha, that’s a significant saving right there.

Anthony says that he’s pleased he could help Ron optimise his performance and save some input costs at the same time. Anthony reckons that the key to the success and performance of the ExpressPlus Speed Discs are the optimum cutting angle of the discs coupled with the full-width heavy-built chassis and the hydraulic Double U-Box Roller. “The optimum cutting angle is excellent for ensuring great penetration and soil disturbance, which we’ve found to be much more thorough than other examples of disc rollers around.”

“Additionally, the Double U-Box Roller literally works the ground twice as much as traditional packer rollers, for double the effectiveness”.

FarmChief Machinery ExpressPlus 6m Folding Speed Discs with Double U-Box Roller

Ron was impressed with the rollers too, and after some adjustments, he reckons he’s found the perfect settings. “The double packer rollers on the back are amazing compared to the single rollers I’ve used in the past. They leave the ground very level. You can actually sow grass seed after it. Using the old disc roller, we’d have to go through afterwards with some harrows to level it out a bit more before bringing the drill in, which is just another cost.”

The ExpressPlus has been so effective in bringing passes down and producing a great seedbed, Ron doesn’t have much use for his 6m grubber and harrows. “We really use them very little now – the ExpressPlus is like three machines in one. They are certainly more versatile than our grubber or other disc rollers”.

Ron says the ExpressPlus was not only cutting down time in the field, it also took very little time to set up and he was able to get the job done himself.

To top it off, he only had good things to say about Anthony, who’s he’s known for a number of years, having purchased a grain auger and fertiliser spreader from FarmChief in the past.

“Yep he’s a good man, easy to deal with. He calls a spade a spade and we’ve never had any issues with him. He occasionally pulls in just for a chat if he’s in the area.”


FarmChief Machinery is New Zealand’s specialists in cultivation and offer a range of models of speed discs built to suit every farm and operator in New Zealand. Starting at 3m mounted machines through to 6m folding, with a range of rollers and other add-ons, the ExpressPlus range of Speed Discs are tough to beat.

Keen to talk cultivation? Contact us and ask about a solution for your individual needs, today.

Call Anthony Murray on 021 242 5711 or email [email protected]

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