microband applicator on my bedtiller

Adding fertiliser using Microband applicators

I bought 4 used Microband applicators complete with frame and landwheel with the intention of fitting them to the bedtiller so I can apply fertiliser directly to the beds when I’m making the soil ready for sowing.

I mounted the frame onto the bedtiller using angle iron brackets and fitted the applicator bins to the frame.

When I had everything bolted together, the metering units would not turn, I found out they were siezed, probably because they were sitting for a long time, so I dismantled them and cleaned each component. I did this for all four metering units.

Two applicator units fitted to the frame.
Two applicator units fitted to the frame.

The metering unit consists of a hexbar driveshaft which has metal collars, these run on dry brass bushes – the metal collars needed to be sanded down to remove built up corrosion.

When the metering unit shaft was reassembled and everything was running freely I bolted them onto the frame and connected the landwheel. Then I marked the landwheel and put some fertiliser into one of the bins.

With four bins connected the belt connecting the landwheel would turn all four metering units, but when I added fertiliser to one the belt began to slip.

The reason it slipped was because the fluted metering wheel inside was too small to dispense the fertiliser without crushing some of it – this added resistance when trying to turn the shaft.

Mounting the frame onto the bedtiller.
Mounting the frame onto the bedtiller.

I removed the other three metering units and left just one unit on, added fertiliser and it turned without the belt slipping. The amount of fertiliser which came out was no where near the required amount I had calculated. A lot of the fertiliser was crushed, indicating the metering wheel was not correct for applying fertiliser.

I spoke with someone at Chafer machinery who was very helpful, he said there are different sizes of metering wheels which can be added to the units for different products. I told him the rate I was looking for and he going to come back to me with the best fit for my job.