Hyflo Southern Africa was commissioned by Theebo Tech to engineer the electrical and hydraulic systems for the Equalizer Maximus © Wide Span planter. This planter is the biggest seed planter manufactured in South Africa and has two 12 meter wings allowing up to 24 rows to be planted in a single run. With such a large wing span, the planter would not fit through farm gates, nor be able to drive down farm roads. Hyflo was asked to provide an automated solution to fold the planter’s wing during transportation.

Hyflo worked closely with Theebo Tech, the manufacturer, from the initial design stage to ensure the hydraulic system would be able to fold the massive 12m, 3 ton wings. Hyflo’s hydraulic design team worked hard towards producing innovative solutions to this challenge faced in the agricultural industry. However, due to the complexity of the hydraulic folding requirements, it was clear that a purely hydro-mechanical solution would not be feasible. Hyflo’s Mechatronic department were tasked with designing an automated solution.

The brain behind the control of the planter is the HydraForce ECU (Electronic Control Unit), an IP67 PLC purpose built for the control of mobile hydraulics. The ECU allows the entire planter to be folded and unfolded from the comfort of the tractor’s cab. To achieve this, the ECU relies on 43 I/O (Inputs & Outputs) which include position sensors, pressure switches, inclinometer, control interface and 13 solenoid valves.

Hyflo and Theebo Tech were able to complete 4 Maximus planters in just over 2 months, showing their combined capabilities as leaders in the Industry.