Agricast has reinvented the wheel this month with the launch of its Double Drive Ring (DDR).
Using the established Double Disc (DD) ring as its starting point, the new Agricast product takes advantage of the patent expiry on the original, while respecting the active registered design.
The new DDR has taken over 18 months to develop and offers greater durability and enhanced poor weather performance at a much cheaper cost than the original DD design.
It achieves better traction by having small cutaways which were not present on the original design. These cutaways or scallops also improve the wheel’s ability to shatter or fissure hard, dry soil effectively.
Like the original Simba DD ring which was designed for use on Double Press and CultiPress packers, Agricast’s DDR is a registered design and available in two sizes – 610 and 710mm diameters.
“We’ve been working on this new product for quite some time,” says William Robinson, general manager at Agricast. “We’ve been conscious that the patent was coming to an end which would allow us to offer a better performing product at a cheaper price point. Obviously, we were aware and respectful of the registered design which still applies to the Simba Great Plains DD ring preventing people directly copying it.”
As well as being around 30% cheaper than the original , Agricast’s Double Drive Ring offers greater durability, being 6mm thick rather than 5mm. “With 20% more metal in these rings to start with we are offering a longer lasting product that will not wear through as quickly on the shoulders,” says William.
Introduced in the late 1990s, the patent on the original Simba DD ring meant farmers were limited in their choice of replacement wheels- until now. The patent’s expiry will enable farmers to save money by purchasing wheels produced by non-original equipment manufacturers.
The Agricast DDR’s are manufactured from heat treated Boron steel, which because they work more passively than a disc blade, will offer greater longevity when compared to cast ring wheels. Like the previous version, Agricast’s DDR is a closed wheel, preventing stones from jamming in them, which can happen with cast rings.