by Matt Hagny
At Exapta, we take performance very seriously. We spend a lot of time analyzing what needs to be accomplished and how best to accomplish it. And a lot of time and $$ prototyping. We think the results speak for themselves.
We have dozens of farmers who tell us how much cleaner our DuraLoks run in the mud compared to OEM (sometimes being the difference between being able to go vs being parked). Since our DuraLok was introduced, a competitor who has been in the aftermarket seed-lock wheel business for many years decided that he too needed a urethane wheel like ours. But our DuraLok performs better because it’s narrower—including better seed firming (especially in very firm long-term no-till, and better mud shedding (see photos). (The narrowness also avoids any additional packing of the sidewall, which can make the furrow more difficult to close.) And, our higher-density urethane will have a longer wear life. Plus, our sleeker hub doesn’t collect mud and vines as much.
Photos sent from a customer.
Comparing to JD rubber-tire firming wheels (what Deere has been using since ’05), the DuraLok flexes enough to always stay aligned to the furrow and get the seeds firmed, whereas the Deere’s rigid rim often causes it to ride up on the sidewall and not get all the seeds firmed. Furthermore, when it’s really hard and somewhat dry, the rubber tire lets the seeds indent the rubber, rather than the seeds being pressed down into the firm soil—the urethane in the DuraLok is dense enough to not allow this to happen, so the seeds get embedded in the soil more thoroughly.
If you haven’t yet tried the DuraLoks on your JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drill, you owe it to yourself to try a couple rows and see for yourself!