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Closing Wheels for Drills

All About Closing Wheels for Drills

  • NEW: Bolt-on star wheel = cost-effective replacement stars
  • Zinc plating for even longer wear life 
  • Same proven spoke design we’ve used for 20 years.
  • Aggressive furrow closing with self-limiting depth
  • Creates ideal zone for crop emergence & rooting
  • Heavy-duty bearing with 5-yr guarantee
  • Doesn’t overpack


Thompson closing wheels are an excellent upgrade for John Deere 50, 60, and 90-series drills, and bolt easily onto the original closing arms. The OEM cast closing wheels on the Deere drills have a ridiculous tendency to hop because of their weight and smoothness, and the angle of the arm’s pivoting, and really hammer the soil when they land after being airborne. Even when running smoothly with low spring pressure, heavy cast closing wheels tend to seriously over-pack the soil, reducing emergence and early growth. Thompson wheels completely avoid the problem, since they weigh far less than JD and certain aftermarket wheels, and actively pull themselves into the soil.

Sizing Things Up

The bearing from a competitor’s wheel setting inside the Thompson wheel’s housing for its huge bearing. Our bearing features a triple-lip seal, as well as our unique patented shroud to protect the bearing face from fertilizer and water. We’re so confident in our bearing arrangement, we guarantee it for 5 years.

High-Carbon Steel

The Thompson wheel’s high-carbon spokes resist wear and bending for an exceptionally long life. The thinness of the wheel allows it to easily enter the soil, for excellent breakage of the sidewall. Now with zinc plating for even longer wear-life.

Bolt-on Star Wheel

The wheel uses 4 bolts to attach it to the spindle so when you wear down the wheel in the future, you can just purchase the star, and not have to buy the whole assembly. You’ll spend far less money to replace a worn out Thompson wheel in the future with the new replaceable star.

An honest assessment from numerous observations by 3rd-party scientists and farmers.

* Closing wheels that don’t pack the soil above the seed (a good thing) shouldn’t be used without a separate in-furrow firming device (seed-lock wheel, or the Fin).

Closing Wheels for Drills in the News

Featured in No-Till Farmer: For Ambitious No-Tillers: There’s No Place Like Home

Almost to the Colorado border, these far western KS no-tillers credit some of their success to good seeding equipment set up — including Exapta’s Thompson wheels on their drill as well as their planter (although we do worry about the T-whls on their planter not being ran with a seed firmer).

Read more

Featured in No-Till Farmer: Using Residue Layers, Precision Tools to Boost No-Till Profitability

Todd Yackley says he uses Exapta Solution’s Thompson closing wheels on his planter as an aggressive furrow-closing tool with self-limiting depth.

Read more

Installation Instructions

“I want to say ‘thanks’ for your Thompson wheel—I changed the whole drill over to these this spring [2014] and ‘wow’…I can testify to the Thompson, as I ran [a comparison of] the Deere stock closing wheel, [OEM with spokes cut into it], [a competitor spoked steel whl built from thicker & heavier plate than the T-whl], and Thompsons in no-till and also on some worked [tilled], and the Thompsons shined in both conditions. Guys think that the [thicker competitor] wheel is best because it is heavier and packs more, but that’s not [the closing wheel’s] purpose—I had the worst emergence out of that wheel actually.”
Tanner Vix
Velva, ND, Exapta customer since 2013 (T-wheels on 60' JD 1890 drill)
“The Thompson wheels are definitely better than the John Deere closing wheels, especially in damp situations. [Gabe plants in some jungles of cover-crop cocktails, and yet:] Very few problems with the Thompsons in viney cover crops, such as hairy vetch. Some wrapping of dried wild buckwheat but not enough to slow me down. It is so minimal it is not worth mentioning.”
Gabe Brown
Bismark, ND, Exapta customer since '09 (Thompson wheels on 20-ft JD1590)
“The smooth JD cast wheels won’t close the furrow when it gets hard and dry. But the Thompson wheels will penetrate and close the furrow. Crumbling versus smashing the furrow shut makes a big difference, especially if soils are wet.”
Alan Mindemann
Apache, OK , Exapta customer since ’01 (Thompson wheels on JD 1890 air drill)
“I’m no-tilling with a JD 1890 in clay-loam soil. I tend to drive a little fast, 6 – 9 mph. The OEM closing wheels were in the air probably 50% of the time. The [competitor spoked wheels] are also heavy and tend also to bounce. I’ve got along best with the Thompsons. I ran all three side-by-side last year [2012], and now have all Thompson wheels on my drill.”
Larry Brunner
Kingsville, MO, Exapta customer since 2012 (Thompson wheels on JD 1890 drill)

Chris Horton

Chris Horton brings 25 years of management with him. He grew up on his grandparents farm in Reno County Kansas where they mainly grew wheat and cattle feed. He worked on feed lots as a pen rider and cow-calf operations before moving to Southern California where Chris started a new career in the transportation and transport logistics, eventually managing the western region for a large commercial vehicle leasing company. Chris moved home to Kansas, to manage a local Farmers Coop and then eventually the service dept for a tractor dealership. The opportunity to join the Exapta team came up, and he knew he wanted to be a part of this team.

Bob Pagel

Sales & Service Representative

Prior to joining Exapta, Bob Pagel was an Agricultural Territory Sales Manager for Ritchie Brothers, serving parts of MN, WI and IA. He continues to support his family farm in SE Minnesota.

Jon Zeller

Current Product Engineer

Jonathan Zeller joined Exapta excited to return to working with no-till planting equipment. He supported research of no-till planting and other ag related projects for 7 years with Kansas State University’s Agricultural Engineering Department after getting his engineering degree. He later worked 3 years for Landoll Company, LLC. where he gained experience in a design engineering role. Jonathan grew up on a small family farm in NE Kansas working with row crops, hay and cattle. Jonathan enjoys solving engineering problems and improving or creating products to be robust and easy to install and service.