Ultimate Guide to buying a direct disc drill 2024

© Maschio Gaspardo© Maschio Gaspardo

Three new drill listings and additional models for existing ranges feature in the 2023 edition of Farmers Weekly’s Ultimate Guide to disc coulter no-till drills.

New Zealand manufacturer Duncan appears for the first time, as does Polish firm SMS.

Also featuring is Maschio Gaspardo, now that the Italian group is supplying a much-expanded product range into the UK through its own distribution operation.

Drill specs

Download the complete buyer’s guide to no-till and trailed disc cultivator drills PDF[1]


Northern Ireland-based distributor Tom Tierney, of Duncan Ag – Ireland, is selective about which models and specification he brings across from New Zealand, settling on the 3m Enviro DD30 for growers preferring a disc coulter seed placement system.

It comes in trailed format with hoppers divided for seed and fertiliser of 700kg or 1,000kg capacity each, and metering roller drive by jockey wheel or electric motor.

Double-disc openers, formed by 380mm diameter scalloped and plain discs slightly offset from one another, create a slot that is closed by standard-fit individual press/depth control wheels.

End-mounted transport wheels also provide overall depth control.

Duncan Enviro DD30 disc drill

The double-disc coulter Duncan Enviro DD30 © Duncan


Changes to the frame design on certain models in the Horizon DSX drill line-up have resulted in increased seed and fertiliser capacities without compromising the ease of moving the kit between yard to field.

With the new design, the 8m DSX 80 and 9m DSX 90 now have a total 6,300-litre capacity – a 1,700-litre or 37% increase from the 4,600-litre capacity of narrower models.

This enables the big versions to sow more acres between stops for refills, yet they retain a 3m folded transport width.

See also: Direct drills revisited: 6m Sly/Horizon Boss[2]

Maschio Gaspardo

The Gigante Pressure drill – making its debut in Britain – comes in rigid-frame 3m and 4m sizes semi-mounted and folding 4m, 5m and 6m trailed formats to suit different soil types and terrain, and available tractor power.

Single-disc coulter assemblies are formed from 475mm plain, serrated or notched discs, slightly angled in both planes, with a seed boot alongside.

These components are mounted on a trailing arm with a double-coil spring providing up to 200kg of downwards pressure, with a cast or rubber gauge wheel located alongside the disc providing depth control.

A conical steel press wheel mounted on the coulter assembly closes the slot under adjustable coil spring pressure, and operations can be completed by a flexible tine covering harrow.

Gigante Pressure disc coulter drill with tractor in field

Gigante Pressure disc coulter drill © Maschio Gaspardo


A 2.5m model has become the smallest option in the Moore Uni-drill range – the other variants are all 3m or 3.4m machines.

The Uni-drill 20 sowing at 125mm row widths is suited to arable crop establishment, while the Uni-drill 28 with 90mm row spacing is the grassland version.

All the drills – available with 850-litre hoppers or “bare” for use with a front-mounted seed hopper – place seed using two rows of 410mm notched discs, each with a tungsten seed boot tight alongside.


The Smart SSD is a compact disc-based seed drill, which can be equipped with a single row of flexible harrow tines across the front for working on cultivated or ploughed ground.

There are two rows of 410mm serrated discs that are slightly angled in two planes, with seed tubes alongside fed by a pneumatic seed distribution system.

Each assembly is carried on a trailing arm clamped to the frame with rubber cushioning inserts, with a rear-mounted packer and the tractor linkage providing overall depth control.

Devon-based Amia (Agri Market Insight and Access) is the distributor.

AMS Smart SSD disc drill

Disc coulters on the SMS Smart SSD drill © SMS


The DD line-up of single-disc drills has been streamlined by dropping the 8m and 9m sizes, leaving a still comprehensive choice of 3m and 4m mounted, and 4m, 5m and 6m trailed implements.

Unchanged is the trailed models’ format – effectively a 3,000- or 3,600-litre seed cart with the coulter frame mounted on the back.

This carries 450mm diameter serrated discs mounted on parallel linkage with a depth-regulating rubber gauge wheel alongside, hydraulic down-pressure, and a slot-closing press wheel on the same assembly.


The Fenix Drill appears in the guide for the first time – following a largely familiar format, this mounted implement comprises two rows of 405mm diameter notched discs, with a boron steel seeding shoe positioned tight alongside each one.

Discs are mounted at a 5deg angle and face each other on either side of the 3m machine to counteract any tendency to pull sideways.

The complete assembly is mounted on rubber-cushioned torsion bars, with mechanical adjustment of the coulter frame varying the sowing depth, supported by the tractor linkage and a fixed roller at the back formed with 450mm and 500mm Prismatic rings.

Weaving Machinery also has a revamped design for its mounted 3m and 4m GD models, featuring a coulter frame constructed from tubular steel to shed soil more readily and with centre-split folding.

A 2,000-litre plastic tank – 2,800-litre on the 3m grain and fertiliser model – has a side access hatch and steel lids, with folding rear steps and a two-stage platform providing space for the operator.

Although the patented inclined disc opener mechanism is unchanged, Weaving has swapped the hydraulic coulter pressure system for a gas spring that is said to provide a more reliable, responsive and consistent performance.

Weaving Fenix disc drill

The Weaving Fenix Drill stitching in grass seed © Weaving

Share this


  1. ^ PDF (stmaaprodfwsite.blob.core.windows.net)
  2. ^ Direct drills revisited: 6m Sly/Horizon Boss (www.fwi.co.uk)