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Expert Review

Lemken Solitair 9 review

Lemken has continued to develop its pneumatic seeding options for farmers with the Solitair range over the past 17 years. Here’s a summary of how German engineering delivers with the Lemken Solitair 9 unit for the highly popular 4m working width...

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Words by: Auto Trader

Published on 1 October 2019 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


The versatility of a cultivator and drill combination provides arable farmers with a reliable seed placement option following primary tillage operations.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickDrills the full range of cereals, pulses, brassicas (oilseed rape), grass seed and cover crops suc
  • tickWell laid Solitronic cab

Lemken Solitair 9 specifications

The 4.0m is quickly reduced to a more convenient 2.7m width when folded, which makes for a rapid changeover from one field to another via the public highway, although for with those ring fenced units, a rigid version is also available. The Solitair 9 is essentially a “piggy back” concept, although it doesn’t necessarily require a power harrow to prepare the seedbed. Other cultivator options include a Lemken Heliodor disc system or a set of press wheels. The drill can operate independently with a frame assembly to provide coupling directly onto the rear of the tractor.

Lemken Solitair 9 versatility with the farm rotation

The Solitair 9 is designed for drilling the full range of cereals, pulses, brassicas (oilseed rape), grass seed and cover crops such as mustard. Although the hopper is specified for seed only, fertilizer can be added via a front mounted tank option which would be routed through dedicated pipes to prevent contamination. Seed transfer to the drill is kept easy and safe with the lightweight metal lid and operator access via the open mesh steps and handrail.

Lemken Solitair 9 prime mover and control features

Choosing a tractor from the fleet with 200hp under the bonnet, and up to four double acting hydraulic spool valves (only three required if there’s no requirement for the bout markers) with a 12V electrical supply for the control unit will get the Solitair 9 up and running. Hydraulic control of the fan ensures a consistent delivery of air, maintaining constant pressure during headland turns when the tractor forward speed decreases. The simple and well laid Solitronic cab mounted touchscreen and button operated fascia has its own comprehensive manual which covers calibration, tramlining settings, hectare counter, manual override functions and alarm notifications. For those with ISOBUS capabilities on the tractor, the updated CCI1200 terminal is available for syncing with the Solitair 9 to provide variable rate seeding from uploaded field data mapping.

Lemken Solitair 9 mechanics of operation

The signal for initiating seed flow starts with the electronic metering wheel which is situated at the rear of the unit between two seeding rows. This tracking mechanism operates independently of any other function on the drill and therefore can’t slip, ensuring a consistent communication link to the cab mounted control box. Material is delivered from the six section cell wheels to the distribution head, from where equal length pipes are employed to present the seed to the double disc coulters. These soil engaging sections are manufactured from hardened steel bushes to provide a long working life, with greasing only needed at the beginning of the season. Their profile ensures a clean entry of the seed into the seedbed, regardless of surface trash left from the previous crop. Sensors monitor the transfer routes to identify blockages and prompt the operator via the alarm system.

Why buy a Lemken Solitair 9?

With a hopper capacity of 1200kg, the Lemken Solitair 9 can cover between 50 – 60 acres per day with a high level of accuracy in seed placement. The parallelogram design of the coulter frame ensures a clean start and finish on bouts, avoiding over-drilling and associated seed wastage. Its operational simplicity means that operators can quickly familiarise themselves with its functions and set-up. Although it’s not a precision drill in its purest sense, the flexibility with an additional hopper for fertiliser and various cultivator options makes the Lemken Solitair 9 a viable option for any farmer or contractor with between 500-1200 acres of seed drilling to cover annually.

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