Replaceable Tip vs One-Piece Openers

When choosing the right opener for your farm, the decision can come down to one important question: replaceable tip or one-piece? There are many different options on the market for both types of openers.

One-piece openers are constructed in one solid piece bolted directly to the shank. These can be rebuilt but are often discarded once worn out.
Replaceable tip openers will be constructed from multiple pieces that are usually held together with either a bolt or roll pin. The tip is the main wear-point while the rest of the opener is designed to be relatively wear-free.

 

Pros:

Both opener styles can offer advantages – depending on the producer’s needs. The main advantage to replaceable tip openers is that they will have less total cost and be more convenient in the long run. By replacing just the tip once it’s worn, the replacement parts are at less cost than the complete opener. It’s also easier to replace just the tip, saving on labour. Typically with replaceable tip openers, the seed and/or fertilizer hoses don’t have to be reinstalled, another labour savings. The main advantage to one-piece openers is that they come at a lower upfront cost. This is important if the producer does not intend to keep the drill for long or plans on a change to their seeding practices in the near future. 

Cons:

Even with the convenience and long term price advantage, replaceable tip openers do have their downsides. They come at a higher upfront cost than equivalent one-piece options. Occasionally, the roll pin or bolt holding on the tip can be problematic. Rust can affect these small pieces making them difficult to remove. This can usually be avoided with some industry tips and tricks. On the other side, one-piece openers are also not perfect. They’re more expensive in the long run if the producer keeps the machine for an extended period of time, and there is also more labour involved to change them once they are worn out. 

Price Comparisons: 

The following figures are a cost analysis of replaceable tip and one-piece openers. These have been applied to a single shoot Dutch Opener, openers to fit Seedhawk and openers to fit Seedmaster. As evident, most of the replaceable tip openers will become more cost efficient by the second or third replacement. The savings difference will grow as the replacements continue. 

 

Single Shoot
One-Piece Replaceable Tip
Replacement Frequency Replacement Cost Total Cost Replacement Cost Total Cost
Upfront $125 $125 $90 + $70 $160
1st $125 $250 $70 $230
2nd $125 $375 $70 $300
3rd $125 $500 $70 $370

Figure 1: Cost analysis of a single shoot opener. One-Piece (Part number 1763-1) and Replaceable Tip (Part numbers 2817 and 2837) based on approximate MSRP

 

Seedhawk
One-Piece Replaceable Tip
Replacement Frequency Replacement Cost Total Cost Replacement Cost Total Cost
Upfront $120 $120 $95 + $90 $185
1st $120 $240 $90 $275
2nd $120 $360 $90 $365
3rd $120 $480 $90 $455

Figure 2: Cost analysis of openers to fit Seedhawk. One-Piece (Part number 4470) and Replaceable Tip (Part numbers 4420 and 4400) based on approximate MSRP

 

Seedmaster
One-Piece Replaceable Tip
Replacement Frequency Replacement Cost Total Cost Replacement Cost Total Cost
Upfront $110 $110 $65 + $75 $140
1st $110 $220 $75 $215
2nd $110 $330 $75 $290
3rd $110 $440 $75 $365

Figure 3: Cost analysis of openers to fit Seedmaster. One-Piece (Part number 4297) and Replaceable Tip (Part numbers 4220-1 and 4270) based on approximate MSRP

 

Which is Right For You?

Deciding which opener style is best for you comes down to a few factors.

 

The cost of the openers is the first decision to tackle. The replaceable tip style openers are more upfront but have cost savings in the long run. This can also be related to the decision on the machine itself. If the producer intends to sell the machine within a couple years, one-piece openers would be the better choice. But if the producer intends to keep the drill for many years, then replaceable tip openers will save cost in the long run. 

The labour in changing openers also needs to be considered. Replacing one-piece openers can be a large task, especially with a smaller work crew or larger openers. Smaller replaceable tips are much easier to handle. 

Another consideration is the type of soil within a producer’s farm. A higher clay content soil will not wear openers as fast as a more sandy soil. In higher wear areas, it is recommended to go with a replaceable tip opener solely based on the frequency they will need to be changed. 

The last factor to be considered is the flexibility of replaceable tip openers. If your farm wants to make adjustments and changes to their seeding practice, it tends to be much easier with a replaceable tip. Many multi-piece openers will have an array of tips for different fertilizer to seed separations, seed placement, or higher-wear options. With one-piece openers, they tend to only have a one-size-fits-all option. 

 

These are the main questions to be considered when deciding between replaceable tip or one-piece opener for your farm. If you have questions, the team at Dutch is always available to help guide you through the decision making process.

 

 

About the Author


Connor Bohachewski
Territory Manager, Northern Saskatchewan & Northern Manitoba

With six years at Dutch Industries, Connor’s experience on his family’s farm in Porcupine Plain, SK and his background in agronomy have come in handy during day-to-day encounters with dealers and producers.