Subsoilers, as the name suggests work the soil under the surface, they are designed to open up the soil structure and improve drainage.  The ideal subsoiler has minimum draft (less pulling power required) but maximum heave to lift the soil as much as possible wihout unwanted clods coming to the surface.  Most of the more moden subsoilers are designed in a V formation to improve soil flow through the machine, this enables the legs to be closer together and improve lift across the width of the machine. 

Due to the working depth of the legs of a subsoiler, and therefore the strain, they have a safety mechanism to prevent damage to the leg.  This can come in two types:

  • Shearbolt – a bolt with a specific breaking point is in the top of the leg, when the leg snaggs on some hidden rock or opject in the ground the bolt will break to save dammage to the leg and frame.
  • Auto Reset – in particually stoney ground it may be better to use and auto reset machine. These are normally protected by a hydraulic cylinder instead of a shearbolt, the cylinder is set to specific pressure and like the shearbolt this trips when ecountering something which applies more strain on the leg.  The benefit of auto reset is that there is not part to replace after the leg has tripped.

Some subsoilers are built for specific tasks i.e. grassland subsoilers which have a leading disc in front of each leg to save the leg ripping up the grass roots.  Another common sight is a subsoiler with a micro seeder mounted on the top, these are often used for planting oil seed rape where the seed is dropped behind the leg giving the plant a depp fissure for the root to grow down.  It is also common to have a subsoiler ‘tine bar’ which can be mounted in front of another cultivator of power harrow to enable two passes in one. 

Included in the subsoiler category are moledrainers, these imensley popular machines are specificly designed to create a subsurface drainage channel to improve soil drainage and connecting land drains in the field.  Mole ploughing genrally has to be carried out after harvest and before drilling, so in about a two month window.  The most important part of mole ploughing is ensuring that it is not too wet or too dry.  The soil needs to hold the shape that the mole has created, if it’s too wet it could fold in behind the mole and if it’s too dry it will crumble.  Clay soils like those here at Gaydon Farm tend to be the one that need the most help with drainage so benefit most from mole ploughing.

Ellis Machinery have a range of subsoilers in stock from 2 leg to mightly 8 leg machines, from manufacturers such as:

  • Cousins
  • McConnel
  • Simba / Great Plains
  • Spaldings

As one of the nation’s leading suppliers to the agricultural industry, with more than 25 years’ experience, we have the knowledge to help you get the best deal. Our 6-Acre site has hundreds of machines in stock. We’re conveniently located in central England.

Our customer-centric approach is at the core of everything we do, ensuring all the farmers that choose us as their equipment partner save time and money, while making the best decisions for their needs. Contact us today by calling 01926 640 637, sending an email to, or by using the form on our website. Discover the ways we can help - you won’t regret it!