Offering a assessment on closing wheels, Exapta Solution’s Matt Hagny and other careful observers (including a couple of no-till researchers) have compiled a performance-rating chart for the various wheel designs, which includes sidewall shatter capability, avoidance of over-packing the soil, mud/stalk cleaning characteristics and ability to avoid going too deep while still doing enough to break the sidewall.

As a general rule, Hagny says that the thicker a notched, spoked, or spiked is, the worse it performs (tends to gather mud and overpack). Likewise, smoother or wider wheels don’t engage the soil as much and bounce more. Heavier wheels tend to overpack more.

  • Smooth OEM Wheels. Good on mud/stalk cleaning and depth limitation; poor on sidewall shatter and packing.
  • Curved-Spoke Wheels. Fair with sidewall shatter and depth limitation; poor on packing and mud/stalk cleaning.
  • Spiked Wheels. Good on sidewall shatter, packing and mud/stalk cleaning; poor with depth limitation.
  • Notched-Spoke Wheels. Good with sidewall shatter and depth limitation; fair on packing and mud/stalk cleaning.