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Drum Seeder - Standard or MaxiPro

The Hamilton Drum Seeder is the flagship of our range of seeding machines.  Fast, accurate, and versatile, this compact high-speed production machine is ideal for the grower who needs high output with minimum down-time.

How it works

The drum has galleries along its length which connect the pick-up holes (via a rotary valve) to a vacuum for seed pick-up, low pressure air for release, and a high pressure cleaning blast, in sequence, as the drum revolves.

The seed is fed via a hopper into the valley between the drum and rear roller, which rotate in opposite directions. This agitates the seeds and makes them flow along the valley to the pick-up position.

Vacuum is applied to the holes, which picks up the seeds and carries them under two air curtains to remove multiple pick-ups. The seeds are then carried round to the discharge position where the vacuum is replaced by low pressure air to discharge the seeds accurately into the tray. Immediately after discharge, the holes are cleaned by a high pressure air blast before returning to the pick-up position, when the cycle repeats.

The drum is driven by a hybrid stepper motor, linked electronically to a speed pick-up on the conveyor. As the tray passes under the seeder it breaks an infra-red beam, which starts the drum rotating in perfect timing with the conveyor belt.


Duplex drums can be manufactured to single, double or multi-sow in one pass of the tray. The standard 0.3mm hole size will sow a wide range of flower seeds from lobelia up to salvia. 0.5mm holes are required for heavier seed such as brassicas. Each drum can be drilled with two different hole sizes, or two different tray patterns. Even unusual hex-pattern trays can be accommodated.

Roller Dibbler

The Roller Dibbler is a simple but effective device for dibbling the cells of plug trays prior to seeding. Mounted on the conveyor, the plug trays are passed under a roller which has dibbler pegs protruding to produce neat, uniform depressions. Roller Dibblers are available for most popular plug trays.

Vermiculite Dispenser

This unit provides a quick, easy and reliable method of covering seeds sown by the seeder, with vermiculite. The amount dispensed is easily varied by two adjustments according to the vermiculite grade and depth required. The coverer is motor driven and synchronised with the Drum Seeder Conveyor.

Watering Bar

This is a simple, effective method of watering all types of tray. It applies the exact quantity of water you require, precisely where you want it – on the tray – with virtually no run-off. Automatic start/stop and water flow regulation is standard on all models. Water bars are custom made to suit the tray.

MaxiPro Model

Based on the technology of our standard Drum Seeder, the MaxiPro has a wider drum, to suit plug trays up to 480mm wide (standard is 380mm). It retains the versatility and flexibility of the standard machine, with an increase in durability essential for heavy-duty usage.  As with the standard machine, an oscillating seed tray is fitted, to increase seed capacity.

Another option with this machine is to have two seeder heads on one conveyor for companion plant sowing, or sowing chemically treated seeds alongside viable seeds.

The modular aluminium extrusion construction of the conveyor allows us to tailor a system to your exact requirements.

Other Accessories:

Vibration Kit for the oscillating tray - helps pickup of irregular shaped seeds.

Twin Vacuum Pump Kit - for exceptionally large, heavy seeds.

Mega Drum Kit

Our new Mega Seeder Kit for the Drum Seeder enables much larger seed to be sown than with the standard drum.  The kit comprises of a large hole drum, manifold, pipe work, vacuum cleaner, and a vacuum source.  Once installed, additional sleeves for the drum can be changed quickly, easily, and cheaply.  To revert to the standard drum and vacuum pump only takes a couple of minutes.  This kit is only recommended in conjunction with the oscillating seed tray.  The video shows garden peas being sown.