Reflecting tough economic times in agriculture, French spreader and trailer manufacturer Rolland has launched farmer-friendly ranges that are gentle on the pocket. Emily Padfield reports.
Choice can be good and bad in equal measure. When choosing a new piece of kit for example, the shear number of options available can be mind-boggling.
In a bid to make the process simpler, and cheaper to boot, French manufacturer Rolland has come up with a simple solution for its trailers.
Each country will now have a standard spec of each range in the form of an off-the-shelf R-Series machine. As well as making lead times shorter, the manufacturer also says prices for the most commonly asked for trailers will be cheaper.
Coinciding with the company’s 70th anniversary, Rolland also unveiled several new products in prototype form, all of which are due to be available by the end of 2016.
In addition, it cut the ribbon on an 8,000sq.m expansion to the factory, located in Treflevenez, Brittany, where it produces 20 different product ranges and 2,000 machines a year.
The TurboClassic range of trailers has been sent back to the drawing board - the result being the RollFarm, a range of five new models with capacities from 10-24 tonnes.
RollFarm has been designed with the factory’s newly installed welding robots in mind, making the product cheaper overall to construct, explains Rolland UK’s Alex Clothier.
He says; “All in all, it’s about €1,000 cheaper to make than the TurboClassic, which has been achieved by simplifying the overall design of the trailer. Instead of a double chassis, the frame will now be made from box section and super-strong HLE steel. This stronger sheet steel only requires a single brace on either side with exception of the biggest models, which need two.
“By using the robots we’ve been able to reduce manufacturing costs both in terms of time and labour as well as materials, savings we can now pass on to customers.”
RollFarm will be about 4 per cent cheaper than the TurboClassic it replaces and 15 per cent less than the high-end RollSpeed.
The first RollFarm trailers to be made available will be the fixed-spec R-Series machines. Mr Clothier adds; “The market is demanding cheaper trailers, and so that is what will be offered in the R-Series fixed-spec models.
“In France, for example, this will be in the form of the most simple trailers with not many extras. However, for the UK market, which demands higher spec as standard, the fixed-spec 22cu.m R–Series will be supplied on a commercial axles with 420mm by 180mm drum brakes, and features including LED lighting, sprung drawbar, ABS air-over-oil braking, leaf spring suspension and hydraulic tailgate, all on 560/60/R22.5 BKT flotation tyres.
Replacing the smaller RollTwin Compact spreader range will be the RollForce Compact rear discharge spreader.
These low-slung machines are aimed at customers who have traditionally opted for rotor spreaders, and come in sizes from 7cu.m to 11cu.m (5t – 11t) with three body lengths and two side height options. Because of their low overall height and therefore centre of gravity, they are good for hilly conditions and smaller buildings, says the manufcaturer.
The new Compact range has larger-diameter balanced beater frames as well as continuous augers and knives fixed against rotation. Semi-automatic bed tensioning and a good view of the moving floor is also a given, says Mr Clothier, as is the ability to spread from 6m to 12m wide. Prices start at £11,000 for the 5t model.
Rolland’s range of livestock trailers has also had a revamp. Now called the RollVan instead of the V Series, rear doors now get an auto-locking system so they can be slammed shut after loading, while wheel arches have been rounded to prevent cattle being injured during transport.
The quiet non-slip resin floor is also standard as is axle suspension and LED lighting, which has been raised so as to be out of the way of muck and risk of damage.
There are six models available ranging from 4.7m to 8.5m long, or from eight cattle to 18 cattle, depending on the breed and age. Either sliding gates or removable gates are available to make loading easier. The hydraulic lifting axle RollVan starts at £8,000, while the simpler four-model fixed-axle box range with ramps starts at £7,000.
Not everyone wants a feeder wagon, which is why Rolland has chosen to expand its range of feed-out boxes, offering farmers who liked the Kidd Feeder a plausible alternative.
Rolland has been making feed-out boxes for over 30 years. Now, the company offers capacities of 10, 12, 14, 18 and 22cu.m, the two larger tandem-axle models new additions to the range.
Like its range of muck spreaders, there is a hydraulic chain and slat bed, only this time it moves feed material to horizontal beaters at the front of the trailer which agitate it before transferring it to a hydraulic conveyor belt. This can then distribute it either to the left or right-hand side of the machine.
Ahead of likely changes to legislation governing tractors and trailers on the road, Rolland is confident that it will be able to meet these changes with existing technology resulting in only slight tweaks to products.
Mr Clothier says; “If the law changes, then we already offer hydraulic suspension in the form of our RollFast hydro-pneumatic system and have done so for the past eight years on our RollSpeed range.”
RollFast is available in two forms, a passive closed circuit version with gas accumulators, or an active automatic self-levelling system with rams from the drawbar to the front and rear, he explains. The passive system adds £3,200 to the price of a new trailer, while the active version ramps it up by £4,985.
Mr Clothier adds; “We have already sold a number of trailers fitted with these systems allowing our customers to run heavier loads at higher speeds at the same time keeping within the law.”
Another option in the manufacturer’s to ensure you do not get caught out by the long arm of the law could be its RollAlu, Rolland’s range of aluminium-bodied trailers, which already have ABS as an option as well as electronic EBS. The RollAlu is produced in partnership with fellow French manufacturer Benalu, which specialises in aluminium bulk trailers and already offers road-going trailers with these sophisticated braking setups.
A 32cu.m RollAlu tri-axle may be 3t lighter than its steel counterpart, but it comes in at a hefty £14,000 more at £48,000.