There was a big focus on accurate application of all types of manure, with dribble bars and weighing systems prominent. Jane Carley, Geoff Ashcroft and Alex Heath round up the developments from the bustling Birmingham halls. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli and John Eveson.
Vervaet importer J Riley introduced the new five by five version of the Hydrotrike tool carrier, with all five wheels now powered to improve performance, with its self-steering mid-wheels on telescoping axles designed to spread the weight of the machine.
Front and rear wheels now have central tyre inflation to adjust pressure for road or field use, and its 15,000 litre tank can be fitted with the customer’s choice of applicator.
Power is supplied by a 530hp DAF engine. In the Claas cab, an updated screen controls applications, while the self-loading arm is activated via a joystick.
For those farms that need a high-spec muck spreader, but cannot justify the price tag of full size models, Bunning may have the answer. Its Farmstar 80 has a 10.2cu.m body and single horizontal rear beater. Much of the componentry is the same as its bigger models, including the chains and slats, gear box and discs, as well as the beater. The company says box and chicken muck as well as gypsum, lime and compost can be spread to 24m thanks to the 1,100mm discs. Various tyre options are available as are weigh cells.
Going all out, trailer manufacturer Richard Western had a fully loaded version of its FBS16 muck spreader on show.
This striking gun metal grey version with gold rims and accents was more than just a paint job. Fitted with Griffith Elder weigh cells, providing an automated spreading system, speed detection is taken from a wheel. Also fitted was the firm’s latest development in load transfer, a hydraulic drawbar that also affords suspension. Spreading to 24m is taken care of by a pair of 1,220mm discs and a steering axle can be fitted.
Ploeger’s first AT4103 self-propelled applicator with Bredal spreader body is at work in the UK for a lime and fertiliser contractor.
The three-wheel layout with front wheel drive is said to tread lightly in wet conditions, and the 12 or 14 tonne box can spread to 36m. Powered by a 400hp Scania engine, this model is fitted with Trimble guidance, although the purchaser can specify their choice of system, with application controlled via a single in-cab terminal.
The AT4103 can also be fitted with applicators for slurry and digestate or for liquid fertiliser. Price is about £297,000.
Best known for its high-spec muck and slurry equipment with price tag to match, Joskin showcased its Advantage series build programme which offers a number of more competitive tanker options.
While many purchasers like the single axle Modulo 1100 which can be purchased with 7.5m Pendislide dribble bar for £32,900, the company suggests that the tandem axle Modulo 1200 offers more capacity and improved travel for £26,900, with an applicator to match adding another £10,000. Even contractors can make a saving, claims the firm, with the 16500D Volumetra featuring hydraulic axle suspension coming in at a keen £39,900.
SlurryKat has developed a retro-fit trailing shoe system that can be bolted to the back of its range of slurry tankers.
Available in 6m and 7.5m working widths, the galvanised dribble bar uses generous length springs to carry each trailing shoe, creating ground clearance to deal with trash.
Shoe outlets are at 25cm spacings, with hydraulic wings folding vertically for transport. Wing sections are linked to the rear centre section by chains, lifting the rear section clear of the ground during folding.
This 7.5m version on show costs £10,464.
Vredo Dodewaard’s self-propelled slurry spreading options have increased following the firm’s return to the drawing board with the VT4556 model.
By repackaging the tanker elements and relocating the fill point to the front of the machine, the 450hp twin-axle power unit can now be equipped with a 24m boom trailing shoe assembly that folds tighter, to sit within a 3m transport width. Vredo UK’s national sales manager Christopher Sage says; “This opens up more possibilities for those who want to operate on a 24m tramline system.”
Renowned for galvanised kit, Pichon is now offering a choice of painted finishes for its muck spreaders, with the paint applied on top of galvanisation for durability.
The M4150 vertical beater rear discharge spreader can be specified with a pair of vertically opening back doors, designed to offer the flexibility to apply light materials with a beater configuration usually reserved for FYM. The system can be fitted to spreaders from eight to 24cu.m, which also offer a choice of single or tandem axles.
Abbey Machinery is now offering an NIR sensor for its tanker range from manufacturer Dinamica Generale.
Slurry in the tank is analysed every two seconds, with DM, P and K and Nitrogen (including ammonium nitrate content) levels displayed on an in-cab terminal. Operators can vary application rates to apply the desired quantity of a particular nutrient and can record quantities applied per square metre.
The company also introduced a loading arm system for tankers above 2,500 gallons, capable of loading from 2.6m below ground or over a 1.3m high wall. Operated via a joystick in the tractor cab, the arm is said to fill a 4,500 gallon tanker in four minutes using a 200mm pipe.
Using experience from many years of contracting, Wox Agri Services has introduced the Walrus PTO-driven slurry pump unit which has a directly driven gearbox connection to a 4NHTB Cornell pump, suitable for tractors from 180 to 325hp.
The feeder arm gives an overall reach of 9m from the linkage of the tractor, extendible by up to a further 5m using a hydraulically-driven primer pump. Tractor hydraulics are used to lower and lift the main arm, and operate the built in jetter, primer pump and pressure washer. Capacities of 200-450cu.m/hr can be achieved, depending on the pumping situation.
Vogelsang introduced the Unispread vertically folding dribble bar in six, 7.5 and nine metre widths to offer a low level spreading option for smaller tankers.
The drip stop system folds the ends of the pipes up for transport to avoid spills and the unit can be fitted via a three- or four-point linkage or fixed to the tanker. There is a choice of macerators and a trailing shoe version is also available.
Also on display was the new Blackbird trailing shoe applicator which comes in 12 and 15m versions and features a distinctive boot designed to apply slurry more evenly along the slit. Black pipework is UV-resistant and a floating headstock and support wheels help the units follow ground contours.
PK Sales is now the UK importer for Agrispread’s new rear discharge muck spreader range, which is fitted with twin rear beaters as standard and will initially be available in six to 12 tonne capacities.
Mounted on single axles with large diameter tyres and with a fixed drawbar, muck is carried to the beaters via socketed slats and a pair of 16mm floor chains. The stepped rotors have boron steel beaters with Hardox flights for durability, and slurry doors and extension sides can be specified.
Later this year the range will be supplemented with wide body versions with 1,500mm spreader units and capacities of 14 to 18 tonnes.