Visitors were treated to a vast array of kit to make ground and machine maintenance easier, with clever jacks and powerful hedge cutters amongst the highlights. Jane Carley, Geoff Ashcroft and Alex Heath report from the packed NEC halls. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli and John Eveson.
McConnel’s Power Arm 55 series farm-spec hedge cutter range has been expanded to include a 5.5m reach version.
Power has increased across the range to 60hp, and a head up to 1.5m in width can be added. The increase in power comes as a result of the installation of an integrated oil cooler, allowing for a larger hydraulic motor.
LED lighting comes as standard in the asking price, starting at £21,000.
Vertical lift columns are a popular option for lifting commercial vehicles by the wheels, and with the addition of lifter plates, these Finkbeiner 7.5 tonne capacity lifts can be easily adapted to suit tractors and harvesters.
Complete with integral battery packs, up to 10 lift columns can be linked together using radio control, affording safe, simultaneous lifting and lowering of heavy equipment.
Finkbeiner 7.5 tonne lift columns are sold in pairs, at a price of £10,000.
SPA Power machinery import the German built Westermann weed brushes, the most popular of which is the WR870 according to the company.
Using a 4.3hp Honda GXV 160 engine, a choice wire, plastic or mixed brush heads are available. The company says they provide a chemical free way of removing moss and weeds, with out the need for pressure washing and the risks that brings.
It is priced at £1,550 plus VAT.
The task of safely handling larger wheels and tyres has taken another step forward, with the introduction of Danish firm AC Hydraulic’s wheel mover.
Designed for wheels up to 2.4m in diameter, 1.2m in width and up to 1.5 tonnes in weight, the AC hydraulic wheel mover uses a chain and strap system to secure the wheel in the mover – avoiding the need for an over-the-top arm that could interfere with tractor and harvester mudguards.
Castor wheels simplify manoeuvring, and a wheel rotation function allows axle studs to be aligned with the wheel, without the need for manual intervention.
Available from Alton-based Liftmaster, the AC Hydraulic wheel mover is priced from £1,660.
Significantly expanding its product offering, McConnel launched a range of flail toppers and forestry mulchers, built by Slovenian company INO. On show was the firm’s three metre wide Dominator 310 flail topper, capable of front or rear mounting and requiring a 130hp tractor. It will chop material to 60mm and can be fitted with either 108 Y-blades or 36 hammers. Also, there was the Forest 225, a mulcher capable of tackling trees and scrub up to 250mm in diameter.
Concerned about losses from combines across the world, Canadian company Bushel Plus was touting its loss monitoring system.
Designed to be fitted anywhere on the combine where losses are thought to be happening, for instance on the header, or over the sieves, it is a magnetic, sealed unit. A remote controlled electromagnet drops a tray onto the floor, for easy assessment of losses. The kit also includes a variable speed cleaner, enabling weed seeds to also be counted. When weighed, an app then calculates kilograms of losses per hectare, and will put it into a monetary value. The company says while it can help calibrate loss monitors on board, it can also be used to increase productivity by increasing speed. The kit costs £1,800.
Alliance introduced the Agri Star II radial tractor tyre, which uses ‘stratified layer technology’ (SLT) with each lug composed of two layers to maintain traction during the tyre’s wearing life.
The top layer has a single axle profile and the bottom layer a multi-angle profile. Once the top layer is worn out at about 40 per cent of wear, the bottom layer comes into action, changing the geometry of the lug and restoring traction.
The SLT lug combination is also said to improve road wear and braking capability. Available in a range of 70-series sizes and some 85s now, more models are to be added this spring.
A free-to-download app from Continental allows operators to check correct tyre pressures in real time by inputting the tyre size and axle load, saving fuel and tyre wear and helping to protect soils.
The app can also be used to calculate the correct lead between front and rear tyres and access technical information online. A contact button can be selected if further information is needed, putting the operator in touch with a tyre specialist.
Traxxis, the aftermarket rubber track business within Spalding-based Sly Agri, has developed a bolt-in mid-roller conversion kit for Case IH Quadtrac owners.
As a replacement for the cast wheel, Traxxis has developed a bolt-on hub with seals and bearings, allowing easy replacement of failed parts. The replacement steel mid-roller also gains a polyurethane coating in place of rubber, which Traxxis says is kinder to rubber tracks and offers up to three times the working life span over the original item.
Prices for the kit are still to be announced.