Manufacturers from far and wide were in abundance, showcasing their latest innovations to make the world of muck and slurry as well as crop transport more efficient. Jane Carley, Geoff Ashcroft and Alex Heath report from the packed NEC halls. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli and John Eveson.
Stewart Trailers has developed a central tyre inflation system for its trailer range. Air is stored in four tanks mounted on the trailer chassis, offering enough volume to swap from field to road pressures on a twin axle trailer in about 45 seconds.
Pressure changes are made from an in-cab control box, with a GPS speed signal taking care of auto-inflation should the operator forget to increase pressures for road work.
The system costs £5,000, and remains ‘live’ when in use, with the ability to counter-act a slow puncture, says the firm.
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.
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 can not 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.
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.
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.