Showcasing the latest gear for all things construction and ground works, we headed for the biennial PlantWorx show, where a vast array of farm friendly kit was on display. Geoff Ashscroft and Alex Heath report from the Peterborough site.
A range of trencher options were on show, but the Australian made Digga machine caught the eye. Capable of being mounted on a telehandler, skid steer or up to 1.5 tonne excavators, the smallest model in the range can dig down to a maximum 900mm. Four depths can be selected via a bolt.
Maximum width of the trench is 200mm. A range of chains and teeth are available - the most popular being a combination of tungsten ripper teeth and tungsten coated earth cups.
A large diameter auger moves the soil away, while the skid plate also helps to direct overburden back into the trench. Oil requirement is 60 litres/minute and 80 metres/hour is considered the average work rate. The 300kg machine is priced from £3,500.
British firm Lloyd were showing its screening buckets, including the RS4-9 designed to fit four to nine tonne excavators, or skidsteers. The company says a range of materials can be handled with its buckets, not just top soil, but also compost and fertiliser.
The machine uses similar polyurethane stars, similar to many of the most popular root crop de-stoners, which the company says have proven longevity.
As standard it will let material smaller than 20mm pass through its stars, but adding sets of collars can reduce this to 8mm. It requires 55l/min of oil, with work rates of 25t/hr quoted.
Prompted to update its range due to emissions regulations, Manitou has launched a revised version of its compact MT420H telehandler. Now Stage 5 compliant, the new machine uses a 57hp Kubota engine, now using common rail technology and a diesel particulate filter. All the major service points, bar the turbo can be accessed from the engine bay opening.
Lift capacity sits at two tonnes while it can reach to 4.3 metres. The boom head has been changed in favour of a cast unit, rather than welded plate and the pallet tine carriage is dedicated to this particular model, with specifically designed angle for a decent line of sight to the tines.
While shown in its construction guise, an ag-spec machine is expected later this year with more frills such as chunky tyres and reversing fan, making it suitable for working in poultry sheds.
For those looking to process firewood straight into its shipping container, be it crates or trailers, importer Bio Equipment may have the answer in the form of the Halveson HWP140, which can cut and split 6cu.m of timber per hour.
Able to be mounted on a telehandler, skidsteer or excavator, it removes the need for any manual handling. Logs up to 400mm in diameter can be cut with its hydraulically powered chainsaw and split with its 25 tonne ram.
A flow rate of 55l/min is needed and is diverted through a sequence block, electrically controlled from the cab. The American built machine is priced at £12,000.
Inline with a major theme of the show, removing the operator from strenuous, manual tasks, the GoeRipper is nifty little contraption.
Designed in New Zealand, the company takes a petrol powered disc saw from a manufacturer of your choice, namely Stihl, Husqavana or Makita, removes the cutting disc, before adding its own driveline, chain bar and chain. It can then be mounted on a specially designed trolley, negating any back bending antics.
Six engine sizes are available, ranging from 61cc to 94cc. Maximum depth options include 400, 500 and 675mm. Trench widths are 38mm, suitable for burying water pipes, and 50mm.
Hardened steel teeth and high tensile machine chain are said to be able to cut through the ground at a metre per minute. The smallest most basic model costs about £1,800 while the biggest with trolley comes in at £2,900.
Removing the need to strap objects before lifting, the PS series of suction lifting solutions from Vacuworx is imported from the US by TA Drilling. The compact system uses a 12 volt rechargeable battery powered suction pump which is rated to lift up to 800kg.
Providing the surface is impermeable and the suction pad can fit on the object, a wide range of materials can be lifted including plate steel and concrete panels. Run time per charge is said to be eight hours the unit on show costs from £2,950.
Seen publicly for the first time was an ingenious invention from company owner and engineer James Russell. Born from the need to transport and unload pallets on a building site without a fork lift, it can fit on excavators up to five tonnes, after which the need is negated by attaching pallet tines to the headstock.
The pins from the top and bottom of the main lift ram are removed and replaced with longer ones featuring rollers. The excavator then drives into the mast and connects to the attachment mechanically. The third service is used to operate the mast, with attachment taking 30 seconds.
Two models are available, the EFL L&C which has a 1.4 tonne capacity and lifts 400mm while the EFL L&L can lift one tonne to 1.6m, costing £3,000 and £3,850 respectively.
Importer Abiljo was displaying the MultaVex Rotor Mini, a Finish-built screening bucket for three tonne excavators, small pivot steer and skid steers. Its point of difference is the fact it is a typical material bucket, with the screening element folding down once the 200l bucket is filled. A single rotor of polyurethane stars do the sorting, removing material over 20mm.
The company says this design is better for the operator as soil is thrown away from the machine, rather than dropped directly in front of the machine. Work rates for the £4,895 attachment are up to 6cu.m per hour, says the company.
Designed specifically for machinery, the show marked the UK launch for a new system of fire suppression system. A number of features separate this system from others currently on the market, says the manufacturer, and it is nearly approved by the NFU, meaning premiums for machines fitted with it should go down.
A pressurised plastic pipe is laid over vulnerable areas, which is pressurised with gas. This pipe melts at 120 degrees celcius, causing the gas to escape, prompting the cylinder which is available in various sizes to expel a specially formulated foaming agent at 35 bar through strategically placed nozzles. Electronic and manual overrides are available if the operator spots smoke before the system is triggered.
Crucially, the cylinder can discharge at any angle and the use of pressurised gas is quicker at detecting fire. Prices are dependent on the size of the system installed, which typically uses two seven litre tanks for combines, but as a rule of thumb should come in under £5,000 for a combine.
Following on from the success of its GH1054 plant trailer, Ifor Williams has expanded the range with three new models, adding extra capacity. All new models are 1,800mm wide with three internal length options of 3,045mm, 3,660mm and 4285mm. The later has three axles.
Welded steel construction is said to keep the trailer rigid and reduce ‘slop’ in joints over time. Sides are constructed of 8mm steel, while the floor uses 24mm resin coated plywood. Led lights are used for the markers with bulbs used at the rear of the trailer. Gross weight for all three is 3,500kg while the unladen weight of the GH126 on show is 765kg.
If you need to decontaminate machines between farms or knock the worst of mud off before venturing onto the road, the hydraulic powered pressure washer from Hydrokit could be the ideal solution.
This compact unit would easily fit in a front weight box, and only uses 9l/min of water, meaning two 25 litre drums should be enough to give the machine a decent wash down.
The pump operates at 170bar, and needs 25 to 60l/min of oil to run. The complete package comes with a pair of two metre hydraulic hoses and eight metres of delivery pipe and a lance. It will draw water from one metre and costs around £1,300.
For accessing tight spots, the Dutch built skidsteer Sherpa loaders, now distributed by Compact Loader, could fit the bill. These stand on machines come in two sizes and three power options; petrol, diesel or electric.
The large frame models can be fitted with a 21hp petrol Honda engine or 19hp diesel Kubota. The 76cm Eco model uses an interchangeable battery system which the company says lasts for six hours working flat out.
The larger models are 1,125mm wide with chunky tyres, and can lift 250kg. They will reach to two metres and have an auxiliary pump distributing 34l/min and can be selected with a wide range of attachments. Prices start at £15,250 for the petrol and £16,400 for the diesel.
Kubota used Plantworx to gauge interest and customer reaction to a gas-fuelled prototype mini excavator.
Based on the KX019-4, the 1.9 tonne machine uses a three-cylinder spark ignition engine in place of the more traditional diesel engine. Its fuel source is LPG, proven in the forklift industry, the KX019 uses a 12kg propane gas bottle stowed above the engine in a lockable cradle. The cradle can be tilted down to improve manual handling when changing gas bottles.
By adding a three-way catalytic converter, the firm says the ultra-clean engine emissions can then enable indoor use.
While sideshift capability is not unusual on a telehandler, most firms opt for adjustment on the fork carriage. However, Bobcat has engineered a system that separates the front axle from the chassis using a parallel linkage.
Called Boom Positioning System and shown on the 18m reach T40.180.SLP, the mechanism is operated from the main joystick controller and offers up to 1.35m of sideshift at the headstock.
This adds tolerance to less accurate load placement with a fully raised boom, but importantly is achieved without reducing lift capacity that can occur when a side-shift carriage is added to the telehandler. Such functionality is available as an option on Bobcat’s handlers with lift heights over 12m.
Genie telehandler distributor TDL Equipment has increased its range of compact handlers with the GTH-2506. The Barnsley-based distributor says the compact machine compliments the larger GTH-3007 and provides a maximum 2.5 tonne lift capacity, and a two-tonne payload to its full height of 5.79m.
Its compact dimensions see an overall height of 1.92m accompanied by an overall width of 1.81m and a length of 3.84m to the headstock. Front-, crab- and all-wheel steering modes are included, with power coming from a Deutz TD 2.9-litre engine delivering 74.2hp and powering all four wheels through a hydrostatic transmission offering a 26kph maximum forward speed.
British maker JCB took the wraps off its all-electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E. With zero exhaust emissions and near silent operation, the electrically-powered digger uses either three or four lithium-ion battery packs to provide between 15-20kWh of electrical energy storage – enough for three to five hours of run-time, says the maker.
Using a 48-volt electrical system, a high-efficiency electric motor delivers instant torque to power the Bosch Rexroth load-sensing hydraulic system, which is claimed to provide a level of performance comparable to the diesel-powered 19C-1 mini excavator on which it is based.
Battery charging can be achieved using an on-board 10V input for 12-hour recharging; a 230-volt charger is available, reducing the charge time to eight hours; a fast charge option can reduce this to less than two hours.
London-based Masterscreed has developed a concrete screeding attachment for use with telehandlers. Called the MS-40, the 4.2m-wide, 600kg attachment uses an adjustable blade, levelling auger and roller, followed by a vibrating beam.
Powered by the telehandler’s auxiliary hydraulic circuit, screed management is provided by the firm’s LevMaster operating system, via a 7in touchscreen terminal to manage its two Trimble laser receivers. Retracting the boom to pull the screed back to the handler allows the laser system to manage screed elevation and slope control, to deliver a tamped and level finish on freshly poured concrete surfaces.
The attachment and laser package is priced from £50,000.
Poole, Dorset-based Magni Telescopic Handlers UK brought its flagship RTH 6.46SH handler to Plantworx. One of four sold into the UK, it is a machine claimed by its Italian maker to have the highest reach of any telehandler in the World.
Its six-stage boom can climb to a height of 46m, with 2.6 tonnes, and should appeal to the most adventurous of straw-stacking contractors, as long as the £350,00 price tag can be handled.
As a rotary telehandler, the upper structure can be slewed, extending its versatility. Magni’s rotary range includes models offering up to 13 tonnes lift capacity with a 26m working height. Heavy lift rigid chassis models extend from 10-50 tonnes lift capacities, and an in-cab tablet-based control system offers live management of the lift chart and working envelope.
Telehandler attachments continue to evolve, and Ingleton, North Yorkshire-based Robustrack offers a range of concrete mixing buckets from 100-2,000 litres capacity.
Using a hydraulic mixing auger sat beneath a grid that forms the lid of the bucket, the attachment is loaded conventionally by driving into a stockpile of aggregates. The grid acts as a sieve during loading, and also features serrated profiles that enable 20kg bags of cement to be opened by simply throwing the bags on top. Water is added, and the resulting mix can be discharged through the bottom of the bucket via a hydraulically opened slide valve.
A discharge pipe can be fitted to the slide valve, offering precision placement as the auger is operated. Robustrack’s mixing buckets are priced from £2,800.
Grantham-based compact crusher maker Red Rhino Crushers has extended its range with a three-way screen, to offer segregation of recycled soil and aggregates.
The 2.8 tonne, rubber-tracked machine uses an oscillating, twin upper deck with different sized screens. Material unable to pass through the first deck is discharged by a front-facing stock-piling conveyor; material falling onto the second screen, but unable to pass through, is then removed by a side conveyor, while the smallest, finest material is discharged to the rear of the screen using a third conveyor.
Powered by a 25hp, three-cylinder Kubota diesel engine, the Red Rhino three-way screen is priced from £35,000. Conveyors fold for transport.