Despite the rain, there were lots of farmers and contractors at this year’s Midlands Machinery Show, held at Newark. Farmers Weekly picked out some of the quirkier items at the event
Agriweld soil loosener
Driffield company Agriweld is best known for its potato box rotators, feeder buckets, bag lifters and subsoilers. The latest addition to its line-up is a loosener that fits between the tractor and the drill/power harrow and gives farmers a chance to do some deep tillage work in the same pass.
A range of points is available, including tungsten carbide tips, and auto-reset is standard. Prices are £6,595 for the 3m unit and £8,795 for the 4m version.
The company also showed a cutter for getting grain or fertiliser out of big bags and into the spinner or drill hopper. There are two models – a single-bag cutter that handles one 600kg bag, and a twin unit that can handle two 600kg sacks or one 1t bag.
Cutters swing into position hydraulically and the bag is then lowered on to sharp knives to allow the grain or fertiliser to flow into the hopper. When the bags are empty, the cutters swing back out of the way again. There is also a sieve to avoid bits of plastic going into the hopper.
Brackets to suit different makes of telehandler are available and there is no need to carry knives. Cost is £2,350 for the single-cutter model and £3,350 for the twin model
Keeping intruders and their vehicles away from your farm can be a difficult task, especially when cheap cordless and petrol-powered grinders can cut through any chain or padlock. But Cambridgeshire manufacturer Tailormade reckons its road blockers are all but impregnable.
Two heavy-duty gates plus a massive 20mm-thick steel flap that rises up from a trench via two toplinks makes it impossible to get through, says the company’s Alan Rogerson.
It’s powered by a combination of a 12v 200Ah battery and solar power, so there’s no need for mains power, and it can open and close 100 times a day for five days even if there is no wind or sun.
It can also be fitted with a SIM card to allow you to open and close it remotely. Cost of a 3m unit plus gates is £9,400 and most farmers would do their own groundworks to keep costs down.
Ssangyong EX pickup truck
Korean company Ssangyong was showing its amazingly well-priced pickup truck at the show. For a modest £15,995 you get a 2.2-litre, 178hp diesel engine, a 1,050kg payload and 3,000kg towing capacity.
Inside there are leather heated seats and a 7in touchscreen with rear camera, plus snazzy 18in black alloy wheels.
The manufacturer says fuel consumption is 40mpg, though we suspect you would need to have a gentle right foot to achieve that. The auto gearbox version is a bit more expensive, but a five-year warranty is standard.
Zonzini off-road electric tail-lift truck
This might not be something that the average farmer would ever need, but it could be interesting for veg producers and packhouse operators.
It’s claimed to be the first two-wheel-drive electric truck designed to deal with Europallets and potato boxes and can cope with a degree of off-road use. It can also go up a 20% slope.
Power comes from 48v silicon gel batteries on either side of the unit, and electric motors in the front wheels provide the traction. Overall power is 2kW for the 80A batteries. The operator, meanwhile, controls the truck via a 3m curly cord.
It can carry 1.2t and weighs 590kg. Cost is £15,000.
Dofygate for dogs
Norfolk stock farmer Jim Alston designed his lightweight Dofygate gate system several years ago. It allows stock farmers to go from yard to yard without the rigmarole of opening and closing lots of gates.
His latest seven-bar £2,000 version, called the Dofy Dog gate, allows dogs to be kept within a yard, garden or parking area while allowing easy access for vehicles or pedestrians.
Each unit carries its own energiser that provides a mild shock to a dog touching the gate, but no shock is produced when the gate is open.
The gates, two fobs and all the fittings are standard. Options for automatic closing include via telephone or keypad, and the maximum width is 4.2m.