Bouncing across a deeply tramlined field with a weighty trailed spreader in tow is never much fun.
Even with the best cab suspension in the world, the constant bucking and lurching takes soon takes it toll on both your pelvis and patience.
But Yorkshire engineering firm Ryetec reckons it has got the answer. By taking a standard MAN 4×4 truck, adding bigger ag-spec wheels and tyres, a larger fuel tank and Gustrower spreader, it has come up with a vehicle that can comfortably work on rough ground at speeds of up to 20kph.
- Based on MAN TGM 13.290 4×4 tractor unit
- Engine Six-cylinder MAN
- Power 290hp
- Weight 9.5t
- Spreader capacity 9t
- Speed Tractor status means it’s permitted to travel at 40kph on road, but it can get up to 80kph
Other benefits of the Ryetrack truck are said to include low ground pressure, long service intervals and frugal fuel use. It is also classed as a tractor, which means it can be driven by anyone over the age of 21, can be run on red diesel and doesn’t need a tachograph.
To create the machine, Ryetec first gets hold of a brand-new MAN 4×4 tractor unit. This is fitted with a 290hp MAN engine and has a 12-speed transmission with auto-shifting mode.
ABS brakes and self-levelling air suspension are also standard fitment. To help keep it moving in the sticky stuff it has a permanent four-wheel drive system as well as diff-locks on both axles.
The tractor unit is then hauled to Gustrower’s factory, where a 6cu m hydraulic-drive spreader body is grafted on the back. This is powered by a pump that’s hooked up to the truck’s constant-speed pto and can spread anything from granular fertilisers and lime to Fibrophos and beet salts.
Spreading width can also be adjusted from 12 to 36m.
Finally, the whole outfit goes to Ryetec’s Malton factory in North Yorkshire for more modifications. First the bodywork and mudguards are adapted to make space for a set of Alliance 600/ 55 R26.5 front and 750/55 R26.5 rear flotation tyres. Ryetec welds the rims and centres together in house.
The next job is to fit an air-operated rear hitch so it can tow a telehandler, and a larger 300-litre fuel tank is added.
Ryetec builds its Ryetracks to order and the price for the whole outfit including the spreader is £135,000.