The annual SED event near
Latest Bobcat telescopic handler is the compact T2250, which slots in between the firm’s biggest skid-steers and its chunkier telehandlers. Suitable for farms with low buildings (machine height is 1970mm), it has a decent-sized cab, hydrostatic drive, joystick control and creep function from 1kph upwards. Engine is a 4cyl Kubota, max reach is 5.2m and lift capacity is 2.2t. It will be available in October.
Ausa M50D is an impressive-looking £8500 4wd utility vehicle from
Under the bonnet is a Lombardini 1082cc 26.5hp three-cylinder diesel unit driving through a CVT transmission and top speed is a zippy 38mph.
Vented discs all round give good stopping power and there’s lockable storage for tools, shotgun cartridges etc at the front, too.
SEARS SEAT VIBRATION MEASURING SYSTEM
The Physical Agents Directive may sound like a branch of the CIA, but it’s actually a new set of EU regs designed to curb (among other things) the amount of vibration that vehicle operators’ bodies are subjected to.
From July this year employers in the construction industry will have to minimise these levels of vibration and the same rules will apply to farming within a year or two. The directive is supposed to come fully into force in 2011.
How do you measure vibration, though? Sears (which makes John Deere seats) has one answer in the form of a new tri-axle accelerometer system that fits inside the seat cushion and tells you exactly how much bumping, thumping and jerking the driver’s body is being subjected to.
Three rows of LEDs show how much vibration is reaching the driver in three planes – up and down, side to side and back to front.
At the moment employers can only find out how much vibration their staff are being subjected to by getting in an expensive consultant. With this vibration-measuring seat, though, all the information is stored and analysed. At £1500 for the system, it’s not something many farmers are going to rush out and buy.
But if the EU whole body vibration rules are implemented as enthusiastically as some of its other legislation, the day when all new tractors and construction kit have a system like this fitted might not be as far away as we think.
Makers are also working hard to design active damping seats which cancel out these vibrations. Sears has produced one for Deere for the last three years and from next year this will also be available for other tractor makes.
It uses the same tri-axle accelerometer to measure the forces but adds a quick-acting hydraulic actuator to shift the seat in a way that cancels out the force.
GRAMMER DOSIMETER AND ACTIVE DAMPING SEAT
German seating company Grammer has also been working hard to both measure and cancel out vibrations on equipment that works off-road. Its Vibration Dosimeter also uses the tri-axle system and can be attached to the driver’s seat to record all the vibrations over an eight-hour period and warn the driver (and employer) if he’s exceeding the EU limit.
Meanwhile its Maximo Evolution seat has been fitted to Fendt tractors since March but can be fitted to any make of tractor. The principle is the same – to cancel out forces on the driver as soon as they start – but it uses an electric/electronic system to do the work. Cost is about twice that of a standard air suspension seat.
MAJOR BUNDED TRANSPORTABLE FUEL BOWSER
Many, like this £2600 unit from Major Equipment, can be dropped in to the back of a pick-up. A self-contained pump and battery means there’s no need for mains power.
Chieftain also had a fork-liftable bunded fuel tank at SED, with a useful solar panel to keep the battery charged.
KOSRAN VEHICLE IMMOBILISER
Theft of machinery and vehicles has always been a big problem in the construction industry and more than 95% of stolen items are apparently never recovered. Security firm Kosran reckons it has the answer in the form of its electrically coded valve, which shuts off the fuel and locks the hydraulics when not in use.
Drivers key in a pin number to use the machine and Kosran says that none of the thousands of machines it has fitted immobilisers to has ever been stolen. With theft rates in agriculture rising steadily, the firm reckons its security kit would work just as well on tractors and telehandlers.
Cost of a system ranges from £620 to £774, but you should get a better deal from your insurance company if you have one fitted.
BUNKABIN SEASONAL WORKER ACCOMMODATION
Housing seasonal workers, whether it’s in cottages, caravans or tents, is often a pain for farmers. But this rental Bunkabin system is becoming increasingly popular and doesn’t require planning permission (though you should run it past your local council).
It’s a modular system, with a 2.7m x 2.7m (9ft x 9ft) standard unit including two single beds, shower, sink and heating costing £48 a week + delivery. There’s also a bigger 4.3m (14ft) unit (£79/week) plus a kitchen/diner unit that seats eight (£48/week).
Other advantages are having the workforce close to where you want them, no travel and better site security.
If you’re a fencing contractor and you win the pools, what would you buy? Maybe this £198,000 Swedish Huddig 1260D, which can hold a telegraph pole with the grab on one arm while simultaneously back filling the hole it’s sitting in with the other.
So one machine can do the job that used to take three. There’s also a working platform that reaches to 20.1m.
IFOR WILLIAMS PLANT TRAILER
Neat GH94 plant trailer from Ifor Williams could be useful piece of kit for farmers or contractors who have diversified into the construction industry.
It has a 2.7m x 1.2m (9ft x 4ft) platform and a 16deg ramp and a payload of 2210kg. Prices from £1630.