Nurse tanks may not be the most elegant items in the machinery shed, but they are becoming an increasingly important piece of equipment for farmers with lots of slurry or digestate to cope with.
Lancashire firm Storth is the latest maker with mobile nurse tanks designed for umbilical slurry and digestate spreading in fields which are far from the farm or biogas plant.
The use of mobile nurse tanks to help umbilical spreading operations has increased in popularity in recent years.
The tanks are typically sited in, or near to, the fields to be spread and slurry and digestate is transported by road in lorries and tankers and discharged into them.
The tanks act as a buffer for the umbilical system, and can be kept topped up by the road tankers, allowing uninterrupted spreading to be carried out.
Storth’s nurse tanks are unusual in having hydraulic-lifting stub axles on either side of the tank.
These allow the inside compartment to have a single floor level from front to back.
They also avoid the need for internal pipework – usually required with standard axles – to link the front and back areas.
This can become a bottleneck, especially with the thick sticky nature of digestate.
The nurse tanks have a roof to prevent unwanted or accidental access which could lead to personal injury.
They are available as standard items in two capacities, 65cu m and 100cu m, however custom-made tanks designed to meet specific criteria like colour, siting of ports and a compressor are also available.
Storth’s 65cm mobile nurse tank costs £30,000 and its 100cu m capacity tank costs £36,750.