8 December 2000


Wondering how best to

spread that ever-growing pile

of FYM? There are several

changes in the rotary flail

manure spreader market,

says Peter Hill

MANURE spreaders do not come much simpler than a rotary flail machine.

With moving parts largely limited to simple chain and sprocket drive to the spreading flail rotor, these machines offer low running costs and, for the most part, low power requirement.

Yet they have the versatility to handle all types of solid manure as well as slurry – if not necessarily as efficiently as other types of spreader – with a fine and extensive spread pattern from those wildly rotating chain flails.

Being such a simple concept, variations and novelties are few and far between. But there are some interesting ones, nonetheless.

Hillams rotating barrel models, for example, provide more liquid capacity; KB Designs small rotor and hydraulically expanding body offers more capacity for solids; Marshalls partitioned-barrel MS105 and MS155 offer faster spreading start-up. Specify the optional double-opening lid to Frasers Muck-Master and the machine can be filled from either side.

Otherwise, it is the traditional layout that is most used, with only detail variations in terms of rotor gearing, construction (including the thickness of steel used), and the standard or optional fitment of such items as a hydraulic cylinder to open and close the lid, hydraulic brakes, road lights and flotation tyres.

Manufacturers of these machines come and go: Teagle has decided to opt out and concentrate on other products, Tullows range is no longer available, and Major has trimmed its four-model range to just two.

Newcomers Hall Engineering and Rob Astley Trailers are catering for users wanting only the smallest of flail spreaders, Parmiter now has a two-model range, while the Marston (AS, Collins, Griffiths and Salop) and Massey Ferguson lines are topped out by an 11.5cu m (15cu yd) version of an established design.

Capacities quoted in the accompanying table need to be considered bearing in mind that different measuring methods are used in calculating the heaped capacity of yard manure on these machines.

Mechanical simplicity is one of the main attractions of flail manure and slurry spreaders.