19 September 1997

ISRAELI MIXERS ARRIVE

ISRAELI built mixer wagons, that have just arrived in the UK, offer the ability to chop and mix round bales, and a self-loading model could allow machinery sharing and reduce capital investment.

The horizontal trailed mixer wagons will chop and mix up to three round bales of straw or silage, even the hard centred type produced by some balers. Leave it running for too long and the ration will be too well chopped, says Richard Lloyd, technical manager for RMH (UK).

"These machines are very strong and the bottom half of the body that takes most wear on horizontal mixers is built of stainless steel," he says. That is because they are built to Israeli specifications for feeding up to a 1000 cows a day.

Ezra Hadar, engineering director of Lanhish Industries, which builds the wagons in Israel, says extra knives and the non-continuous auger can cope with more roughage in the mix than many other makes. Vertical mixers will also chop and mix big, round hard-centred bales, he adds.

"Trailed vertical mixers cost from £12,500 providing a cheap and easy way to get into complete diet feeding; horizontal types start at £22,000," says Mr Lloyd. Vertical mixers are designed for loads of 1600 to 2500kg; horizontal for 4500 to 7000kg.

But for more accurate rationing without using whole round bales, he recommends self-loading mixers that can chop and load a specific weight of silage from a bale.

These self-loading wagons can also reduce the capital investment needed for complete diet feeding and allow machinery sharing between farms, he says.

Popular elsewhere in Europe, they have not caught on in the UK, says Mr Lloyd. He believes the smaller self-loading mixer wagon, which can handle a 2500kg load, is cheap at £47,000, compared with a tractor, mixer wagon and loader, which can cost up to £100,000. It could also save £1000 a year in fuel, has lower main-

tenance costs and needs less labour.

These wagons are proven to be long-lasting and with low repair costs in Israel, adds Mr Lloyd. They also leave a tidy clamp face that reduces spoilage and waste, and because feed is not carried around the farm on a loader there is less risk of wasted concentrates, he maintains. The self propelled wagons come in a range of sizes. &#42

SELF-LOADING BENEFITS

&#8226 Reduce capital investment.

&#8226 Suitable for machinery sharing.

&#8226 Lower risk of feed waste.

Self loading wagons reduce capital investment and allow machinery sharing between neighbouring farms.

Extra knives and non-continuous auger cope well with roughage.