2 March 2001

Its not a mixer its a feeder, says Lucas

LUCAS says its new Qualimix diet feeder is a feeder and not a mixer chopper.

The company reason that the two operations should be separate – mixing with knives can result in too fine a mixture being created, which has less feed value for stock.

Hence the reason why there are no knives in the Qualimix feeder. Material such as hay, straw or silage must be pre-chopped before it is entered into the mixer and Lucas can provide an attachment for this purpose which fits above the machines hopper.

There are three mixing elements in the Qualimix: Two horizontal augers along the side of the machine – one directly above the other – and one large paddle.

All three elements move at different speeds. The lower auger at 90rpm, the higher at 40rpm and the paddle at a sedate 5rpm. Power is supplied from the pto with drives organised at the rear of the machine through a series of chains and sprockets, all of which run in an oil bath.

An interesting feature of the three-bladed paddle is the spring loaded arms, which not only ensure a steady pressure on the circumference of the hopper, ensuring a total movement of material, but also allow a paddle arm to retract should a potentially obstruction be met.

There is also the action of the paddle as it draws material into the hopper. Fully extended as they reach the open top of the machine, they are forced to retract slightly as they rotate further and meet the downward side of the hopper.

Lucas says average mixing time is about five minutes, and less if the augers and paddles are already turning as ingredients are added.

For unloading of the mixed diet, a hatch positioned at the front of the near side and the bottom auger powers out the feed in about three minutes. Delivery height is 80cm.

Available from September with capacities of 12, 15 and 18cu m, standard specification includes onboard weigh cells and a series of programmable diet options.

Price is expected to be about £18,000 for the 15cu m version. &#42