14 July 1995

Reaction is sought to two potential future products

An impressive array of new machinery was on display at last weeks Royal Show. Andy Collings and

Andrew Faulkner continue their review of the industrys latest developments

"TOE in the water" was the theme on Ken Woottons stand at the NAC, where the firm tested farmer reaction to two machines before making them commercially available.

The New Zealand-built V-rake is a giant swathing machine which uses the "Acrobat reel" principle to pull 9m (30ft) of either straw or grass into a single row. Where it differs from the conventional is that the V-rake has two rows of reels mounted on a V-shaped chassis. This V closes for transport and opens up for work to give an infinitely variable working width up to its maximum 9m.

The 14 reels are mounted independently on the chassis, which has a total of six carrier wheels; two on the outer wings, two on a fixed beam at the front of the machine and two at the rear. The two rear wheels are linked to the front of the machine by a connecting rod to give auto steering.

"Main interest for the V-rake is likely to come from contractors looking to create bigger swathes for self-propelled foragers and big square balers," says David Wootton, who expects the 14-reel machine to cost about £11,000. A 16-reel version may also become available, depending on demand.

&#8226 Ken Wootton is also assessing interest in a farmer-invented muckspreader which incorporates an innovative 8t tipping body.

This tipping action feeds manure on to a vibrating floor which shakes it through a slurry door and into the path of a rotating flywheel. Wootton says this feeding method is capable of dealing with all types of material.

Spread width of the machine is claimed to be about 30m (98ft), and power requirement 80-100hp. Should it make it into commercial production, the spreader will be priced from about £13,500.