29 January 1999

Taking the pressure from slurry tankers

More from the Rai.

Stephen Howe concludes

his report on the latest

developments at Hollands

premier machinery event

PRESSURE dominates Dutch agriculture. Pressure on livestock farmers to inject slurry within a few summer months. Pressure, too, on machinery manufacturers to reduce the ground pressure of ever larger slurry tankers.

Crab-steering on self-propelled applicators and variable, on-the-move axles are helping tackle makers to spread wheel loadings evenly. Not only does that reduce ground pressure, it also enables much greater carrying capacity, according to the makers.

A good example is the prototype 4WD self-propelled tanker from Vredo. Powered by a 330hp Deutz water-cooled engine and fitted with a 15,000 litre tank, when working the tankers four wheels are placed in the crab-steer mode so that the tracks from the 1m-wide tyres run along side each other. The rear linkage is angled automatically to keep the rear-mounted injector square to the driving direction.

Ground pressure of the Vredo 3326, equipped with 1050/50 R32 tyres, is about 14psi and the price is about £167,000.

Meanwhile, slurry specialist Schuitemaker has developed a movable axle system for its 11,600 litre (2,550 gal) trailed tanker. The centres of the tankers wheels, equipped with 1050/50 R32 tyres, move hydraulically from 1.6m to 3.5m (5.2-11.5ft) to position them outside the track of the tractors wheels. Price of the tanker is about £55,000.

Also from Schuitemaker came the Combi grassland slurry injector system. Four models are available with working widths from 6.4m (20ft) to 8m (26ft); injection depth ranges from 25mm (1in) to 85mm (3.3in). Prices are £15,200 and £16,600 respectively.