You cant beat rear beaters for moving manure
For versatility, robustness and quality distribution of yard manure there is little to touch the latest generation of rear beater spreaders. Peter Hill starts the Muck Special with a look at the role of these machines and the models available
IMAGINE an old Massey muck spreader, the type with the wheels either side of its low-slung body. Scale it up and add two vertical beaters in place of the horizontal design and there it is, a picture of the latest trend in big capacity manure spreaders.
"People dismissed these machines at first because of their resemblance to the old Massey spreader," says Mogens Olesen of Samson International. "But now they recognise the advantages of the design, which includes good stability and mechanical simplicity, as well as an effective spreading action and relatively low power requirement."
Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, Mr Olesen is bemused to see the way British spreader makers have latched on to the Samson design, which, he says, goes back many years. One manufacturer, Richard Western, even cheekily calls its Samson challenger Delilah.
Logic has it that placing a spreaders wheels beneath its chassis so the body can be as wide as possible, is the route to high capacities. And Mr Olesen accepts that the single axle configuration of the Samson limits ultimate capacity to about 14t.
But, with growers increasingly conscious of soil compaction, that is probably more than enough for most and the single axle/narrow body layout has the advantage of accommodating large diameter wheels and tyres to spread the load.
"This is one of the key advantages of this type of spreader," agrees Alan Suffling of G T Bunning. "We can put on big volume tractor radials with a large tyre/ground contact area. And the large diameter also reduces draft loads, which means the spreader takes a lot less pulling."
The single axle layout also ensures some weight remains on the drawbar and tractors rear axle; with rocking beam tandem axles, particularly, the weight tends to come off as the load moves to the back of the spreader, leaving the drawbar banging about and no help with traction.
A simple drive layout also helps to make these attractive machines for contractors and spreader hire firms. Drive to the bed conveyor is hydraulic, giving infinitely variable control of delivery and application rate, while pto drive goes into a central gearbox and then sideways to the two vertical beaters. The lack of tortuously routed chains to power a series of horizontal beaters means there is less to go wrong and fewer maintenance requirements.
A low-slung body is another plus-point, giving easier loading (anything from a skid-steer loader can fill most of the models), an improved view from the tractor seat into and around the machine during operations, and greater stability along rough tracks and sloping fields.
Ground clearance is a factor to consider in looking at designs, though. Check that the back of the spreader is not likely to ground out driving through sunken gateways or indeed whether drive components slung beneath the chassis are vulnerable to similar impacts over rough ground.
Going for larger wheel and tyre options, while making a further reduction in ground pressure, will also give more ground clearance.
As for spreading capabilities, Mogens Olesen maintains that these are among the most versatile spreaders available. "We have Samson spreaders handling cattle yard manure, semi-liquid slurry, sugar factory lime, sewage sludge and a number of waste materials from factories. The augers shred material well and can handle whole round or square bales," he says. For lighter materials, such as poultry manure, manufacturers offer spinner decks and hoods to give a wide spread, as well as extension panels to increase body volume and slurry gates for more liquid material. *
Makes and models
BJSpreaders (01722-716717): BJ vertical beater spreader – any size from 8-14t. List prices: From £1000/t. Options: Vertical slurry gate £1500.
East Coast Engineering (01328-700433): ECE Lowline – four model range available from 7.5-12t capacity. List prices: MS75 £12,100, MS90 £13,000, MS105 £14,650, MS120 £16,100. Options include: slurry gate £1007, spinner deck and canopy £2847, 1000rpm pto £500.
G T Bunning (01362-860352): Bunning Lowlander – three models from 9-12t capacity. List prices: 90 £13,450, 105 £15,300, 120 £16,100. Options include: slurry door £1350 to £1500, spinner deck and hood £2300, rear drawbar and hydraulics £205, electric floor remote control £395.
K Two Sales (01844-238019): K Two Duo three-model range of single axle, vertical beater spreaders. List prices: 8t £12,950, 10t £13,950, 12t £15,950. Options include: slurry door.
Richard Western (01728-723224): Delilah Twin Vertical Beater Spreader – big wheeled, low-slung spreader in three sizes. List prices: 8t £15,300, 10t £16,600, 12t £18,800. Options include: slurry door £1500, screw jack £110, fine spread attachment £2750, rear drawbar and hydraulics £260.
Rolland Trailers (01926-499532): Rolland Vertical Beater Spreaders -models from 9-10t capacity (12-19cu m) with two or four vertical beaters. List prices: On application.
Samson International (01256-771887): Samson Manure Shredder Spreader – two-model range of vertical rear beater spreaders. List prices: 9T-HM (8.5cu m) £18,000, 1009MT (11cu m) £21,400. Options include: slurry gate £2200 to £2650, electric remote floor control £450, extensions £700 to £850.
Triffitt Trailers (01759-372459): Triffitt Vertical Beater Spreader – two models of low-line spreader. List prices: 9t £14,150, 12t £16,300. Options include: slurry door £1450.
NB: All manufacturers offer alternative wheel and tyre sizes.
A low filling height gives access to most types of loader – this is the 11cu m Samson 1009MT. Price of the firms spreader range starts at £18,000.
Bunning Lowlander: Tractor-size wheels and tyres cut ground compaction and make the spreader easier to pull.