Dutch firm D-Tec has launched its latest high-capacity tankers on to UK farms, with an eye on the rapidly growing number of large-scale anaerobic digesters.
One of the first to run them is Oxfordshire-based waste-handling specialists Agrivert.
The company hauls digestate from its three AD plants, which each process in excess of 50,000t of solid and liquid waste.
Agrivert has invested in three 29.5cu m D-Tec slurry tank trailers to haul digestate from the plant to tankers working in the field.
Three Scania 490 tractor units haul the stainless-steel tankers, which weigh just 6,700kg when empty.
Each tanker has twin discharge augers, which reduces average filling time by 90sec, and by shortening the pipes at the filling sites it is possible to reduce loading times even further.
Each tri-axle tanker takes less than eight minutes to fill at the lagoon or storage facility, and just five-and-half minutes to empty into the tanker in the field.
Due to the compact nature of Dutch farmyards, having a tight steering circle has always been a priority for the company, according to D-Tec director Gerrit van Vlastuin.
The tankers use a positive steering system, which has a cable connected to the fifth wheel.
That means that as soon as the tractor unit turns, the rear wheels follow.
Unlike some other rear-steering setups, which don’t work in reverse, the D-Tec system is positively driven.
The wheels turn regardless of whether the tanker is going backwards or forwards and, as a result, cycle times are reduced.
Less tyre wear
As well as being a useful feature for turning in tight locations, positive steer also results in significantly less wheel scrub.
“Tankers can often reach in excess of 190,000 miles and even 310,000 miles on one set of tyres.
“That’s as much as five times the usual distance,” says Mr van Vlastuin.
“There has always been a particular focus on maintaining low tare-weights, low maintenance costs and a high trade-in value with a high degree of reliability,” he adds.