Those looking for extra versatility from their tractor-loader, telehandler or loading shovel should consider adding attachments to their collection. Geoff Ashcroft looks at some of the morre unusual options available.
Two-man access platform
With safe working at height in mind, Stronga’s two-man access platform, the SA2300, is bracket-mounted to telehandlers, rather than being attached to pallet forks, offering a secure method of carrying out maintenance to buildings rather than some of the more traditional methods of working at height. The 2m x 1m platform has an inward opening, self-closing side gate and a non-slip floor, says the firm. The platform also features a rear safety rail onto which harnesses can be securely attached.
Versatile fence post driver
The Postpuncher is a fence post driver that can be fitted to loaders and telehandlers, adding versatility to fencing operations by taking advantage of the carrier’s reach and lift height. Four models are available, for handling posts up to 28cm in diameter – post length is limited says the firm, only by the raised height of the boom. The Postpuncher features a steel driver enclosed within a tube and the device is located on a pivot that enables posts to be driven at an angle of up to 45 degrees.
Mixing and blending in the bucket
Perhaps one of the more unusual attachments found in the dairy sector is Albutt’s mixer auger bucket range. Ten models from 1.7-3.7cu m capacity suit loader and telehandler use, to mix and blend rations as an alternative to the diet feeder with smaller livestock numbers. Within the bucket is a mixing paddle and a discharge auger – both are hydraulically powered, using the third service and an electric change-over valve, while a hydraulic, sliding door on the side of the bucket allows the ration to be emptied into a feed trough.
Grass and maize handling
Clearly aimed at the more productive end of the silage-making sector, the Forkmaster Plus from Strimech offers a grass and maize handling ability that few others could match. The 1810kg hydraulically folding FMP400 silage fork measures a greedy 4.9m across its width, reducing to 2.9m for transport using two folding outer wing sections. Clearly produced with loading shovels in mind, the firm also offers three smaller folding models, measuring 4.1m, 3.9m and 3.7m in width, when ready for work.
Stronger tines for silage shear
Silage shears remain a popular attachment in the livestock sector and recognising this, Alo has over-hauled its four-model Silocut range with a revised tine support frame constructed of hardened box-section steel, now carrying stronger tines. Called the Silocut SE range, the new models feature a shear that covers the three sides of the tine frame when fully closed, enabling the attachment to cut and contain loose, fine chopped silages, such as maize, without risk of spillage.
Shear grab and bucket in one
Albutt’s rotor bucket is said to combine the functions of a shear grab and bucket in one attachment. Using a hydraulically powered chopping rotor that sits on a framework over the top of the bucket, the rotor cuts in an upward direction as it is lowered past the clamp face, throwing silage against a deflector shield that ensures the bucket is filled from the back. Loose forage collected in the bucket can then be fed, or emptied into a diet feeder. Albutt says the addition of the rotor allows the bucket to handle grass, maize, whole-crop and straw, in addition to bulk materials, avoiding the need to swap between attachments, such as shear grabs or silage cutters.
Multi-purpose bucket par excellence
Stronga’s multi-purpose buckets take such a definition to extremes. Fitted with a hydraulic grab, the bucket also has removable sides, allowing the attachment to be used to handle bulky, lengthy items such as tree trunks or poles. The bucket is suitable for rehandling bales too and with the option of a two-piece split grab – which allows the left or right side of the grab to be operated independently – can easily clamp uneven loads, says the firm.
With fencing operations in mind, Bobcat offers two post-hole auger attachments badged 15C and 30C that can be fitted to telehandlers. These hydraulically powered augers can be equipped with interchangeable sizes of auger bit to produce holes with diameters from 152-915mm (6-36in). Alternative chisel point teeth, hard-faced teeth and carbide teeth can be fitted, to suit tougher ground conditions.