6 machinery highlights from the Royal Highland Show

Machinery makers from home and abroad offered up plenty of gleaming kit for the Royal Highland Show’s 190,000 visitors.

We joined the throngs to pick out a few highlights.

Horsch Express 3KR

Horsch Express 3KR

Horsch was showing off an uncharacteristically compact seeder in the form of a 3m power harrow combination disc drill.

Like the German maker’s bigger trailed drills, the Express 3KR is a solid-looking thing.

The power harrow is based on a tried-and-tested Kuhn design, but the framework and large-diameter packer roller are Horsch designed and built.

Up top there is a 1,500-litre hopper that feeds a Horsch radar metering mechanism and seed is blown to the disc coulters using a hydraulically driven fan.

At the back, the Express 3KR has a bank of double-disc coulters that are mounted off a single rail and have hydraulic depth adjustment.

The new Turbodisc 2 coulters have a number of improvements over the old version, including tougher hydroformed tubing and a wider seed tube to prevent blockages.

In the cab, Express 3KR buyers will get the usual Muller-based control system fitted to the rest of the range, which will be capable of variable-rate seeding.

List price is £42,070. A 4m version is also on the way.

See also: 5 editor’s picks from the kit on show at Cereals 2015

Scotpen Peakhander Air Rotate pneumatic sheep crush

Scotpen Peakhandler

Scottish livestock equipment specialist Scotpen has started importing a pneumatic crush from Australia that takes the backache out of sheep handling.

The Peakhander Air Rotate is the brainchild of former Aussie sheep farmer Bill Byrne and can load and flip sheep on their back without any physical effort from the operator.

The elaborate system uses a combination of compressed air and sprung mechanical gates to automatically load, flip and discharge the sheep and has a clever dual clamp that means two animals can be loaded at once.

Mr Byrne reckons his machine can be as much as four times quicker than a traditional rollover crush and makes the job much less strenuous for the operator.

All that’s needed to set the machine up is an air supply from either a workshop compressor, tractor air line or pressurised bottle.

So far there are more than 2,000 Peakhandler Air Rotate machines working in Australia and about 20 in the UK.

List price is £6,500 including two ramps with automatic non-return gates.

Rigual trailer 

Rigual trailer

When it comes to picking a new trailer UK buyers are spoilt for choice, with scores of home-grown options as well as the odd import.

The latest outsider that’s made it across the Channel is Spanish firm Rigual. After spotting the trailers at a French machinery show and being impressed by the design and build quality, Lockerbie farmer and machinery dealer Clive Houldey decided to start bringing them to the UK.

So far he has imported two trailers, both of which are half-pipe designs built from ultra-tough Hardox steel. Mr Houldey rated the design because it was tough enough to be used as a dumper as well as a grain trailer.

The neat hydraulic tailgate assembly also means it is less likely to get snagged on doorways, he says.

A 14t Rigual half-pipe trailer with hydraulic tailgate, sprung drawbar, swivel hitch and air brakes has a list price of £17, 550, but Royal Highland visitors were offered a price of £15,500.

Unistock Manual Squeeze Crush 

Unistock crush

Another Scottish maker pulling in the crowds was Dalbeatie-based Premier Livestock equipment with its well-thought-out cattle crush.

The Unistock Manual Squeeze Crush has a number of clever features to improve loading and immobilisation once the animal is in place.

These include a headgate yoke that swings forward to improve loading and side gates that can be squeezed independently at the front and rear on a ratchet mechanism.

At the back there is also the option of a sliding double door. This opens and shuts quickly to help stop a second animal trying to push into the crush.

The crush costs £3,995 and the option rear door is £595. The headgate yoke can also be bought separately for £1,125.

For those with a large number of beasts to process there is the option of a hydraulically operated version. Prices for this start at about £10,000.

Shaffer 9660T pivot-steer loader

Schaffer 9660T

Schaffer was showing of its latest heavy-duty pivot-steer loader that it reckons could give smaller loading shovels a run for their money.

Called the 9660T, it has a 6.1m teleboom mounted at front with a 5t lift capacity and a 140-litre/min pump to help keep things moving quickly.

Power comes from a 157hp Deutz block, which drives a three-speed hydrostatic transmission.

List price is £98,000.

Wombat pothole repairer

Wombat pothole repairer

Forestry worker Rob McAllister has come up with a novel pothole-repairing tool that helps smooth out roadways without lugging in lots of expensive aggregate.

The Wombat was built using a series of scrap excavator parts and works by stirring up the material in and around the pothole.

This gets rid of the dish-like shape that usually causes added material to be washed away.

It is designed to be mounted on the front of an excavator, telehandler or tractor loader and is driven by the vehicle’s hydraulic pump.

It also includes a wacker plate to consolidate the ground after the job is completed. It comes with a number of different-sized cutting heads as well as separate versions for Tarmac roads.

Mr McAllister has patented the design and is looking for a manufacturer to start building it. He reckons a production version of the Wombat would cost about £7,500.