Improving pick-up capacity and ground-following control, smoothing the path for grass heading into the transport box, and increased load capacity are among the themes for new and improved forage wagons. Peter Hill reports
The versatility of a forage wagon that can also be used as a maize silage trailer is built into the new Europrofi combiline design from Pöttinger (main picture). Unlike a wagon built solely for picking up grass swaths, the bodywork of a combiline is strong enough to be self-supporting without the cross beams that would get in the way of a stream of forage from a chopper.
There are three models to replace the existing Europrofi combiline, with proven systems such as the EasyMove knife bank and double-ended Twinblade with individual knife protection providing a short 39mm nominal chop length.
The Europrofi combiline 4510, 5010 and 5510 has a grass pick-up with six tine bars for clean collection and cam tracks at both ends as before. But there is also a swath plate and a central pick-up tracking roller with parallel linkage adjustment for consistency that works independently of the jockey wheels to prevent the tines snagging, especially on soft ground or when crossing wheel ruts.
Drive to the intake rotor has been uprated from chain to bevel gear with capacity for up to 220hp, resulting in up to 20% more capacity and reduced maintenance.
A redesigned version of the Powercut system carries 35 knives for a 15% reduction in nominal chop length and the knife bank is swung out to one side for sharpening or replacement hydraulically using a button on the side of the chassis.
Lowering the front floor section by 150mm allows larger 710/45R22.5 tyres to be fitted while keeping the wagon level. Larger conveyor floor chains and a front flap that is positioned by hydraulic cylinders for swath collection or top loading are also part of the new package.
The largest Strautmann loader wagon brought to Britain will make its debut at the Grassland & Muck Event at Stoneleigh in May.
With a nominal capacity of 95cu m, the Strautmann Tera Vitesse CFS 5201 runs on triple axles with hydro-pneumatic suspension allowing a gross vehicle weight of 34t. It also features Strautmann’s CFS intake design, a 2.12m pick-up and a 1.82m wide rotor with 50 knives giving a relatively fine chop.
The wagon’s floor section is made from a weather-resistant plastic material said also to be slippery enough to reduce the energy required to move the grass while filling and unloading.
The Tigo PR replaces the Tigo R Profi model in Lely’s range of dual-purpose wagons for picking up and chopping grass and transporting precision chopped forage when an optional cover plate is fitted over the intake.
There are three sizes of 31-41cu m capacity that draw on features of the bigger capacity Tigo XR, including the novel movable bulkhead.
This is positioned in the rearward position during the early stages of loading to compress the crop and is then pivoted forwards to provide additional volume as the process is near completion.
As a result, another 6cu m of forage can be transported in a wagon that is shorter than “conventional” wagons of equivalent capacity and with more favourable weight distribution for field and road travel.
Also, because the bulkhead supports 10-15% of the load, there is less torque on the conveyor bed chain when unloading is started, and the structure further assists by automatically pushing the load when drive is engaged.
A new chopping system with 40 knives is powered out to one side using the in-cab control panel or two buttons on the left-hand side of the wagon. No tools are needed and and the new central lock releases all knives in one go.
Krone claims a 15% weight reduction for a new generation of conveyor unloading forage trailers built with a different body construction.
In the past, this type of trailer has been built with the multi-frame structure used for manure spreaders and forage wagons but the TX range has a single-frame design with integral body. A 2cu m increase in capacity for the same overall length is one consequence; a lower centre of gravity bringing greater stability is another.
There is also a powered height-adjustable drawbar in place of a rigid one.
Mechanical drive to the floor chains can be supplemented by a pusher “wall” at the front of the 46cu m capacity tandem axle Krone TX 460 and the 56cu m TX 560, which runs on triple axles.
Latest Rapide silage wagons from Schuitemaker retain the characteristic trailing pick-up but with stronger construction and a new pivot and jockey wheel arrangement for further improved height control.
The 2m wide intake rotor is refined for smoother crop flow and, together with a floor that slopes down towards the rotor, lower power consumption.
The novel knife arrangement is also retained – they are simply lifted out of the holder via a full-width hatch at the front of the machine and are reversible to use the two cutting edges. There are six capacities from 34-53cu m DIN.
The Claas Quantum and Kverneland Taarup forage wagon ranges continue unchanged for the coming silage season.
There are six models in the Quantum range from 28 to 40cu m capacity using a Roto Cut system to chop incoming grass.
Kverneland has both pick-up and dual-purpose or combi wagons in its portfolio; there are 30.5cu m and 34.6cu m machines of the former type and two floor-discharge combi wagons with 36.4cu m and 41.7cu m capacities measured to the DIN standard.
See also Grassland Event coverage