Muck and slurry spreading are a key part of many contractors’ businesses. Emily Padfield looks at some of the latest machinery on the market from some well-known names.
French manufacturer Rolland replaced its Rolltwin series of muckspreaders with the Rollforce range (pictured right) last year, and there are now several models out with contractors, says Rolland’s export and UK manager Alex Clothier.
The range consists of seven main models offering 13cu m to 22cu m capacities with three different side heights to choose from: 1,230mm, 1,550mm and 1,700mm.
Inside, there are now no angles for material to get stuck in as the strengthened, 16mm-thick chains are closer to the sides, explains Mr Clothier, while channel slats make for smoother emptying. The drive has also been strengthened with wider bearing blocks.
A new rear door design means there are no corners to restrict flow when opening and the front viewing panel has been made wider to see inside the spreader and beyond when spreading.
A new A-frame drawbar offers strength and stability and the drawbar can be specced with either spring or hydraulic suspension. This also allows the operator to alter ride height, which in turn changes the spreading width.
Independent hydraulics make connecting easier, while there’s less heat being generated and less chance of the oil supply being polluted.
The TCEi spinning deck features new rotors and style of disc, with a choice of three or four deflectors. There’s also a hydraulic headland control available and TCEi can spread to widths of up to 24m. A weighing system can also be fitted for those looking to offer variable rate application, adds Mr Clothier.
K Two has launched its MK3 range of rear discharge muckspreaders, which use a pair of horizontal beaters working in combination with two spinner discs to distribute materials more accurately at wider working widths, says K Two’s Pete Brown.
The Bio MK3 features larger diameter spinner discs, which increases the maximum working width to in excess of 30m. There’s also larger diameter rotors and an improved hood design, which is easier to adjust to varying conditions, says Mr Brown.
The range now offers 11t, 12t, 14t, 16t and 18t-capacity models on single axles and larger models are available on tandem and triaxle, mainly for the export market, he adds. “The Bio MK3 still retains a high standard specification, which includes shaft- and gearbox-driven beaters and spinners, slip-clutch driveline protection, wide-angle front pto shaft, hydraulic opening rear canopy and a sprung drawbar.”
A key feature on new and existing models is the RDS onboard weighing and spreader monitoring system. This new system, developed jointly by K Two and RDS, enables full auto-rate control of the spreader where the only information the operator has to input is the desired application rate and working width and the spreader will now automatically adjust the floor speed to achieve the desired rate.
GT Bunning, based in Norfolk, has not only concentrated efforts on larger contractors, but also smaller operators with the launch of a range of spreaders that fills a previous gap in its offering.
“The new Lowlander 85 is an 8.5t machine aimed at contractors that want manoeuvrability as well as capacity,” says Bunning sales manager Chris Druce.
“This is a machine that’s had a lot of interest from users in places such as the South West and Wales, where getting in and out of tighter spots can be an issue.”
“Over the past few years, we’ve also been concentrating on making our spreaders more versatile for spreading all types of materials and making incremental changes to achieve this,” he says.
Spinning discs are now made of Hardox steel, while beater teeth are now hardened boron. Both are heavier duty and last longer, says Mr Druce.
Weighing systems are now available on all models, and can be retrofitted to any spreader bought about in the past five years that is weigh-cell ready. The RDS controller is GPS-enabled and allows operators to map and apply variable rate material.
The company has also been liaising with tyre manufacturers to find a tyre capable of being put on a single-axle machine. “Single-axle spreaders pull easier in damper conditions, as one big single has less rolling resistance, yet is still able to carry a large load.”
The first spreaders fitted with the 710/70/R42 Alliance tyres have been well received, says Mr Druce. “One customer who had nearly bought a tandem-axle spreader is really pleased he bought a single-axle instead, as it pulls so much easier than a tandem in more challenging conditions.”
Challenger used the Discover Agco event to show its TerraGator TG835 three-wheeler to potential customers.
Fitted with a 361hp six-cylinder 8.4-litre Agco Power engine, the TG835 is also equipped with TechStar CVT as standard.
The 40kph transmission, also Agco-derived, allows operators to set any forward speed at any engine rpm – a useful feature for application machines. It can be operated in a number of ways, too, explains Age Krug, Challenger’s manager of product marketing.
“As well as the usual foot pedal or hand-lever controls, there’s an additional power direction lever, mounted on the left-hand side of the dashboard, which allows forward/reverse shuttling, de-clutch and changes in speed.”
To improve weight distribution between the TG835’s rear axle and front wheel, the rear double-layer chassis is now 10cm longer. That means more ground contact area, better traction and a reduction in compaction and wheelslip, adds Mr Krug. “Our three-wheel driving concept not only ensures that each wheel runs on fresh ground, but also makes for tighter turning on the headland, thanks to single front-wheel steering.”
The TG835 is equipped with a 10in touchscreen Falcon VT terminal as standard, which can control both liquid and dry applications, as well as providing full variable rate control and mapping. Radar is used to monitor forward speed and the flow of material can be automatically matched to either the preset or variable rate selected. This nutrient management system can be used for liquids and solids.