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Reliability and residuals key to Bunning spreader investment

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A market leading manufacturer of manure spreaders and trailers, offering the widest range of rear discharge vertical beater and hydraulic disc spreaders for domestic and export users.

A brace of Bunning spreaders run by Robert Hamilton Contracting are proving their worth year on year as they return faultless performance and require no support from the dealer.

The Lowlander 105 machines – a 2017 standard body and a 2021 Compact, both with Widebody augers – handle a solid workload for the busy contracting business, which specialises in grass harvesting, alongside lime and basalt spreading.

Although a smaller part of the operation based in Strathaven, Scotland, the Bunning spreaders provide a valuable contracting service for local farmers who don’t own a manure spreader.

Spreading usually happens alongside the more intensive works and Robert says the reliability and build quality of the machines is why he converted to Bunning from another brand several years ago.

Robert Hamilton

Robert Hamilton © G T Bunning and Sons

“There are several dairy farms around us that are still bedding on straw so there is regular work in the local area. We provide a vital service to them, and it is one that I want to keep offering.

“I’ve run Bunning machines since 2010 and I know what I’m getting with every spreader. It is difficult to fault them from the spread pattern to the paint work.”

“I wouldn’t consider anything else now. I saw one working at our local dealer, Gordons, when I required a replacement for our old machine and it was enough to convince me.

“One of the biggest benefits is that we don’t require much support for them, which can’t be said for every machine we run.

“We maintain them well and, when we have rare issues, they are sorted quickly by Bunning.”

Widebody augers prove essential

Robert has had several Bunning spreaders over the past decade and tends to trade them in at five years old to maintain resale values and reliability.

He says build quality, and the option of Widebody twin vertical augers, rate as high requirements.

Widebody augers

Widebody augers © G T Bunning and Sons

“With our other operations, I need the spreaders to operate in the background while the larger jobs are in progress.

“One option I have on both machines is the Widebody augers at the rear to allow extra throughput and a good uniformity of material.

“We have helped farmers out in the past who run standard auger spreaders and you can see the difference the Widebody augers make to the pattern and product consistency.”

Robert doesn’t rent the machines out as he is conscious that this may affect reliability.

The spreaders are powerful, and the larger augers will process high volumes of manure, but rocks and large stones can damage the auger tips, which will reduce consistency and lead to repair bills.

Widebody spreading manure in field

© G T Bunning and Sons

“Keeping the tips sharp is important for shredding material and we check these regularly to ensure the breakdown of material is good.

“The support from Bunning is excellent, especially Ben Johnson, UK sales manager.

“I can WhatsApp pictures to Ben, or describe an issue to him over the phone, and he will arrange for parts to be with us the next day so we could fit them and get going.”

Compact suits requirements

A Compact machine has always been required for Robert and his team to access some of the tight gateways and yards of his customers.

He purchased a standard body machine in 2017 and says there are some fields where this spreader is too long.

The Lowlander 105 Compact body measures 6.5m long, whereas the Lowlander 105 standard body is 7.5m.

This is a key factor as some of the small hill farms he contracts to have small yards and gateways.

Lowlander 105 TVA

Lowlander 105 TVA © G T Bunning and Sons

“The customers like the Compact machine. It fits nicely behind the tractor and doesn’t appear as large as the standard body.

“It has the same carrying capacity and the output is similar.

“The guys will use this machine over the standard body, and it is the one we will keep renewing as it handles more work.”

Robert sprays oil on all his machinery, before work, to help grime and dust wash off easily after jobs are finished.

It keeps the machines in top condition, although Robert says the paint on the Bunning spreaders is excellent.

“We’ve never had an issue with the paintwork on any of the spreaders we’ve owned.

“It is excellent and means, after five years, we still have a machine that is in great condition with strong residuals.”