Trikes have never really taken off in the UK, but across the water in mainland Europe there’s a big following for these self-propelled machines, with key player Vervaet now offering a driven mid-axle version of its Hydro Trike.
The 5×5 trike uses 530hp Paccar engine and features extending driven axles that offer 135hp when out wide to help the machine glide along in sticky soils and aid stability when working on sloped ground.
The extra power is provided hydraulically by a 175-litre/min pump, with axles pushed out when in the field giving a full width of 4.5m.
Compaction is reduced from the huge 1000/55 tyres on the front and rear, and the 750/50 tyres in the middle as each tyre runs on fresh soil.
John Deere’s harvest lab sensors have been an option on the trikes for four years.
A new VSG drive system uses two hydraulic motors to power the rear axle, these are interconnected by a wet plate clutch to send oil to both wheels during acceleration.
Oil flow is controlled by the machine’s electronics and one motor is disengaged for road work, meaning 40kph can be reached with the engine at 1,200rpm.
There’s also an electronic traction control system that measures wheel slip and can exert more force on the mid axle to alleviate slipping at the rear.
The trikes have been around for 25 years and although they retail for a hefty €440,000 (£377,000), Vervaet says it still sells around 50 units per year and the second-hand market is popular with regular refurbs of trikes for smaller users.
The new models will be phased into production over 2020 and 2021.