Want to improve your farm tracks without spending a fortune? Nottinghamshire farmer-contractors Roy Platt and son Mitch reckon they have the answer in the form of their Trackmaster farm track rejuvenator.
Made in their own workshop, this consists of a substantial frame that can be tilted in either direction by two rams at the back. At the front is either a set of tines to rip up the existing track or (more commonly) a leveller to smooth off the surface.
Behind that runs a 2.4m (8ft) wide scraper blade, pivoted at one end and with a long ram to alter the angle at which it scrapes. There’s also a hydraulic drawbar on the back of the tractor so the whole unit can be offset.
The ease of adjustment of the Trackmaster means that it can produce an angled finish that allows water to run off, or a camber to achieve the same goal. The verges can also be pulled in to widen the track.
Once levelled, a pass with a 2.1m (7ft) 80t/sq in vibrating roller leaves a very hard surface that shouldn’t then need any more attention for two or three years.
According to Mitch Platt, making four or five passes with the unit and scraping off a bit more each time is the best way to produce a smooth farm track. Any track based on crushed stone or tarmac planings can be levelled out to a pretty smooth finish, he says, though those with housebricks and large concrete lumps just under the surface will inevitably stay bumpy.
The Platts built the Trackmaster in May 2007 and reckon they have revamped 80 miles of farm tracks in the last 12 months. The unit travels on the road, which makes transport a lot easier than for plant hire firms, who have to use a low-loader to transport a crawler with a bucket and blade.
In 95% of cases there’s no need to bring in extra stone, they add, with the material scraped up amply filling the holes.
They offer a contract service within a 30-mile radius of their base at Forest Farm, Blyth near Worksop. Cost depends on track condition and distance but they reckon that rejuvenating a mile of track six miles away would take half a day and cost £400-£600.
For anyone further away, they’re happy to build a new machine.