Most farmers are accustomed to their machines being fitted with an even numbers of wheels – usually four. But Lincolnshire sugar beet contractors M&J Haulage are the first UK customers to buy a five-wheel Vervaet Hydro Trike XL sugar beet chaser wagon.
Dutch firm Vervaet produced the first Hydro Trike in 1990 for slurry handling contractors. It came with a 19,000-litre tank and could also be fitted with a self-propelled muckspreader.
Brought in by Attleborough-based Vervaet importer J Riley Agri, the five-wheel XL version has an extra extending axle that allows the machine’s weight to be evenly spread over a wide area to minimise soil damage. In fact, no two wheels run in the same place.
On the road the centre set of wheels is raised, giving the machine a road speed of 40kph.
Power comes from DAF Paccar engine which produces 465hp at just 1,400rpm. When maximum power is not required, the machine operates at just 1,250rpm, reducing fuel usage.
M&J Haulage lifts around 4,000ha of beet this year and has also bought a new Vervaet Beet Eater 625 harvester for this year’s campaign.
M&J Haulage’s Hydro Trike XL will be fitted with a purpose-built Panien chaser body with a capacity of 25t. Emptied by a floor trace, the rear of the body can be raised hydraulically allowing beet to be heaped up to an impressive height.
“I like to be at the forefront of the latest technology,” says M&J Haulage’s Mark Popplewell. “One of the main reasons for buying the trike was the heap it will make for our self-propelled cleaner-loader – very high but covering a smaller area – and no ruts.
“In a very wet season like last year the harvesters could travel but the trailers were the problem. With the 625 and trike we will have a combination which should go at any time without making a mess.”
Cost of the Hydro Trike is between £335,000 and £345,000.
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