Original horsepowers back
By Andrew Faulkner
CART Horse Machinery is a title that does little justice to Charles Pinneys Devon-based firm.
A more apt name might be Fertiliser Spreader Horse Machinery, Mower Horse Machinery, or perhaps even Multi-Implement Horse Machinery.
Mr Pinney and his partner, Don Townsend, have been building horse-drawn chassis links, which enable a limited range of modern farm implements to be driven by the "original" horse-power, since 1985. Their latest development takes the concept a stage further.
"The basic Pintow chassis was, and still is, a simple two-wheeled design for just one horse. That limits the size of equipment it can tow – a 5cwt fertiliser spreader or 45gal sprayer," Mr Pinney explains. "The next logical step was to develop a bigger chassis for two, three or four horses, capable of powering a much wider range of attachments. And thats what we have come up with."
Badged the Pintow Hitch Cart, the firms flagship chassis is a stand-alone, three-wheeled link between horse and implement.
Retained are the familiar two-seater bench and land-driven pto, but transmission of that drive is now re-routed and beefed up. A rear three-point linkage has also been added.
Key to the drive system is simplicity. As Mr Pinney points out: "It may be basic, but it works."
Wheel-driven chains on either side of the chassis turn a cross-shaft and centre differential, with a twin-sprocket option giving a choice of output speeds – 400rpm or 540rpm. From the diff, a triple V-belt delivers power through a conventional six-spline pto shaft to the implement behind.
The other new addition, hydraulic lift, comes from a hand-operated pump to twin rams and Category I linkage. That lift is adjustable using two taps; in effect, two rams on stream give slow raise while one ram supplies a faster lift for lighter loads.
Also plugged into the hydraulic circuit are a simple changeover valve and the facility for one or more auxiliary services for, say, operating the shutter on a fertiliser spreader.
With this extra power and three-point hitch, there are now many more uses for the horse-drawn unit.
These include working conventional fingerbar mowers up to 2m (6ft) wide, hay tedders/rakes up to 4.5m (15ft), 450-litre (100gal) sprayers, two-furrow ploughs… the list goes on. And no modification to the tractor-designed implement is needed.
So who buys this chassis? Priced at £4000 for the basic unit, it would seem to be out of range for the open-toed sandal squad in search of a little slice of farming Utopia.
"This is definitely no idealists hobby machine," Mr Pinney says. "It is a serious bit of kit for horse enthusiasts who want an alternative but viable power source.
"The chassis enables a team of horses to do all the jobs one might normally do with an old MF35. It is not designed to replace the tractor on a farm – more to complement it."
In addition to the UK, Mr Pinney has also sold units to Germany, Belgium and France where they tend be used for forestry as well as conventional farm work. *
Above: Percheron power: German farmer Erich Degreif uses a Pintow Hitch Cart to link his team of three Percherons to a conventional Claas Liner rake. Right: Chassis builder Don Townsend at the controls – (l to r) hand pump, pto engage/disengage, hydraulic raise/lower, changeover valve for spool, two lift ram taps. Mr Townsends engineering firm is based in Bridport, Dorset.