Mix master

Tri­oliet Solomix 2 mixer/feeder

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Of­ten we take ma­chine names at face value, and of­ten there may be no real his­tory be­hind the name. How­ever, this month, I think the name of the ma­chine I tested is both a clever play on words and one that is syn­ony­mous with qual­ity.

Tri­oliet was es­tab­lished by the three Liet broth­ers in the

Nether­lands in 1950, and now spe­cialises in the de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of mech­a­nised and au­to­mated cus­tomised feed­ing so­lu­tions.

It’s al­ways a good idea to hone in on costs and in­crease ef­fi­cien­cies, and what bet­ter way than in­creas­ing feed util­i­sa­tion and per­fect blend­ing of feeds to en­sure each cow is get­ting the cor­rect amount of ad­di­tives and min­er­als?

I re­cently checked out the Tri­oliet Solomix 2 1600ZK – a topload­ing mixer/feeder that fea­tures a strong yet com­pactly con­structed mixer wagon, with a ca­pac­ity of 16 cu­bic me­tres.


The ta­pered body of the Solomix 2 1600ZK (2 = two augers, 1600 = 16 cu­bic me­tres, ZK = side dis­charge doors) mea­sures 2.77m high, 2.32m wide and 6.4m long, and sug­gests 85hp (63kW) to drive it. As the name sug­gests, the tub holds 16 cu­bic me­tres, which equates to a max load of five tonnes.

The tub it­self is made from 15mm-thick plate steel on the bot­tom and 6.0mm sides, with ad­di­tional strength added to high-wear ar­eas around the auger.

Like most things, just chuck­ing a cou­ple of augers in a round tub and ex­pect­ing good re­sults is far from the truth. Patented off­set in­serts are fit­ted, which forces the feed to be mixed evenly be­tween the augers.

This ‘dual flow’ al­lows fast, even in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the front and rear cham­bers of the tub and, more im­por­tantly, even dis­charge with ad­di­tional help from two sym­met­ri­cal dis­penser arms (or kick­ers) at the base of the auger, which al­low for quick and even feed­ing.

There is a spe­cial wear ring at the bot­tom of the mix­ing tub where the pres­sure on the tub wall is the great­est and the most abra­sive, par­tic­u­larly with crops like fod­der beet, and there is a wide ob­ser­va­tion win­dow at the front, which is ideal to keep track of what is go­ing on.

A large lip at the top of the tub keeps ev­ery­thing well held in place, even if you were to give it a cheeky nudge with the loader, which is bound to hap­pen ev­ery now and then.


Im­pulse mix­ing with the stepped augers gen­er­ates a ver­ti­cal im­pulse move­ment in the mix­ture. This is very in­ter­est­ing to watch dur­ing feed­ing out and re­minds me of a pizza maker throw­ing a pizza in the air.

This move­ment en­sures that the auger (more im­por­tantly the knives for chop­ping bales dur­ing our test) has con­stant con­tact with the mix­ture, which is vi­tal for the best mix and pre­vents what is called ‘bridg­ing’, where the feed banks be­tween the two augers. The high auger speed and five ser­rated blades per auger en­sure ef­fec­tive shred­ding of hard, bulky ma­te­ri­als such as round hay and silage bales, and per­formed well in test with ex­actly that in the mix.

A ma­jor sell­ing point is the over­lap weld­ing for added strength, and sup­port right to the top with a main­te­nance­free con­i­cal roller bear­ing at the top and a sin­ter sleeve bear­ing at the bot­tom. This bear­ing con­struc­tion ab­sorbs both top and side auger forces and will help en­sure a long work­ing life.

The augers no­tice­ably climb the feed high and let it fall back down for ef­fec­tive mix­ing and for com­pletely emp­ty­ing the wagon. Be­cause there are no edges or cor­ners where the feed can ac­cu­mu­late, and with two kick­ers on the auger, the back auger feeds the front and then out the dis­charge door in one move­ment.

For tough, fi­brous ma­te­rial like the bales dur­ing our test, two counter blades (that can be re­tracted man­u­ally) al­low the feed to be held against the knives a lit­tle longer to al­low both faster and more con­sis­tent chop­ping.

An­other patented de­sign is the Tri­o­form auger knives, which are mounted hor­i­zon­tally on the augers to al­low op­ti­mum cut­ting with less re­sis­tance on the feed. This helps re­duce over­mix­ing and also re­duces power and fuel in­puts.

The Tri­o­form knives are self-sharp­en­ing and the spe­cial shape has both higher-strength and long-life de­sign prin­ci­ples, all of which re­duce on­go­ing run­ning costs in my mind.


There is no doubt that the com­plete mix­ing is a mas­sive ben­e­fit and one of the rea­sons to opt for a mixer, al­though many farm­ers men­tion the ad­di­tion of scales ei­ther on their loader, silage wagon or mixer as a tool they could not do with­out. The ‘Tri­otronic’ 3600V weigh­ing sys­tem on the test ma­chine was self-ex­plana­tory to use, al­lowed a num­ber of feed and ra­tions to be stored in the mem­ory, and was well stowed in the mov­able, wa­ter-tight dis­play cra­dle.

Three weigh cells (two un­der the bin and one on the tow­ing eye) en­sure max­i­mum sta­bil­ity. For max­i­mum ac­cu­racy, two mea­sure­ments are taken at ev­ery weigh cell, with the av­er­age value cal­cu­lated.

The heavy-duty weigh bars have dou­ble-sided strain gauges for max­i­mum ac­cu­racy, and the sys­tem is more ac­cu­rate (less sen­si­tive to peaks) while mov­ing.


Our test ma­chine had the con­veyer lo­cated on the front right-hand side of the wagon, but there are a num­ber of other dis­charge and dis­charge lo­ca­tion op­tions such as front and rear side doors, front con­veyer and rear dis­charge.

Other op­tions in­clude a syn­thetic con­veyor belt, a con­veyor chain, a curved con­veyor chain, an ad­justable el­e­va­tor chain, and a straight-side dis­charge door with ad­justable de­flec­tion plate (this last op­tion was also fit­ted to the test ma­chine).


The test wasn’t easy for the Tri­oliet Solomix 2 1600ZK feed wagon. Un­chopped bales are widely re­garded as the most dif­fi­cult and time-con­sum­ing item that you can blend in a mixer, but the Solomix did a very good job. Both chop length and con­sis­tency with maize, PKE, grass silage and min­er­als were very well blended through­out the feed trough.

Feed­ing was very easy and the con­veyer was well placed on the right-hand side within easy view from the seat. With a tight feed­pad and nar­row bins, it had ev­ery­thing against it, but came through very well.

Build qual­ity is un­ques­tion­able, which is some­thing we have come to ex­pect from Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers, and if you don’t be­lieve all the sales flan­nel it is made by the Dutch – they prac­ti­cally in­vented dairy farm­ing.


Main pic: Side dis­charge shoot for on-the-floor feed­ing 1: The Tri­oliet Solomix 2 1600ZK is a su­pe­rior feed wagon 2: The off­set in­serts help push the feed up and let it fall back down to al­low bet­ter in­cor­po­ra­tion 3: It’s easy to keep an eye on...



5: The main side feeder tucks away nicely for trans­port 6: A wide-an­gle shaft and weigh cell in the tow­ing eye com­ple­ment the two lo­cated be­tween the axle and tub 7: Build qual­ity is un­ques­tion­able 8: The num­ber chart shows how high the side door...

“With a tight feed­pad and nar­row bins, it had ev­ery­thing against it, but came through very well” 7



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