Trioliet Solomix 2 mixer/feeder
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.
AUGER AND KNIVES
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.
CHASSIS AND SCALES
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 BOTTOM LINE
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 the
4: Feeding was very easy with the
Solomix 2 1600ZK
HITS Very well made
Side conveyer is well placed for both incab visibility and feed placement
Top retention ring gives the bin a real ‘tough’ feel about it
Tub wear ring ensures long working life
Auger is well supported right to the top with maintenance-free bearings
Various door and conveyer options
Easy-to-use, intelligent and clear digital weigh system
Consistent chop length and incorporation of minerals in discharged feed
Tendency to push the feed to the front or rear of the tub occasionally during mixing, and some material was pushed out the top even when the bin was relatively empty 4
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 is lifted 6
“With a tight feedpad and narrow bins, it had everything against it, but came through very well” 7