Muck chucker

Crap comes in many dif­fer­ent forms – cow crap, chicken crap, runny crap, old crap, bull crap, and the crap the lads talk at the lo­cal wa­ter­ing hole on a Fri­day night. In farm­ing terms, mak­ing use of this farm­ing by- prod­uct has be­come an im­por­tant as­pect

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Used Equipment Test -

Farm­ers in the Euro­pean Union have been hous­ing stock in barns to pro­tect their soils through win­ter for some time, and have de­vel­oped the tools to help man­age this slurry and ma­nure waste. The West Dual 2000 is one such ma­chine, man­u­fac­tured in the work­shop of Harry West in North Shrop­shire, Eng­land. The orig­i­nal West Dual spread­ers were rolled off the pro­duc­tion line back in 1979, re­ceiv­ing awards for de­sign and in­no­va­tion at the Royal Show in 1982. Not a lot has changed on the West spread­ers over time, with many of the orig­i­nal de­sign fea­tures re­main­ing on cur­rent mod­els. Small changes have been made to sprocket sizes, just to al­ter the feed rate of ma­te­rial to the side spreader unit from the tri­an­gu­lar- shaped, sealed- tub body. Re­cently, I caught up with Be­van and the team at Cald­well Con­tract­ing in the deep south of New Zealand’s South Is­land. Why head all the way down there? Well, with three West Dual 2000 spread­ers in their fl eet of trac­tors and ma­chin­ery pur­chased through Farm­chief Ma­chin­ery, they know what they are talk­ing about. In their busi­ness, Be­van uses the West Dual spreader ma­chines pre­dom­i­nantly for spread­ing waste from weep­ing walls and feed pad muck, which is scraped up and col­lected in a sump – sim­i­lar to the job they were orig­i­nally de­signed for. That said, they can also be used to spread a mul­ti­tude of dif­fer­ent things like laneway clean­ings, wood­chip, and calf bed­ding. Un­like a stan­dard fer­tiliser spreader, which tends to block when spread­ing wood­chip ( yes, I speak from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence), the large mov­ing side­wall helps pre­vent ma­te­rial bridg­ing above the feed auger. This pre­vents it reach­ing the spreader on the side of the ma­chine in this case, or at the rear of a fer­tiliser truck.

ON THE JOB

Be­van had or­gan­ised some muck and a pad­dock to spread it onto, with one of his reg­u­lar clients just fi ve min­utes down the road. The low load­ing height of 2.35m al­lows th­ese ma­chines to be loaded by a trac­tor with front- end loader, al­though the large bucket of the JCB Load­all did get both ma­chines loaded up pretty quickly, so we could get onto the job of spread­ing faster. Op­tional splash guards can be fi tted on the front and rear to min­imise spillage of loads with high wa­ter per­cent­age. How­ever, given the work th­ese ma­chines are de­signed for, it is in­evitable that they are go­ing to get dirty. The qual­ity of paint and fi nish should help pro­tect the ma­chine from cor­ro­sion through its life. Wash­ing and leav­ing it un­der cover will also help with this a great deal. Slurry spread­ing is not an ex­act science, and so the spread of one load to the next is bound to vary. The West is said to have a spread pat­tern of 21m, al­though, on some prod­ucts, I would imag­ine this may stretch out to nearer 30m and oth­ers closer to 15m. With the wet slurry prod­uct we were us­ing, an even spread was achieved of around the 15- 20m mark. The West de­sign utilises sim­ple sprocket and chain drives to give the ap­pro­pri­ate speeds to feed ma­te­rial from the auger into the side spreader unit. This min­imises horse­power re­quire­ment to run the ma­chine, and also re­duces on­go­ing main­te­nance costs through not re­quir­ing a gear­box. The down­side is that the spread of the West Dual is to the left of the ma­chine, which is a slightly less nat­u­ral po­si­tion for the op­er­a­tor. Any­way, two West spread­ers at work in one pad­dock is pretty im­pres­sive, and the only thing bet­ter is three West spread­ers – some­thing you don’t get to ex­pe­ri­ence of­ten.

It pays to watch out as, with such a spread, they could well be spread­ing crap in your di­rec­tion. Late win­ter/early spring is a tricky time of the year to get ma­chin­ery on pad­docks, but the West Dual spread­ers with their large flota­tion tyres seem to han­dle the job just fine.

With a sin­gle axle, scuff­ing dur­ing turns is min­imised, and the large tyres cover the job of min­imis­ing soil pas­ture dam­age while also act­ing as the sus­pen­sion for the ma­chine, al­low­ing the axle height and over­all ma­chine height to be kept down.

OPER­A­TION

Some of the key points of the West spreader are that it is easy and safe to op­er­ate. The V-shaped bin keeps weight when loaded down low, min­imis­ing the risk of a rollover on hilly ter­rain. Also, the auger to feed the ma­te­rial to the side spreader unit brings the ma­te­rial for­ward, keep­ing the weight on the trac­tor to help main­tain trac­tion.

With the use of sim­ple sprocket and chain drives, the power re­quire­ment is kept down to a mere 70kW or 95hp, with a PTO speed of 540.

For our test drive, Be­van had the West spread­ers on two John Deere 6930s. A few ex­tra horse­power is

al­ways good to avoid hav­ing fully loaded im­ple­ments push­ing you around.

When op­er­at­ing, a sim­ple coloured gauge tells you how wide you have the door open when spread­ing.

Teeth on the 900mm spread­ing ro­tor are spaced closer to­gether at the front where the door opens hor­i­zon­tally to aid the spread of more liq­uid-type loads. The teeth are re­versible, dou­bling their life. The amount of time the teeth will last de­pends en­tirely on what you are spread­ing.

The bot­tom side of the spreader is dou­ble-spring loaded. This al­lows the odd lump to make its way through with­out caus­ing a block­age.

The other safety fea­ture is a stone trap on the right-hand side to catch any rocks or other foreign ob­jects likely to cause dam­age. As with all spread­ers, it pays to be care­ful when load­ing to avoid any posts or lumps of con­crete.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

As I said at the start of the ar­ti­cle, crap comes in many dif­fer­ent shapes and forms, which makes it dif­fi­cult to han­dle and achieve the best re­sults from one ma­chine.

With the West Dual spreader, I be­lieve you are equipped to han­dle wet muck per­fectly, and also to spread dry prod­ucts if re­quired.

From one slurry tanker a few years ago, Be­van and the Cald­well Con­tract­ing team have cer­tainly amassed a se­ri­ous ar­ray of tools for deal­ing with farm ef­flu­ent waste.

The fleet now con­sists of a two tankers, an um­bil­i­cal hose spreader sys­tem, two rear-dis­charge K2 muck spread­ers, and three West side-dis­charge muck spread­ers, al­low­ing them the tools and ca­pac­ity to ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently man­age ef­flu­ent waste.

“With the use of sim­ple sprocket and chain drives, the power re­quire­ment is kept down to a mere 70kW or 95hp, with a PTO speed of 540”

Main pic: The West Dual 2000 ef­flu­ent spreader han­dles both wet and dry muck

An auger feeds ma­te­rial to the side spreader at the front of the ma­chine

A unique axle de­sign keeps the over­all height and weight of the load down for sta­bil­ity Bolt-on re­versible/ re­place­able spreader tips

Two of the three West spread­ers op­er­ated by Cald­well Con­tract­ing

Even spread with slurry type waste

You can’t see it much of the time, but qual­ity paint work is im­por­tant on ma­chines such as the West Dual 2000

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.