Scottish manufacturer Bryce Suma has developed the new Suma TR400 post driver suitable for smaller tractors. Chris McCullough reports
Suma TR 400
Scottish machinery manufacturer Bryce Suma has produced a new heavy-duty post driver suitable for lower horsepower tractors.
Driving in fencing posts can be a real strain on the back, but more often than not the tractor-mounted post-drivers need a large tractor to drive them.
However, Bryce Suma has just introduced the new Suma TR400 that can be driven by a small utility tractor.
Tests on smaller tractors around 45 to 50 horsepower
(33.6 to 37.3kW) have already been completed and the results proved favourable.
Jock Bryce of Bryce Suma said the company’s regular heavyduty post drivers carried on the rear three-point hitch need a substantial tractor to maintain secure stability on site and during road travel.
“However, not everyone has need of a 120–150hp (89.5–111.9kW) tractor, so our new Suma TR400 is a trailed design that can be operated by a small tractor, whether new or quite elderly,” he says.
“As long as the tractor can summon up a 25–30 litres/min oil supply to operate the 400kg hammer at a sensible speed, then that’s all you need.”
Bryce Suma says the Suma TR400 has all the performance and operating features of a top-end tractor-mounted post driver, but with the added benefit of storage space for up to 20 strainer posts, 100 round or square fencing stakes or eight to 10 rolls of 100m net, plus barbed or plain wire.
The chassis houses a secure container for a chainsaw and other hand tools, there are tool trays for fencing gear on the drawbar and adjacent to the hydraulic controls, and vertical slots for storing wooden support blocks to place beneath the two stabilising hydraulic jacks.
These extend from the frame by the offside wheel and from the bottom of the mast as part of a package of hydraulic features that also provide mast side-shift and two-way vertical alignment.
Back-shift and side-shift enable the operator to precisely position the mast for driving fence posts or the patented integral hydraulic swing-around rock spike.
In addition, the drawbar design allows the chassis to be ‘jackknifed’ at up to 90 degrees to the tractor to get into tight or awkward corners and wheels set out wide with large flotation tyres provide good stability and flotation on soft ground.
As on all Bryce Suma post drivers, the mast on the new TR400 is a two-stage telescopic design that provides 3.6m of hammer drop to strike the steel cap that holds and protects the post.
Bryce himself says the post driver has a number of features designed to make things easier for the operator.
“The unique and patented auto tele mast provides the operator with a choice of any length of hammer stroke without having to make any adjustments to the mast itself,” he says.
“It also reduces overall height to avoid overhead cables or branches when working amongst trees, and also for transport when the mast is set at an angle to further reduce overall height and bring the weight inwards.”
Other patented features include a greasing arrangement that allows both sides of the telescopic mast to be lubricated without the operator having to clamber on to the machine’s frame.
Bryce Suma has tested the new machine on a modern 47hp (35kW) utility tractor, a regular 60hp (44.7kW) farm tractor and on elderly two- and four-wheel drive tractors, which can be fitted with an auxiliary tank and power take-off-driven hydraulic pump if their built-in hydraulic system is inadequate.
“This new post driver will suit a professional operator who wants the benefits of the TR400’s storage capacity in addition to its topnotch performance or someone wanting to upgrade to a highoutput machine but who does not have the budget for a big tractor to go with it,” Bryce says.
Bryce Suma sees this latest post-driver as one that will be very popular with customers.
Above: The Suma TR400 has been designed for use with small and elderly tractors