MACHINERY manufacturer, Coolamon, has come up with a two-in-one, spreader/chaser machine that can be used as both a bulk fertiliser spreader and a grain chaser bin.
Demonstrating the new unit at this week’s AgQuip Field Days in north west New South Wales, Coolamon regional sales manager for northern NSW and Queensland, Marney Strachan, said the new spreader/chaser was a large-capacity fertiliser spreader with the added benefit of being a chaser bin.
Mr Strachan said the combo machine evolved from the specialty spreader and chaser bin designs that the Coolamon manufacturing business was widely known for.
“While it is very clever to have two pieces of equipment in one, it is foremost a large-capacity spreader. It starts as a hopper for fertiliser spreading. Then we add hungry boards to the top of it, a front hopper, gearbox, PTO-drive line and unload auger to make it into a chaser bin. It is very simple to change between the two roles,” he said.
“There is a spreader-design belt system that runs through the middle. It is the same as a normal belt, but longer. There is the same spinner system on the back as a spreader and the belt just feeds back. When it comes time for harvest, flick the lever the other way and the belt sends everything forward as a chaser bin.”
Mr Strachan said the dual-axle spreader/chaser came in four sizes, ranging in capacity, depending on the fertiliser or grain function. The unit on display at AgQuip was rated, as a spreader, at 23,000-litre capacity.
He said the large machines required tractors with reasonable horsepower and, in particular, high hydraulic capacity.
“For a machine of this size (23,000 litres) a reasonably-sized front-wheel-assist tractor of 200 horsepower (150kW) upwards will handle it,” he said.
“The spreading system, the spinners and the hydraulic drive for the belt put a reasonable demand on the hydraulics. Generally, a large-capacity tractor will have the 120-plus litres required to run this. It has to go through a dedicated, power-beyond hydraulic circuit to control it because there are a lot of bypass issues in tractor hydraulics that can upset the sensing to get the spreader working correctly.
“We option a Topcon rate controller system which can Isobus into any onboard system. If someone prefers, they can specify their own rate controller.
“They are on tandem axles. Generally three metres is standard, but we can take it out to four metres.
“And a weight scale system is incorporated into it which is a helpful function to be able to monitor and adjust the rates as you are travelling, especially with manures, composts, lime and gypsum where you get density changes in the product.”
As big ticket items, the first spreader/chaser units have been sold into the broadacre market in Western Australia.
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