Sunday 07 October 2012
Beat tankers for muck spreading
By far the most popular machine for spreading farm slurry is the traditional vacuum tanker with inverted splash plate, and this situation is likely to continue.
These machines can cause a lot of air pollution, particularly if used in unsuitable weather conditions, and if the machine is not switched off quickly enough when the tank is almost empty.
For a cost of about €11,000, a band spreader and chopper attachment can be fitted to most vacuum tankers. Trailing shoe machinery and a six-metre trailing shoe hose unit have become available in recent years. The cost of these machines is generally too high for individual farmers, but they have a definite place for contractors or in partnerships.
The main problem with the original band spreading and the trailing shoe was that they slowed down spreading rate and were liable to blockages. The modern machines contain an inlet chopper and a macerator which ensures even distribution, and spread as quickly as the splash plate.
The umbilical system of slurry spreading is very useful, especially on heavy land. The system lends itself to abuse in very wet conditions but there is no reason why it can’t be an effective and environmentally friendly system with good management. In fact it provides the best opportunity to get slurry out in early spring, especially on heavy land.
The system has one tractor and operator in the yard pumping under very high pressure up to 2.4 km to a container on a tractor which is continuously spreading through dribble bar of up to 12 metres.
The advantages of the system include very high output (30,000 gallons per hour), competitive spreading costs, less compaction of ground and facilitates spreading when there is optimum use of slurry nutrients.
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