2 January 2019

Tractor test 

John Deere 6155R Long term test:

The contractor owner of our long-term 6155R has a history with John Deere stretching back more than a decade. Does this mean he bleeds green blood and wouldn’t even entertain running another colour? Not quite. While his 2,882-hour, 17-plate example has been pretty much problem-free, he’s happy to admit the tractor still has its faults.

Practical test

Six UTVs compared:

With their light footprint, seating for one or more passengers and a usefully large load bay, side-by-side utility vehicles have found a growing place on UK and Irish farms, around 4,500 units selling to professional operators every year. Here we look at six UTVs to give you an appetiser to the tasty choices on offer.

Driving impression

Duncan Enviro DD30 drill:

While no-till is gathering pace in our part of the world, New Zealand farmers and contractors have a lot more experience of this cereal and pasture growing technique. So it makes sense, then, to have a look at the sort of machines the Kiwi firms have been creating. Meet the Duncan Enviro DD30.

Grifa Softstep:

The humble tractor step gets you from the ground and into the cab, and vice versa. How could you possibly refine such a simple arrangement? Well, the Softstep answers that question ... definitively. We explore what it is, what it does and how it works.

Vermeer ZR5-1200:

Previewed as a prototype at last year’s US Husker Harvest Days, we spent time in the field with the pre-production version of Vermeer’s novel ZR5 self-propelled round baler.

John Deere C441R:

When John Deere introduced the 440 series in 2013 it was a major overhaul of its previous fixed-chamber machine. Now it has further refined the design with the 441 models, which include a completely new combi that has the McHale Fusion in its sights.

Livestock equipment

Norwegians trial plasma reactor in Northern Ireland

With slurry volumes increasing on all livestock farms across the UK and Europe thanks to the EU-enforced winter spreading ban, farmers are being encouraged to explore new methods of utilising the by-product as a financially rewarding resource. There are numerous options available to separate slurry into solids and liquids, including trials in two countries using a plasma reactor to strip out the nitrogen.

Used machinery

McConnel hedge cutters:

McConnel Power Arm hedge and verge cutters are readily available on the pre-owned market, internet auction sites bulging with units at seriously low entry-level money. That's not the same as suggesting this is the way to go. As with all used kit, the best buy is seldom the cheapest on offer

Workshop

Paint correction and restoration:

A little TLC on tractor paint can soon enhance its appearance and its value. But careful steps are needed to bring out the deepest shine, says Ryan Pryer of Devon-based RP Valeting and Detailing.

Abrasion resistance test on Ferobide:

Abrasive wear has been a problem since mankind first tried cultivating soil. A relatively new material — Ferobide — looks to give farms another weapon to counter it. So when the product’s agricultural distributor, Stewart Peckitt, suggested we give some a try, it seemed rude not to ...

Machine management

Luxembourg based contractor J-Reiff:

Never in their wildest dreams couldthe husband and wife team of Robert Reiff and Françoise Thinnes have imagined that the small dairy and beef farm they bought at Binsfeld in 1953 would develop into the largest contracting business in what is officially called the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The contracting work started just five years later when the couple bought their first combine, a Fahr M3 model, in 1958. A conventional baler quickly followed, and in 1963 the fledgling contractor bought two more tractors, a 42hp Renault N71 and 27hp Lanz Hella.

Technical

Farb Guidance Systems

Autonomous skid steer loaders form the basis of the contract farming business of North American company Farb Guidance Systems. So what
jobs can you do with a driverless loader? More than you might think ...

Special:

LAMMA 2019 Preview:

LAMMA visitors go under cover for the first time as the January 2019 event moves to the NEC in Birmingham with all exhibitors located in one of 11 halls. The usual mix of large international and smaller domestic manufacturers, displaying everything from workshop tools to the biggest combines, guarantees a mix of products, with many new items being seen in the UK for the first time.

Models:

Zwolle model exhibition:

Each November some 9,000 European model enthusiasts travel to the Dutch town of Zwolle for the LCN-organised (Dutch farm model club) show. It's one of the largest events of its kind in Europe.

Report:

Joskin at 50:

Joskin celebrated its 50th anniversary with a spectacular display of machines, new developments and technological updates.