11 May 2018

Tractor test

Fendt Vario 1050:

Too big for tyres might be the competition’s argument against the Fendt 1050. Um. Our test would suggest otherwise. Not only can the world’s most powerful conventional tractor pull, but it’s also the most fuel efficient unit we’ve tested.

Practical test

Kuhn GA13131 rake:

Creating quite a splash at last year’s UK Grassland event was the Kuhn GA 13131 four-rotor rake, whose locust-style arms vary working width from 8.75m out to a broad 12.45m. We tested the machine over the course of the 2017 ensiling campaign.

McHale Pro Glide F3100, R3100 mower conditioner:

Though boasting a growing range of forage kit, McHale is still a fresh face in the moco market. The F3100/R3100 front and rear combi has its work cut out if it’s to make a sales dent in this highly competitive sector.

Driving impression

Kveneland Siloking E-Truck 8:

With makers having to shoehorn more exhaust cleaning gubbins into an already tight package, is it time to ditch the oil burner in favour of electric? Siloking seems to think so and has come up with the battery-powered E-Truck to test demand. We take it for a whirr.

Rabe Blue Bird CL 3000 cultivator:

Having almost disappeared off the UK and Irish arable radar, Rabe is back with some fresh wings on the Blue Bird tine cultivator.

Hawe Wester WPS 22 TT tracked trailer:

If the weather doesn’t improve soon, the WPS 22 TT forage trailer could become very popular. Tracks spread the trailer’s weight, and they are also powered to keep you on the move, even in the ‘boggiest’ maize harvests. Fewer ruts, reduced costs, less stress.

Holmer Terra Variant 435 self-propelled slurry tanker:

At Agritechnica Holmer presented the Terra Variant 435, a new self-propelled slurry tanker that offers contractors and slurry rings an entry model into this highly specialist sector. We had the opportunity of driving the prototype to the weighbridge....

Hirl Technik self-propelled feeder:

A room with a view. Hirl has come up with an interesting idea ... of raising the cab to give a better view into a self-propelled feeder’s tub.

Livestock equipment

Fully automated dairy:

With the desire to put in practise what he has learned, farm consultant Mike Hobbis set about creating a highly automated dairy unit. Not only are the cows being milked by robots but they are also doing the feeding.

Used machinery

Tanco 1500 series bale wrappers:

Tanco 1500 Autowrap bale wrappers have a pedigree that goes back to the Danagri machines first imported in 1989, and more recent models include variants that wrap square as well as round bales. How do you choose the right one as a used buy?

Technical

How it works - automatic four-wheel drive on the Fendt 1000 series:

Several steps on from simple all-mechanical 4WD systems, Fendt now talks 'Torque Distribution' on its conventional wheeled tractor flagship, the high horsepower 1000 series. We explain how the system works.

Power

Mercedes-Benz Unimog U1200 vs U400

The universal motorised working vehicle, or Unimog, has an army of fans, especially in Germany. Sadly, though, the classic farming version is now in real danger of extinction, as too few farmers can see the benefit of the Merc on their soil. But add a transport workload, and the ‘U’ still gets the job done. We look at the difference 25 years can make between a U1200 and the younger U400.

Machine management

Timber chipping adds to Northumberland farm's workload:

Hugh Wood was looking at a better way of utilising his high horsepower tractor investment. The Wood solution is to have his arable prime mover spending most months munching through mountains of timber

Workshop

Blast cleaning equipment

Yorkshire-based Guyson International has eight decades of experience with blast cleaning equipment to draw on - so good people to quiz about the best processes and options for farms.

Buyers guide - Disc based cultivating seed drills:

One-pass cultivation and sowing with the versatility to tackle min-till and ploughed seedbeds are the key attractions of the trailed disc coulter cultivator drills detailed here. Choose from short discs, tines or power harrows for the cultivation element, and select from front press
wheels and front- or mid-mounted levelling tines to suit different soils and conditions

Vehicles:

Ford Ranger Wildtrak vs Mercedes-Benz X250:

Mercedes has done much more than simply stick its iconic badge on a Nissan Navara. So how does the pointed-star X250 stack up against another established truck player ... in this case the muscular Ford Ranger?