Last year both Oxbo and Vervaet unveiled four-wheel self-propelleds, while this type of machine was always muted to be on the cards for Oxbo, it was something of a surprise from Vervaet who have been obstinate of the virtues of its trike layout. Given the vast cost of these machines, they are certainly not something you would buy on a whim, we tracked down early users of the snappily named AT5104 LNMS and the ‘Quad’ as well as a more familiar player in the four-wheel self-propelled field, Vredo with its VT4556 SlurryTrac which has also had a relatively recent makeover. First up is the Oxbo.
With roughly 100 machines on the books and a full-time staff of 17, Schoemaker Landtechnik is one of the largest contractor’s in the Lower Saxony region in north-west Germany. Located just a couple of miles from the Dutch border, main activities include slurry application, grass and maize silage, combine harvesting, straw baling, and potato harvesting (see machine fleet).
Operating within a 25-30km radius of Itterbeck village, although they are occasionally asked to pop across the border, most of their customers are German farms. The country’s slurry spreading season runs from the beginning of February to the start of November. The volume of slurry work depends on the season. Spilt 50:50 between grassland and maize (pre- and post-drilling), it is all applied by three machines. The AT5104 LNMS (Liquid Nutrient Management System) and a pair of 20m³ Wienhoff trailed tankers with 15m Bomech Trac-Pack trailing shoe applicators.
New AT machines now leave the Dutch assembly line at Roosendaal with Oxbo branding, and Schoemaker’s machine, one of the last to wear the Ploeger name, is the contractor’s third self-propelled. The previous two were both Vredo Trac’s.