The general up-keep of any agri-business requires a focus on farm infrastructure, workshop kit and estate maintenance. Geoff Ashcroft looks at some of the new kit introductions in 2021.
Farm and estate maintenance extends far beyond the humble broom and shovel. While still part of the yard staple, mechanisation clearly has its benefits when keeping up appearances.
While hedgecutting equipment allows the short-back-and-sides approach for those with pride in their farm’s appearance, the flail chopper’s role is gathering pace. And with developments in offset to suit front- and rear-mounted applications, trimming verges and ditch banks has never been more productive.
Battery-powered kit is improving farm life too, with low noise and reduced emissions on offer, that extend far beyond the convenience of an 18V grease gun. With lithium-ion battery tech improving, one such development is Karcher’s battery-powered CS400/36 chainsaw. With a 400mm (16 inch) bar, run-times appear impressive at up to 30 minutes with a 7.5Ah battery.
Maschio’s latest range of offset flail mowers, imported by Opico, range from 1.57m to 2.57m wide, and have been developed for tractors from 50-200hp. Suitable for boundary mowing, they are available as left and right versions. The offset flail range also tilts downwards by up to 65 degrees and upwards by 90 degrees, making them suited to hedge siding and ditch sides.
Offset models can be combined with a front-mounted machine to increase productivity. The front/rear range spans 2.26-3.1m widths and is suitable for tractors from 60hp – 200hp. Maschio’s Bisonte and Buffalo machines can also be used to shred and mulch small branches and twigs.
Keith Rennie Machinery (KRM) is to distribute the Danish-built SIWI Combi Hitch.
The hitch offers a quick-connection facility between tractors and trailers or implements, enabling hydraulic couplers, pneumatic brake lines, pto shafts and electrical systems to be connected without leaving the cab.
The key is the use of two key components with mating faces. One is a carrying module fitted to the tractor’s rear linkage, and the other is an attachment module fastened to the implement.
KRM says the hitch can accommodate up to eight hydraulic couplers and two seven-pin electrical connectors. A multi-plug assembly can be included to accommodate Isobus connections and cameras.
Kuhn Farm Machinery has launched its first telescopic arm hedgecutter. Called the Multi-Longer GII 7457 E-TPAL, it offers a fully extended horizontal range of 7.4m and a maximum vertical working height of 8.4m.
This latest model has a parallelogram pivot-mounted straight arm configuration. It carries a 57hp hydraulic motor and 21kW air-cooled radiator with double heat exchanger. Multi-Longer GII has a 1.2m, belt-drive flail head as standard, offering 240 degrees of flail head rotation. An optional 1.5m flail head with hydraulic roller is available.
Controls include a four-function joystick with electric proportional control, and ground following through hydro-pneumatic lift control. Axle-mounted, the Multi-Longer GII is suitable for use on tractors from 120hp, with a 6.5 tonne operating weight.
The SPL Ultra range of replacement points, wings and shins from Spaldings has been expanded with new items to fit several cultivator and subsoiler designs.
The new items include a claw-type chisel point for MulchMix legs on Horsch Terrano cultivators; 120mm standard and 165mm intermediate point and wing assemblies for Cultivating Solutions and Grange Machinery subsoiling tines; point and wings in a one-piece casting for TWB subsoilers; and short shin with ribbed extension plates to protect TWB subsoiler legs.
Worcestershire-based Razorback has extended its line-up with the telescopic Auto-Level 680 reach mower. Featuring self-levelling co-pilot technology, this model ensures that the main frame of the machine remains level, regardless of tractor angle, when negotiating undulating ground. This reduces the number of operator inputs, to maintain a level finish.
Electronic proportional controls and a fully independent hydraulic system with oil cooler, are included in the specification.
The telescopic machine can be equipped with both rotary and flail head options. The 1.5m rotary head option incorporates a SoftStart triple rotor and additional mulching blades, while the flail head is fitted with heavy duty forged hammer flails, on its 1.2m and 1.5m cutting widths.
Karcher has launched a battery-powered chainsaw for applications where noise pollution is an issue. The CS400/36 Professional carries a 400mm (16 inch) bar, and the bare saw - without chain, bar, oil or battery weighs 4kg.
Available with two lithium-ion batteries offering 6.0Ah and 7.5Ah, run times are approximately 215 and 30 mins respectively.
Charge times, using a fast charger, are 68 minutes for the 6.0Ah battery and 81 minutes for the 7.5Ah battery.
Unless you are a contractor, maintaining hedges is a task that brings little commercial benefit to any farm. But with biomass becoming an increasingly more valuable resource for energy, there are opportunities to view hedges as a commercial asset, says Jim George of Hej Harvester.
Worcestershire-based Mr George, and his brother Richard, have created a concept harvester capable of cutting and collecting hedge cuttings, so they can be used for energy production.
Still on the drawing board, and seeking funding, the Hej Harvester uses a patented cutting head that also collects hedge material, storing it in a bulk hopper on the back of the tractor.
When full, the hopper can transfer its contents into a trailer, for processing. If nothing else, it could reduce the risk of punctures, often resulting from roadside hedge cutting operations.
Morris Lubricants has developed a new range of advanced lubricants intended to cover the majority of on-farm requirements.
Using the latest additive technology combined with high quality base oils, the Agrimax range is said to meet the requirements of engines, gearboxes, hydraulic systems and oil immersed brakes, across a wide variety of agricultural equipment, tractors and harvesters.
Morris Lubricants says the Agrimax range has achieved a wide range of OEM approvals, enabling operators to consolidate their oil inventory and use fewer products, reducing the risk of misapplication of lubricants.
Kentra, the Yorkshire-based manufacturer of mixed flow grain dryers, is introducing two new moisture measurement and recording systems for growers. Called DM100 and DM510, both are sourced from Canadian manufacturer Dryer Master.
The DM510 fully automates the grain drying process with minimal manual intervention, while the DM100 is a lower cost, less sophisticated version that still provides an element of control, says Kentra.
Grain moisture is measured at the discharge point and adjustments to the discharge rate are made automatically as operator-set high, low and target moisture levels for each of three discharge speeds are hit.
Unlike the fully automatic DM510, the DM100 requires the speed set points and moisture targets to be adjusted periodically to maintain optimum performance.
Keith Rennie Machinery (KRM) has updated its range of flail mowers with the addition of three new models. Called Grifus, Icon and Master Super, the models offer better material flow with a larger front intake and a new discharge system. Shredded material is now dropped behind the roller, instead of in front.
An increase in steel thickness in the frame plus a 195mm diameter rotor with 1.6kg hammer flails and a working speed of 2,250rpm makes these models capable of handling material up to 75mm in diameter, says the company.
Grifus rear-mounted models offer a 40cm hydraulic offset, and working widths from 1.4m up to 2.7m; Icon machines range from 2.3-3m, and can be front or rear-mounted and include 60cm of hydraulic offset. Master Super models are fully offset, rear-mounted with cutting widths from 1.6m to 2.5m.
The Plus series of FHP flail mower models from Kverneland have been developed with transmissions to handle up to 150hp. Sitting above the FHP series, there are three models of FHP Plus: 200, 230 and 250, representing working widths of 2m, 2.3m and 2.5m.
All three are side-pivoting machines, using a parallelogram linkage to create an offset that can push the flail head beyond the tractor’s rear tyre. A hydraulic ram on the flail head affords vertical folding and below-horizontal tilting – both key attributes for working on ditch banks, embankments or verges.
Hammers working against a counter-knife improve chop quality for quicker mulching, while a double-skin hood adds to durability.