2015’s Spread-a-Bale machines – which feature a galvanised finish and a combination of lighter rotors, improved hydraulics and up-rated motors – will be shown on Stand B47 at LAMMA 2015.
Manufacturer Thos Storey Fabrications Ltd says the improvements are already helping first owners spread straw further and more efficiently. They are also expected to extend the machines’ working life.
Spread-a-Bale is a hydraulically powered machine that spreads entire straw evenly, while creating minimal dust and without staff having to enter the pen, which cuts the time and labour involved, and reduces straw usage.
The new galvanised finish will be harder wearing than conventional paint, and give the machine better protection against the corrosion risks to which the machine is exposed during use:
“Early customers say the new machines achieve very consistent spreading across the full pen width, and maintain consistent performance, even with matted and poor quality straw”, says Tom Robinson, UK Sales Manager.
Spreading reach and efficiency have been improved by using new style rotors that strip straw out of the bale more efficiently. Rotor torque has been raised by some 30% courtesy of larger motors and an improved control system:
“These changes mean the machine can cope with round, dense and mouldy bales as efficiently as it always has worked with square bales”, says Tom.
Thos Storey has taken the opportunity to re-model the front end of the machine, these changes improving its performance and strength. These include stronger hydraulic ram supports and re-positioning pivot points.
It has also simplified the bottom of the spreading head to improve material flow through the spreading rotors and adjusting the angle of the ramp leading to the belt to improve the speed and ease of bale loading.
A replaceable lip is now fitted to the leading edge of the machine to protect it against damage when picking bales off the ground.
The side deflector plates are also now made of durable yellow plastic – similar to that used in mudguards – so neither they nor buildings are damaged by accidental contact during spreading. Users report that their colour helps avoid damage when working in confined or dark spaces.
Taken together, these changes have removed around 100kgs weight from the machine’s overall weight, which opens up the potential to use it with a greater range of smaller loaders and tractors.
A new style of rear guard is also being fitted to the bale chamber which – as well as being stronger than its predecessor – offers operators better visibility of the bale chamber.
Prices for the new style machines start from £10,425 for the Mini machine (1.5m diameter round bales; 1.8m long square bales); £11,050 for the Midi (1.5m; 2.5m) and £11,500 for the Maxi (2.0m; 2.5m).
Thos Storey is also offering a retro-fittable cowling that can quickly be attached/detached from in front of the rotors which enables the machine to windrow hay or silage, or distribute it into feed troughs or mixer wagons. This option costs £450.