Smaller forage wagons upgraded

  • Straumann’s smallest Zelon forage-wagons have received a raft of upgrades to bring them up to speed with the rest of the company’s line-up

A new knife-bank, rotor driveline and additional pick-up options all form part of this update which is set to significantly extend the machines’ capabilities.

The 24-35cu.m range is primarily aimed at smaller livestock units that want to retain silage making in house to ensure optimum timing and maximise forage quality. To improve on what has gone before the Zelon now gets the Exact-Cut chopper unit employed in larger Strautmann forage-wagons. A 37-knife unit, it brings theoretical chop lengths down to 39mm.

While shorter fibre length will help in clamp consolidation, ensure consistent fermentation and ultimately improve silage quality, it also makes for less sorting and wastage at the feed fence.

The new chopper unit includes auto-reset stone protection and reversible blades to minimise downtime. In order to cope with heavier crops the rotor is now wider than before and employs a duplex chain drive with auto tensioner and auto oiler to reduce the maintenance burden.

As before, the Zelon has Strautmann’s patented Continuous Flow System rotor that spreads material right out to the sides of the knife bank to produce a more even mat of grass through the chopper unit.

With fins at its outer ends that fold the shoulders of the mat of crop inwards, the stream of material is effectively ‘square-edged’ and the same depth across the entire width rather than having tapered shoulders. This is the critical factor in ensuring an even crop flow, helped by the helical arrangement of the pick-up tines and the new height-adjustable crop press roller.

Now 10cm wider than before, the 1.8m wide cam-less pick-up has steel tines and plastic stripper bands in standard format. As an option buyers can choose plastic Flex-Load tines which are more durable and have significantly longer working lives than their steel equivalents. There’s also the option of a 500mm wide depth roller at the rear of the pick-up to ensure faithful contouring in undulating terrain and help avoid soil contamination in the clamp.

Up in the body the wooden floor has been replaced by powder-coated corrosion-resistant steel. Four 13-tonne breaking-strength chains carrying pairs of slats run in profiled channels to propel crop to the rear door.

The Zelon has a choice of running gear – a standard 13-tonne rated tandem axle arrangement that can accommodate tyre sizes up to 650/40 R 22.5 or a 16-tonne version with passive steering that will take 710/40 R 22.5 wheels.

Being ISOBUS-compatible, these latest Strautmann wagons can either be operated via the tractor’s in-cab computer or by a standard toggle-switch control box where ISOBUS is not available.

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