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Cameron Johnston, Dairy Farmer - Taranaki

Farm Trader Review: Nevada Solids Spreader

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Farm Trader Review - Nevada Solids Spreader
As land usage becomes more intensified, the surge in standoff pads, feed pads and barns has also increased in order to accommodate an increase in animal numbers.
 
An effective, high quality muck spreader is crucial for controlling effluent management. Jaiden Drought checks out the Nevada AS12000 solid muck spreader, which certainly looks to be up to the task.
 
“Land intensification can be a positive if done correctly. A large volume of extra effluent captured can be spread to the land when the weather allows.
 
The future will likely see either low stocking rate farms or, at the other end of the spectrum, highly stocked farms with significant infrastructure to reduce the environmental footprint. This in turn will be the more environmentally-friendly option.
 
The solid muck from feed pads and loafing barns can be a little niggly to deal with, as it can often be bulky from fibre such as grass silage and maize, whereas loading pads generally have a large portion of often sloppy wood shaving type material.
 
Rear discharge is definitely the preferred option for dealing with the latter, as the large rear door allows lumpy bulky material to be shredded through the rear beaters and evenly spread on crop ground.
 
These machines are made with some of the latest in high tech engineering equipment. You chain material to spinners at the rear, jack everything up to handle heavy muck through a robust-looking machine which, as we found in our test, is effective in handling both dry fluffy and wet sloppy material.

Undercarriage

 
These machines are being offered in two main sizes; offering 8- or 12-ton dimensions. The 12-ton unit we had a look at is the largest in the range and targeted more towards agricultural contractors.
 
One of the first things I noticed were the large 580/70 R38 wheels which are perfect for this application. They make it easy to pull, reduce ground compaction and prevent it from sledging in tough going like a tandem axle set- up might do.
 
Optional leaf drawbar suspension on a 200mm x 200mm drawbar and a commercial- grade axle provides for a nice ride, with the large tyres placing plenty of weight onto the tractor for forward momentum.
Nevada Solids Spreader undercarrage

Tub

 
The Nevada AS12000 uses a heavy-duty monocoque body for extra strength, with 4mm sides with reinforcing ribs and a 5mm reinforced floor.
 
The risk for contractors is that they have no idea what’s in the pile of muck they are about to spread so, as a safety precaution, no debris can escape the front floor chains and top front bin guard. This completely protects the tractor driver.
The hydraulic tail door is the fastest way to adjust the application rate. This has a large rubber section on the bottom to make it almost completely watertight; helpful when containing sloppy material. Our test machine featured the optional cover to drop the material to only the bottom spinners.
 
We used the test machine to spread both chicken manure (which is light and fluffy) and wet silt trap cleanings. It did a great job at both, with no material escaping from the rear door. My only gripe is the lack of a front clear panel or something similar to indicate how much material is left in the bin, as it’s hard to see this from the front.
The hydraulic tail door is the fastest way to adjust the application rate. This has a large rubber section on the bottom to make it almost completely watertight; helpful when containing sloppy material. Our test machine featured the optional cover to drop the material to only the bottom spinners.
 
We used the test machine to spread both chicken manure (which is light and fluffy) and wet silt trap cleanings. It did a great job at both, with no material escaping from the rear door. My only gripe is the lack of a front clear panel or something similar to indicate how much material is left in the bin, as it’s hard to see this from the front.
 

Floor Chains

 
The floor drive is hydraulically driven to ensure an even feed to the spinners. This is also fitted with a reverse feature, which proves handy when removing foreign objects like posts or large rocks, which won’t pass through the beaters. A cross-line relief valve stops material being bulldozed into the beaters, saving on wear and tear.
 
The tub is 1.5m wide and full width floor slats are more effective at giving constant flow to the spinners while also eliminating the potential for any tricky material to bridge. This also mitigates the need to tighten the floor chains without them jumping off.
 
Admittedly this system does place added stress through the floor bars, with more stretching pressure on the chains. To help alleviate this though, heavy duty bars (double 75mm channel) are sited close together and feature 16mm chain with a 32 ton break out. The chains are grade 80, which is the highest resistance grade for traction chains, and are kept inline by high-tensile sprockets. A simple external floor tensioning system ensures floor chain tension can be easily adjusted in the field with a spanner. When adjusting the floor chains, you can clearly see them underneath the machine which makes it easy to get the correct tension.
 

Rear Beaters and Discharge

 
The 1500mm wide tapered back end houses the purpose-built gearbox and rotors. The material is fed to the dynamically balanced beaters which are all Hardox, not just the tips either, but the whole kit and caboodle. The reason for this (as mentioned earlier) is that they take a beating from foreign objects, so this gives them long service life. The beaters are mechanically driven by a PTO at 1000rpm through a one-piece gearbox with a shear-bolt on the main drive shaft.
 
Additionally, the test machine featured the Wide Spread Package, which consists of a large galvanised rear door. When this is on, all the material drops to the large diameter bottom spinners which significantly increases the spread width (up to 24m). This can be removed for normal muck spreading, where the full auger flight is used, and the spread width is reduced.
 
This brings me to the only other real gripe I have with the Nevada AS12000, which is the fact the rear cover door is mounted with six large bolts. These could be fiddly to get back on given the swinging weight of the door. In my opinion, a top hinged arrangement with bottom latching is a much safer way to go where a large tractor or telehandler and operator will couple on their own.
Farm Trader Review - Nevada Solids Spreader
Nevada Solids Spreader
Farm Trader Review - Nevada Solids Spreader

Verdict

 
An effective and quality muck spreader is crucial for controlling effluent management. Contractors need a robust machine to spread this type of stuff day in, day out, not knowing what lies beneath. A muck spreader needs to get the muck to the back, spread it evenly and be built to take the punishment this kind of work entails. The Nevada stood up to the variety of material we put in it, with a consistent spread pattern and high build quality. It sure does tick all the boxes.”

Pros

  • Heavy duty floor chains and double channel floor bars give constant flow to rear beaters
  • Narrow drawbar for tight turning and suspension ensures a good ride
  • Flaps cover the rear lights once the door is raised
  • Hydraulic brakes are fitted as standard
  • Robust one-piece gearbox
  • Hardox rear beaters for long service life
  • High-lift door with rubber bottom to keep sloppy material in check
  • Large tyres reduce compaction and make the machine easier to pull
  • Monocoque body with two pack anti-corrosion paint gives the machine a quality feel

Cons

  • A sight glass in the front panel would be handy to see the level of runny slurry type material in the machine
  • The mounting of the wide spread door could be changed for safer and faster removal and re-attaching

Test Drive a Nevada Solids Spreader

We understand it's important to get the correct machine to suit your farming operation. That's why it can be a great option to have an on-farm demonstartion.

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