Reviews

Test: Kuhn Euromix 3370

Bigger is not always better, but in the case of the Kuhn Euromix 3370, this massive machine is saving both time and money for its new owner

The triple auger vertical mixer wagon is the first of its kind delivered in New Zealand and Farm Trader’s Jaiden Drought was ‘keen as mustard’ to see it in action. 

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This Kuhn Euromix 3370 is the largest in New Zealand

Often testing the big gear takes you to settings as impressive as the machine itself. This was certainly the case when I turned up in North Otago to check out the Kuhn Euromix 3370, where the 33 cubic metre mixer wagon was flat stick feeding a massive herd of 1500 cows.

It was hard to know what to be more impressed by: the machine itself, the sheer size of a 1500 cow barn, or the amount of time and feed it takes to keep the hungry mouths fed.

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Efficient and accurate feeding in this large shed

We run a relatively intensive system at home in Taranaki, so I know first-hand just how much big cows can eat; often you feel like they’re bottomless pits. With the sheer scale of this dairy operation, it’s obvious how the new Kuhn triple auger wagon is helping make savings of up to three hours a day.

Chassis and weigh system

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The large platform allows easy access to check mix progression

Starting at the front, the Kuhn Euromix features a wide-angle shaft and bolted drawbar, which can be adjusted to suit different drawbar heights. Although the hydraulic stand comes as standard, both it and the stepladder onto the loading platform are pretty low, limiting ground clearance for some set-ups.

During our visit, the Kuhn Euromix was connected to a 180hp tractor. Admittedly, given the size of the machine, this doesn’t seem like a massive tractor to hook up to, but it wasn’t working particularly hard during what was a relatively fibrous mix with straw bales and longer chop lucerne balage. This type of long fibre does put a bit more demand on the tractor to actually chop the feed rather than just blend it.

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Keeping a close eye on the Kuhn Euromix at work

The machine itself runs on an independent chassis. This particular model has six weigh cells, which means that because the tub is independent of the chassis, it gives accurate weighing even if loading while disconnected from the tractor. This probably isn’t something that’s going to happen on a machine this size, but the feature is standard throughout the Euromix models.

The weigh system itself has two monitors. One in the loader tractor and one on the machine, and these talk to each other wirelessly. There are various levels of complexity available here (Kuhn calls it Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Opus). I won’t get too caught up in the details but essentially, you can send rations from the computer at home to the monitor.

Ration quality is good, with the high fibre content obvious

You can do a countdown where it goes from one product to the next, counting down from the desired amount to zero, so that the loader operator knows exactly how much of each different product to put in.

You can also increase the amount of feed per cow as they grow or as numbers increase, so if you wanted to go from 3kgDM of maize per cow to 4kg, it automatically increases the amount of maize to be put into the mixer based on the information being fed into the monitor remotely. This gives impressive accuracy and the ability to intricately manage your feed out requirements.

The Kuhn Euromix range is available up to 45 cubic metres. The triple auger is available from 28 to 45 cubic metres, with this machine sitting at 33 cubic metres. Set on a tandem sprung axle with rear steering, the overall height is just under three metres. This wasn’t much of an issue in this particular barn, but sometimes lower mixer wagons can be a benefit depending on the barn set-up.

Augers and knives

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The large diameter augers ensure the material is evenly moved and mixed

The three mixing augers feature the same geometry as those on the smaller single and double auger mixers. Seven knives are carbide-coated (essentially hardened for longer life) and double pitched, which allows the ‘boiling’ of feed to still happen regardless of how full the mixer is.

‘Boiling’ allows feed to go up to the middle to the top and then fall back down the sides. This allows concentrates to be evenly mixed through bulky forage.

The ‘kicker’ at the base of the auger ensures that the product is moved between all of the augers in the tub and allows even and fast emptying, as it’s one thing to fill up a 33 cubic metre tub but it’s another to get it all evenly mixed and then out of the mixer in a timely manner.

The front auger on the mixer is also fitted with a magnet, which stops any metal fragments being contaminated into the feed and avoids them ending up in the cow. This is extremely useful as you’d be amazed at what you find sometimes in the mix and it can make stock very sick, particularly if they get peritonitis when steel ruptures the rumen wall.

Tub and driveline

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Such a large tub makes short work of bales

The 10-metre long, 2.8-metre wide tub is made from 15mm steel on the base and 8mm on the sides.

This machine wasn’t fitted with the top anti-spill ring, however, this is usually standard on these models. It wasn’t an issue at all when we were testing the unit, as it wasn’t being absolutely filled to the brim, but for those who want high forage base mixes, this is definitely something that you would opt for.

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Showing the ‘boiling’ effect of the three augers

Also, because this anti-spill ring wasn’t fitted, the tub height sat at just under three metres, allowing it to be easily loaded with a loading shovel. Anything higher would probably warrant a telehandler or a tiptoe bucket to protect the top of the tub. Thanks to the auger design, an extension kit can be fitted to the body without compromising mixing quality, mixing speed and homogeneity or the strength of the tub.

In order to further minimise wear and tear, all Euromix models can be fitted with the new K-Nox mixing augers. All the auger parts (coils and cones) are made of K-Nox to protect the entire unit, making the auger more resistant to abrasive fodder and acidic silage juices.

Transmission drive on the augers is gearboxes, which have been tried and tested on the largest Kuhn power harrows. This is good for two reasons: firstly because they are tested in long hot conditions where they go for hours on end, and secondly, because they fit multiple machines there are plenty in stock in the county.

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Everything is clearly labelled and laid out

The augers themselves have a cone-based mounting system (imagine a traffic cone, then slide another cone over top). This means there’s more support through the centre of the auger halfway up, rather than a flange-mounted system, just at the base of the auger.

This machine was fitted standard with a two-speed gearbox, which I reckon is a must for one of these machines. The reason for this is that because it’s so big, I would say in high gear, there’s a risk of overmixing, as it takes so long to load it due to the sheer size.

The low box is perfect if you do need to stop it and start a back-up. The alternative is you would either continue to stall the tractor or start smashing shear bolts. The high box is mainly used on the test machine to increase auger speed to clean out the tub after the last of the four daily loads. 

Controls and feeding

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Each function of the in-cab controller clearly shows what it does

Various feeding options are available:

  • 1100mm wide discharge shoots, front and rear and available on either side
  • A tilting conveyor
  • Front cross conveyor
  • Front cross conveyer, which can move hydraulically from side to side, and allows you to feed both left and right, with a 250mm extension either way, perfect for a feed pad bin type situation.
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The electric over hydraulic in-cab controller (above) takes over a lot of functions, meaning less hydraulic spool requirements 

A couple of special features on this machine include the electric over hydraulic control unit. This runs the various discharge points, as well as the door opening, clearly visible via a numbered scale, which is easy to see from the cab.

It also has hydraulic counter knife inserts for really tough, long forage, which need a bit more time to be chopped.

Verdict

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It’s easy to get caught up with the size and scale of the operation, but importantly, the Kuhn Euromix provides valuable time-savings per day along with a well-mixed, consistent ration to keep the barn cows fed. I was impressed at how little the tractor is under load and how well the ration is mixed, even with the mixer in the low gearbox speed.

The clever weigh system has some benefits for absentee owners/managers to ensure consistent feeding, and the various feeding options will suit a wide range of buyers no matter what feeding setup they already have.

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Easy-to-read scales for unloading

While Cochranes of Canterbury sold the first unit in New Zealand and there’s probably a relatively small percentage of farmers requiring a triple auger machine, the key traits are trickled down through the entire eight to 45 cubic metre range, bringing all the same benefits in a smaller machine to suit the masses.

Kuhn Euromix 3370 specifications

Capacity 33m3
Height 3m
Width 2.78m
Weight 11175kg
Augers Vertical
Number of augers 3
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The Kuhn brand is well recognised for quality and performance

Pluses

  • Capacity of 33 cubic metres, saving up to three hours per day on feeding time
  • Six weigh points for greater accuracy
  • Clever weigh system
  • Wireless monitor in loading machine
  • Rear steering, sprung tandem axle
  • Relatively low power requirements for the capacity
  • Various discharge options
  • Electric over hydraulic feed controller (normal hydraulics can be used as backup)
  • Excellent ration mix

Minuses

  • Low ground clearance from the hydraulic stand; the steps and sprung axle
  • The main monitor is mounted low, which is great to view from in the cab but hard to see while loading if the second wireless monitor is not equipped.

Video: Kuhn Euromix 3370

Find more mixer wagons for sale in NZ

Photography: Justin Bennett | Video: Justin Bennett

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