NDE 2804 Dual Vertical mixer wagon
The largest mixer in the NDE range is the NDE 2804 Dual Vertical mixer wagon
- 31.71 cubic metre bowl
- Individually replaceable tungsten tips on the knives
- Front-mounted side feed easily visible
- Step in floor makes it mix and empty well
- Easily handles bales
- Can be loaded with a small tractor
- Can be loaded from either side
There are three main types of mixer wagon on the market that include horizontal augers, paddles and the vertical auger. I find the most versatile to be the vertical auger.
NDE (New Direction Equipment) vertical mixers are built in Canada out of heavy duty steel and seem to be tough enough for New Zealand farm conditions.
Just north of Taupo, Ollie and Kim Gibberd milk 1700 cows and when their operation was seriously affected by droughts, they purchased their first mixer wagon, the NDE 2804 Dual Vertical mixer wagon.
The 2804 is the largest in the NDE range and has a rubber extension giving it a holding capacity of 31.71 cubic metres.
The mixer can be easily loaded with a 100hp tractor with front end loader because the mixer’s design allows crowding of the bucket/forks without hitting the spinning augers.
The minimum power requirement for this mixer is 150hp; my 210hp tractor was given a workout when chopping bales because the mixer sucks the power as the 18 x 500mm knives carve them up.
The mixer weighs 9693kg empty and can easily exceed 20-tonne when loaded.
With the side feed at the front, the mixer can easily be loaded from each side without risk of damage.
I found it was better to load bulky feed like bales first to give them maximum room to be chopped. Liquids like proliq mix better when added last as the mixer is not water-tight around the door.
Due to the bowl size and speed of chopping, I didn’t have to wait around when loading in bales, I just kept dropping them in one after the other, which was a great time saver.
The mixer has a front opening 1470mm-wide door to let the feed out onto the conveyor, which is located on the drawbar and easy to see from the cab.
This is a chain and floor bar system that works well even when feeding straight palm kernel. An extension on the right-hand side gives that extra bit of reach to keep the tractor and wagon out from the feed troughs.
The drive for the conveyor and folding ram are plumbed into one hydraulic circuit with a manually adjustable height stopper; this automatically starts the conveyor when it reaches the set height.
I found this system was good when feeding into troughs that are an even height, but not so good when there are a variety of different shapes and sizes because I couldn’t adjust the conveyor height on the move.
The scales monitor is on a handy bracket that can pivot to the sides and front. The screen is a good size and easy to read from the loader tractor and towing tractor.
A unique feature of the mixing bowl is that the floor that has a step down from the back to the front auger, which not only aids in the mixing process, but helps to empty the bowl right out with feed unable to return to the back.
Generally low speed is used for mixing and feeding out, and high speed for emptying the mixer right out at the end of the load. Unfortunately to change speed, you are required to get out of the tractor and shift the lever on the gearbox as it is located on the drawbar.
The NDE rides on a unique eight-wheel tandem axle set-up with four rows of wheels that rides very well; whenever I drove over a bump the wagon hardly flinched.
Although there are 34 grease points on the mixer, they are well placed and easy to locate. There are also three gear boxes to check; two of which are for the augers. Each of them has its own oil reservoir with a site glass and are mounted on the side of the wagon so they can be seen at a glance. The two-speed gearbox mounted on the drawbar has a bung for checking the oil level.
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Door width 147cm
Capacity 31.71 cubic meters
PTO speed 1000rpm
Min power 150hp/112kW