Agmech slurry spreader

By: Jaiden Drought, Photography by: Jaiden Drought

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Agmech’s VT 20,000 is a big daddy as far as vacuum slurry tankers in New Zealand are concerned, with a tare weight of 6940kg and a total tank capacity of 21,000L

Agmech slurry spreader
Agmech slurry spreader
  • The size and speed in which you can move nutrients is impressive
  • Large rear manhole for easy access into tank
  • Water-cooled pump
  • Twin-axle braking
  • Hydraulic inlet and outlet valves

The Agmech VT 20,000 is a big daddy as far as vacuum slurry tankers are concerned. The total weight of the tanker and the 200hp tractor needed to pull it combined is nearing 40 tonnes.

Owner John Price, who’s contracting business Coastal Drainage provides a range of services to coastal dairy farmers, has upgraded his equipment over the years to keep one step ahead of his competitors and to ensure the business can complete large quantities of work in the short windows that the Taranaki weather provides.

With the recent construction (and subsequent receivership takeover) of the coastal Taranaki organic dairy factory, John was contracted to remove the waste water (which included the whey) from the factory and spread it on neighbouring dairy farms. He decided to invest in two Agmech 11,000L slurry tankers. After six months he decided to save time, diesel and tyre wear on two tractors by buying a tanker with twice the capacity, so traded up to the 20,000L Agmech spreader.

The test

I tested the slurry tanker on a flat Taranaki dairy farm, spreading effluent before crop paddocks were regressed. The distance between the pond and the paddock was approximately 1km each way, and each load took just under 20 minutes to complete (including filling). I was surprised how manoeuvrable the Agmech VT 20,000 was for its size. It seemed to get in and out of 15-foot angle gateways with ease.

John had the process down pat, with a spade at the pond to line his tractor door up so that his hoses were in the correct position to be connected to the tanker.

Once out of the tractor he flicked the lever on the pump from blow to suck and turned on the PTO via the external PTO switch. He had also added small bolts to the hydraulic bank on the back of the tractor so he could move the lever from outside the cab and lift the shutters on the inlet valves to allow the tank to suck the effluent.
Another ingenious invention was a small piece of steel about three inches long, which John had welded to the drawbar. When the tank was nearly full this steel pushed down the drawbar suspension spring, giving him an indication to get ready to turn the pump off.

The pump changes sound to indicate it is full, and then the PTO is switched off via the button on the mud guard, the little bolt closes the shutters, the handles are pulled to release the two PVC pipes and we’re off again. All this happened in less than five minutes, which resulted in a drastically dropping pond.


The size of the tanker alone is impressive enough, and this is before you start working out how much liquid you can move in an hour, which will be sure to impress most farmers and contractors.

The downside to such a large tanker is that its size could limit the places where it can be put to use. This is not a machine you want to have on a slippery slope or any real hill to be honest, as the weight imbalance between the tractor and the tank when full is simply too great, even with all-wheel braking.

See a range of spreaders for sale.


Tank length 4.8m
Overall length 8.5m
Tank diameter 2.2m
Overall width 2.9m
Axle type Tandem 150mm braked
Wheels 560/60r x 22.5
Pump 15,500L
Tank volume 20,000L
Tare weight 6.5T



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