Nevada slurry tanker
The 10,000L Nevada slurry tanker has a number of features that make it quick and safe to use, even with a smaller tractor
- Galvanised tank for corrosion resistance
- Large wheels reduce compaction and make it easier to pull
- 8" filling arm allows tank to be filled in less than three minutes
- Drawbar suspension
- Large mudguards
The Nevada slurry tanker is imported and distributed by Mid West Machinery in Hawera, Taranaki. The machines are available from 2200L to 30,000L, although the most popular tanker is the 8100L and 10,000L.
The main visual difference between the European tankers and the New Zealand-built tankers is the majority of them have galvanised tanks. Whether this is an advantage over our two coats of paint is debatable, but it does add a point of difference.
8" auto filling arm
The major benefit of the Nevada tanker is the 8" suction auto filling arm. This fills the 10,000L tanker in less than three minutes with PTO speed only on 385rpm. This is at least one to two minutes faster than any other tanker I have used, and there are few tank makers that spec their machines with this feature. The 8" filling arm is more common on the 20,000L+ tankers in the European markets. The arm is easy to line up with the ground-mounted inverted cone and the head on the filling arm itself is rounded to allow the arm to seal even if the tanker isn’t perfectly straight.
There were two things I don’t like about the filling arm; the first being that it comes past the 90° point that makes the tip sit in the cone on an uneven angle, which often allows air to leak out and slows the filling process. A way to solve this would be to lengthen the piece of pipe between the stand and the cone on the auto-fill tripod so the arm didn’t have to drop as far. This would allow it to sit squarer, creating a better seal. The other bugbear is the "suck to blow" valve doesn’t shut off quick enough when you lift the arm – this can cause effluent to gush out of the tripod and all over the tractor and tanker.
The other distinguishing feature is that the 10,000L tanker comes standard with a 550/60 R22.5 tandem axle, which makes the tank much easier to pull and significantly reduces the soil compaction. The only downside with the tyres is they scuff the ground if you turn too sharp, as they have quite deep cleats. A slightly lower profile tyre like the 500/45 x 22.5 scores better in this department, although the smaller diameter does make them a little harder to pull.
Leaf spring axles
I really like the design of these axles and I think they will last as long if not longer than your standard walking beam tandem axle. The only parts that are likely to fail are the leaf springs – but these would be the cheapest to replace out of the whole assembly. The upside is that because the two axles are separate and not joined in the middle where a standard tandem axle oscillates from, they have a small amount of sideways movement that helps reduce wear when turning sharply. The separate axle design also holds the wheels straight and will stop them pigeon-toeing after a large amount of use.
The downside of a leaf sprung axle is that although it will roll over bumps and dips, it will not have the same amount of travel as a walking beam design. Large sharp holes as stoppers are needed to stop the springs over-flexing and failing as a result.
Both axles are braked, which pulls the tanker up very quickly. Although this was run through a trailer brake valve for the test, it comes as a standard hydraulic fitting that you simply plug into one of the tractor’s spools and use the in-cab lever to pull the tank up. Both systems are very effective and make operation considerably safer, especially on rolling terrain.
Draw bar suspension
The draw bar suspension on the Nevada tanker is a sprung leaf design similar to the axles. It absorbs the bumps well, takes a lot of strain off the tractor and would be as sufficient as the hydraulic accumulators that some competitors tanks have on them.
The Italian-made rotary vane vacuum pump has high air flow capacity and low maintenance requirements. As well as the quick fill, the reduction gearbox on the pump allows much lower PTO speed. The other pump feature I liked is the exhaust is connected to a pipe that is then connected further back on the draw bar to dispose of the oil residue, which keeps the pump and surrounding areas clean.
The only downfall in this area is the standard PTO shaft doesn’t allow you to be on a large angle when filling or turn while spreading so a wide angle shaft would make a considerable difference.
Both axles on the test tanker were braked, which offers extra piece of mind on the hills. The other benefit of having brakes even on flat land is you can get away with using a 100hp tractor on the tanker, which, due to the large wheels, makes it much easier to pull.
The other feature I like is the handbrake, which locks the wheels in when the machine is not on a tractor, and is much safer and easier than using wheel chocks or a rouge piece of old 4" by 2".
Other features worth mentioning:
- Galvanised high grade steel tank for long life domed ends for safety
- Double overflow protection for pump
- Hydraulic stand
- Left and right side ports so you can choose which side you fill from
- Large steel implosion rings in tank for strength
- Swivel tow hitch
- Adjustable rear plate to adjust spread width and height
- Filling cone can be attached to the tanker for transport
- Large mudguards keep tank clean and allow easy moving of hoses
The big selling points for me are the large 8" filling arm and the larger wheels. These make the whole process much faster and safer and allow you to get away with using a smaller tractor on flat ground, which is a bonus.
Tank capacity 10,000L
Pump capacity 12,600L/min
Hose size 8 inch
Hose length 3m + 4m
Axle type Tandem
Axle size 90mm 6 stud
Wheels 550/60 R22.5
Tank level indicator Arrow
Suspension Axle + drawbar