Test: HiSpec Side Spreader 1000

By: Mark Fouhy, Photography by: Mark Fouhy


While slurry tankers and rear discharge muck spreaders are more the norm on Kiwi farms, Mark Fouhy checks out a side spreader from HiSpec equipped to handle everything from solids to slurry

For BBC farms in the Waikato, it is a high priority to look after the land, staff and stock; all key elements in running a profitable productive farming business. The purchase of the new HiSpec 1000 side spreader has proved to be a winner for the team at BBC farms.

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With 360 cows run on 108ha, things are pretty busy day to day for the team. When looking to keep the farm compliant with new effluent requirements, there have been many positives from the purchase of a HiSpec side spreader from Giltrap Agrizone in Otorohanga.

BBC Farms also intends to use its new machine for spreading shavings from the calf sheds, as well as any spoiled maize from the edges of the stack. Adding some of this drier material actually helps with spreading.

Having their own muck spreader on farm has saved time in being able to just load up and target areas with obviously lower fertility and where the travelling irrigator is not set up to go. The benefits can be clearly seen across the areas that have had extra nutrients spread on them with the HiSpec side spreader over recent months.

Test

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I recently headed South of Te Awamutu to check out this smaller member of the HiSpec range of muck spreaders. Like me, avid Farm Trader readers will be familiar with the HiSpec brand, as I tested the big daddy XCEL 1250 muck spreader a few months back.

That unit is suited to large farms and contractors, so for this test we decided to check out the side spreader 1000 model, which is intended as a farmer’s machine. The capacity of the 1000 is 7.3 cubic metres of muck/slurry. Normally the HiSpec spreader is left on the concrete area ready for loading whenever the team scrapes/washes the feed pad down and empties the sumps.

With the cable operated hand brake, it can be parked up until sumps are done, and is then loaded up with the New Holland 5060 which at 105hp is a little over the suggested minimum of 90hp required. The low loading height of 1680mm is no problem for a tractor of this size.

Operation

Chassis

Operation of the HiSpec side spreaders couldn’t be simpler, due to the functional design. The one thing to remember when loading is to mound up the centre of the machine more than the front and rear, to get those flails going sooner, or turn the PTO over slowly to wind the chassis around the shaft.

Counter weights are used on the two steel flails front and rear, which also help decrease the initial load on the tractor at start up. They also help clean the front and rear walls a little more. For BBC Farm’s 360 cow operation, two loads a fortnight is the norm.

With a sealed body, they can load it up and leave it sitting ready to spread, without worrying about the load leaking out. To empty a full load took about 10 minutes.

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The horizontal beaters with 12mm flail chains aren’t the Rolls-Royce of spreading systems, however they definitely did a better job of spreading the wet material than I was expecting.

The spread pattern can be altered a little by changing the angle of the hydraulically operated lid. Spread of around 10m is achievable. The HiSpec side spreaders have a simple system with no gearbox.

Chain driven from the PTO shaft, the horizontal spreader (with the tractor operating at 540rpm) produces a rotor speed of 229rpm. Given the incredibly wet winter the Waikato has experienced, the large 550/60-22.5 tyres prevented the spreader form sinking into the soft paddocks when fully loaded.

Construction

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It has become apparent that the range of HiSpec machinery is built with this in mind. With the lightest steel used on the side discharge spreaders being 3mm for the lid, the body is made from 5mm steel.

Although only about six months old, after the guys at BBC Farms gave it a quick clean and hooked to the shiny red Case IH Maxxum, I could easily have been convinced that I was looking at a demo machine for the test. The small bit of paint wear in the tub body is to be expected, and testament to the overall high quality of the paint job.

The process involved starts with shot blasting, followed by application of two high quality coats of paint to finish the job. Little features like the holders for hydraulic couplers to prevent them falling and being left in the mud show the thought that has gone into the machine design.

Storage -couplings

A couple of small improvements I could see include adding greasing for the rear bearing being to the central greasing bank, and the drain sump at the rear for cleaning. BBC Farms has added a tap modification to its machine, so the machine can be drained without a tool. This also prevents the tub filling with water if it isn’t going back into the shed.

Cost

When purchasing a machine of any sort you are faced with two costs; the initial purchase price, and on-going running costs and maintenance. As I mentioned, side spreaders and other solid type muck spreaders were a European farming type machine.

This has now changed with the benefits of these machines being released in New Zealand, and with the selection and availability of the machines.

Looking for a side spreader BBC Farms did its homework before purchasing the HiSpec 1000 and admitted that while it wasn’t the cheapest option available, it did stack up as the best investment. It is, after all, built with longevity in mind, incorporating heavy gauge steel, central greasing and larger tyres as standard.

Options

Available as an 800 or 1000, these side spreaders are a great option as farmer’s machines. Simple machines built tough, they can handle the likes of concrete blocks, lumps of wood or tyres, without serious damage.

Although it really is not good to try spreading these; best to stick to muck. LED lights and central greasing are standard on the local 1000 HiSpec. The only other thing really available to add to these machines would be an auto-oiler for the chain drive. Hydraulic brakes are standard on all machines.

Verdict

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The HiSpec 1000 Side Spreader is the perfect machine for the job; handling solid, spreadable waste on BBC farms. This machine should ensure reliable service for many years. Then there’s the added benefit of being able to get the job done when conditions are right. Not having to deal with the expense of contractors coming in with diggers and large spreaders will save money over time also.

HiSpec Side Spreader 1000 Specifications

Loading Height: 1680mm
Overall Length: 5430mm
Overall Width: 2550mm
Overall Height: 2540mm
Body Length: 3625mm
Diameter: 1525mm
Rotor Speed: 229 rpm
Un-Laden Weight: 2180Kg
Lid Thickness: 3mm
Body Thickness: 5mm
Wheel Size: 550/60-22.5
H.P required (min): 90hp

Drawbar

Pluses

  • Bullet proof–good for staff
  • Well optioned (tyres/central greasing) 
  • Quality build, thick steel, quality paint job

Minuses

  • Would like to see a tap to drain tub body added 
  • Back bearing added to central greasing bank

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