Reviews

Test: Shelbourne Reynolds Powerspread Pro 2400

Farm Trader puts the Shelbourne Reynolds Powerspread Pro 2400 through its paces.

This month I caught up with the team at Toplink Machinery in Te Awamutu, who had a Shelbourne Reynolds Powerspread Pro 2400 muck spreader out on demonstration at Kevin and Simon Clark’s 360 hectare dairy and drystock property on the bank of the Waikato River, near Maungatautari.

UK-based Shelbourne Reynolds manufactures a range of equipment including diet feeders, header fronts and trailers, and reach mowers and are imported by Toplink Machinery.

The test

Connected up to Simon’s JD 6140, we had plenty of power for towing the 11-cubic-metre capacity Shelbourne Reynolds LWB 2400 Powerspread Pro. The next size down is exactly the same, but with a smaller tub for material to be spread. I personally would opt for the LWB option for slightly more stability with the longer wheelbase, and greater capacity.

Both SWB and LWB come standard with 650/65 R30.5 Trelleborg tyres, offering a large amount of rubber on the ground for stability, and spreading the load of the solidly built (5050kg empty) machine. For contractors, the tandem axle spec with 500mm tyres, steering rear-axle and suspension could be an option worth considering.

Simon had a duck/woodchip mix to spread, which they got from a property next door. Until now they have used a standard twin disc, belt driven fertiliser spreader, but the issue with this is the application rate. To achieve the required spread rate they needed multiple passes over the same ground, which is not good for soil compaction, and also not very efficient time-wise.

Initially we ran the Shelbourne spreader in 540 PTO speed. With the light material, the claimed 18-metre spread was easily achieved. Selecting 1000 for the PTO gave a much more impressive spread, although I must admit I was sceptical about the spread pattern achievable with a side spread machine. However, having seen the Shelbourne machine in action and the very even spread pattern achieved, I may have changed my mind.

Powerspread _3

One of the bonuses of the Shelbourne machine is its ability to spread a wide variety of products. On test day, we went from very dry to very wet and sticky sump material – both spread well through the same machine. We had just a little bit of leakage from the door which I would put down to the machine being new, other than that it worked fine.

Given the cost of machinery, you could buy a machine like the Shelbourne Powerspread for spreading dry waste, with the added bonus that it can also be filled with a pump. Toplink can sort this out for you and it can then be used as a slurry tanker, giving you a multi-use spreader.

Another benefit of the machine on Simon and Kevin’s property is the right-hand side spread. This makes it easy for the operator to see. Because they have quite a few hill paddocks, Simon plans to spread from the ridge tops. With the right wind conditions, he could potentially spread 30 to 40 metres each side of the ridge, whereas with a rear-disc spread machine he could only get 20 to 25 metres.

The factory option hungry boards which add around 4.5T capacity to the 2400 muck spreader would be worth looking into. A lot of the material Simon spreads is only light, so not really an issue with weight. Standard loading height is 2487mm, which works fine for a tractor and front-end loader, but extra height would max out the tractor, and the operator may need to load with the spreader in a low spot perhaps.

One thing I would like to have seen the Shelbourne spreader do was compost type waste like rotting silage. Spreading that is usually a pretty good test of a machines spreading ability.

Operation

Operation of the Shelbourne couldn’t really get much easier. Simply connect one set of hydraulic remotes to open and close the door. A visual gauge tells the operator how much they have the door open. Trial and error with different products will help determine application rate, variables such as forward speed, revs, PTO speed and amount the door is open will all effect application.

With no gearbox on the spreader, Shelbourne recommends 540 sped PTO. In practice we found it coped fine with PTO at 1000 for very dry products like the duck waste/shavings we had available to spread. A vertical opening door to the spreading rotor helps achieve accuracy of spread, while not over loading the rotor at any point.

Powerspread _12

Best features

One of the best features of the Powerspread Pro is the fact it is almost impossible to block to the point where you need to shovel it out by hand. The 1.3m-wide discharge rotor can be dropped down hydraulically after undoing two bolts, much like a drop floor in a round baler.

This feature is also helpful to empty the remains of the load out after cleaning. Having the door back from the front of the bin of the spreader, with the central auger pulling material from the back and the front at 13rpm, prevents excess load pressure being placed on bearings and drives. Shelbourne has used Hardox steel on the high wear points, reversible, and easily replaced when the time comes.

The fingers on the main central auger that feed the discharge rotors have share bolt protection should they strike something hard. The drive for the rotor and main drive also have this same feature, with spare bolts on the machine, just in case. If you have still failed to clear any blockages at this stage, you can remove the PTO from the top shaft of the spreader, connect to the bottom shaft and this will run the auger in reverse.

The verdict

If you are looking for a spreader or slurry tanker the Shelbourne Reynolds spreaders could well be worth investigating. Some of the key features like the drop down discharge rotor for clearing blockages set them apart from other brands.

The Shelbourne Powerspread Pro, would be aimed more at the contractor/large farmer market, but would also work quite well as a syndicate type machine with likeminded neighbours.

For a smaller scale operation Shelbourne produces a Powerspread dairy and Pro SWB. The Toplink Machinery team have a large inventory of parts available and the service and support to go with the quality range of machines.

Pros

  • Hydraulic lowering of spreading rotor to clear blockages, like a drop floor in a round baler
  • Vertical opening spread door to give even spread and loading on spreading rotor
  • Solid construction with replaceable shear bolts, hardox reversible steel tips/plate used in high wear points

Cons

  • A small bit of leakage when filled with liquid, I would put this down to being new with some previous spread material stuck between the rubber seal.

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