Reviews

Test: Teagle Titan 15

Farm Trader spends the day with the Teagle Titan 15, spreading a mix of wood shavings, feed waste, and animal manure and discovering the many features first-hand

While Tegel is a brand familiar to most as a major supermarket brand of chicken, this month’s test takes a closer look at another kind of Teagle giant, and it doesn’t have a lot to do with sharing the same name as the poultry business, other than the fact that chicken manure is one of the many products spread by the English manufactured Teagle spreaders.

Imported and distributed around New Zealand by Power and Earth, the red machines add another quality option to the muck spreader market. It’s a growing industry in New Zealand, as the cost of imported fertiliser seems to be getting more expensive by the day, making alternatives such as chicken or goat shed waste increasingly attractive as a valuable source of natural nutrients. Plus, it ticks plenty of boxes for sustainability and creates a valuable resource out of what would otherwise be waste.

Valuable nutrients being spread by the Teagle Titan 15

According to Waikato Regional Council, around 98% of 4500 dairy farms in the Waikato region alone discharge effluent to land under the permitted activity rule. Farm dairy effluent is a natural, dilute liquid fertiliser. It contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sulphur (S), and trace elements that you’d normally pay for to have applied to pasture.

When spread over land and applied in a timely fashion, the effluent of cows or solid manure/barn and shed waste from goats and chickens, which all contain similar nutrients, can save farmers thousands of dollars in fertiliser a year. So, a quality spreader wagon is pretty much worth its weight in – well, effluent, liquid, or solid manure.

Test time

Collecting the Teagle Titan 15 from Power and Earth in Morrinsville enabled me to see the unit first-hand and look over the features while empty and clean. Weighing in over six tonnes, it made the Massey Ferguson 7718 I was towing with that day look small. And the Titan 15 isn’t even the biggest in the range – that honour goes to the Titan 17. The range kicks off with the Titan 9 and 10, plus there’s a Titan 12 also before you get to the larger 15 and 17 models (which boast an optional Variable Rate weigh system).

Minimum 150hp weight is essential

Designed for the demands of large-scale operators, the larger 15 model requires a minimum of 150–160hp to operate and plenty of weight to avoid the tail wagging the dog situation. Once hooked up, I set off for a nearby farm on the outskirts of Hamilton for a day of testing the unit first-hand, from loading to spreading.

Immediately noticeable is how nicely it tows for a big machine. I put that down to a couple of things: the large 580/70R38 tyres (there are options for larger tyres), which help carry the weight of the machine, and the heavy-duty leaf-sprung drawbar that minimises the load on the tractor and drawbar.

At the farm, initial concerns about perhaps needing a telehandler to load were alleviated when the little 100hp tractor loader combo proved well up to the task.

The test machine was fitted with optional greedy boards, increasing the capacity from 15.4 cubic metres (heaped) to 18 cubic meters (heaped).

The flared sides do their job nicely, offering easier loading, with greater capacity at a lower height. Ironically, the loading side of things proved the slowest part of the job on the day, as the machine spreads quickly and effectively. I almost spent more time driving up and down to load up than spreading on the hilly paddocks.

Loading with hungry boards still achievable with 100hp tractor/FEL

Once fully loaded, you can definitely feel the load behind you, but it’s only a matter of minutes before the spreader has done its work and you’re heading back for another load. The product to be spread on this day was a mix of wood shavings/feed waste and animal manure on a local goat farm.

The aggressive horizontal beaters did a great job of mixing the material and giving a nice even spread across the 25- to 30-metre width. Different spreading tips are available for different jobs if using for a specific purpose. A key feature that I particularly liked was the swinging flails at the bottom of the beaters, as these can (and do) get the worst of any rocks that may potentially come through. It allows the flails to swing out of the way without causing damage to the machine.

Operation

Muck spreaders are fairly basic in their operation, but not all are created of equal quality. Even with the addition of greedy boards, loading the Teagle Titan is achievable with just a standard 100hp tractor, which is pretty useful.

The spreaders operate at 1000 PTO rpm speed. This allows a fine even spread of material from the twin horizontal beaters. With the barn cleanings we spread on our test day, we achieved a consistent spread of between 25 and 30 metres.

In-cab electronic floor speed controller

The Titan spreaders claim an output of up to three tonnes per minute, which is fairly impressive. With our test machine loaded up with 18 cube, I reckon we did a full spread and empty in between six and eight minutes, plus, we were operating on fairly hilly terrain.

Teagle uses a heat-treated (more than 1000 degrees Celsius) Boron steel for both strength and wear-resistance to give longevity to its beater components. Better yet, the hardened beater tips are reversible to get optimum use out of them. Our test machine was fitted with standard multi-use tips, but there are other options such as poultry and compost spreading paddles. The swinging flails at the bottom of the spreader swing back should a hard foreign object come through, avoiding damage to either them or the gearbox.

A handy feature for contractors is the mechanical auto cover for the lights to protect them also when spreading. This works off the door; raise the door and the cover comes down, close the door, and the lights are visible again.

Off with another load – the large capacity offers efficiency for contractors and farmers

The floor to feed the beaters is hydraulically driven. The test machine had the optional electronic floor speed control, which allows you to speed up the floor emptying the last of the load faster. A full-width slat secured to the chains with U bolts ensures a good clean out of the bin. With full-width slats, you only have two adjusters for chain tension at the front.

Other useful options available include weigh cells with variable rate application, linking GPS and weigh cells so you can set and monitor spread rates on the move. It also allows for proof of placement and provides useful data to farmers and contractors should it be required.

About Teagle

Like most of the muck spreaders available in New Zealand, Teagle machinery is manufactured in Great Britain. Teagle manufactured its first rear discharge Titan spreader more than 50 years ago, in 1970. Today, the business remains family-owned, selling its machinery to 35 countries around the world.

Light covers and galvanized guards to protect the spreader

Summary

The team at Teagle are certainly no turkeys when it comes to building a tough, functional, no-nonsense muck spreader. The Titan we drove was getting towards the top of the range in terms of size and spec and is well suited to contractors with large tractors available to tow it with – exactly the market it’s designed for.

I was impressed at the efficiency of such a large machine and its ability to get through the work, although, for smaller operators, they do also come down in cubic metre capacity more suitable for smaller tractors, or softer or steeper ground conditions. If you have muck to spread, hiring is still a good option to consider if it’s something you’d only do a few days a year, but if applying regularly, there’s definitely merit in considering a Teagle for getting the job done efficiently.

Pluses

  • Quality, heavy, and well-built
  • Auto mechanical light covers work of the rear door
  • Even, accurate, widespread pattern
  • Full-width floor slats, only two adjusters
  • Mapping and scales options available for proof of placement and regulations going forward
  • Efficiency of high-capacity machine

Minuses

  • Mudguards are good but don’t cover the full width of the tyre (rubber extension might be a good solution)
  • Downside of a big machine is limiting with when you can get onto some paddocks

Teagle Titan 15 specifications

Approx. capacity (heaped) 15.4m3

Capacity (heaped,
with side extensions)

18.0m3
Overall length 7.95m
Overall width 2.9m on 580/70R38 wheels
Loading height

2.56m
(on standard wheels)

Unladen weight 6280kg
Standard tyres 580/70R 38
PTO speed 1000rpm
Spreading system Twin vertical augers
Brakes Dual air/hydraulic
Minimum recommended hp 150hp 

Find new and used farm machinery for sale in NZ 

Photography: Lisa Potter

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