Reviews

Triolet Solomix 2 1600ZK review

Check out this review of the Triolet Solomix 2 1600ZK mixer wagon.

Often we take machine names at face value, and often there may be no real history behind the name. However this month, I think the name of the machine I tested is both a clever play on words and one that is synonymous with quality. Trioliet was established by the three Liet brothers in the Netherlands in 1950.

This family business specialises in the development and production of mechanised and automated customised feeding solutions, with its automated feeding solutions getting a good response at Agritechnica and LAMA shows – something I think we are little way off here in New Zealand, particularly in the current environment.

This month I checked out the Trioliet Solomix 2 1600ZK, kindly supplied by Claas Harvest Centre, Taranaki. This boasts a strong, yet compactly constructed, mixer wagon and the range offers capacity from 10m3 up to 32m3 with various axle and tyre options to keep the most demanding situations in check.

Solomix _12

Tub

The tapered body of the Solomix 2 ZK (2 = two augers, ZK = side discharge doors) 16m3 measures 2.77m high, 2.32m wide and 6.4m long and suggests 85hp to drive. As the name suggests, the tub holds 16 cubic metres, which equates to a max load of bang on five tonne. The tub itself is made from 15mm thick plate steel on the bottom and 6mm sides, with additional strength added to high wear areas around the auger.

Like most things, just chucking a couple of augers in a round tub and expecting good results is far from the truth. Patented offset inserts are fitted, which force the feed to be mixed evenly between the augers. This ‘dual flow’ allows fast even interaction between the front and rear chambers of the tub.

Auger and knives

The concept of impulse mixing with the stepped augers generate a vertical impulse movement in the mixture. This is very interesting to watch during feeding out and reminds me of a pizza maker throwing a pizza in the air. This movement ensures that the auger (more importantly the knives for chopping bales during our test) has constant contact with the mixture, which is vital for the best mix and prevents what is called ‘bridging’ where the feed banks between the two augers.

A major selling point is the auger design is overlap welded for added strength, and supported right to the top with a maintenance-free conical roller bearing at the top and a sinter sleeve bearing at the bottom. This bearing construction absorbs both top and side auger forces and will help ensure a long-working life.

Chassis and scales

There is no doubt that the complete mixing is a massive benefit and one of the reasons to opt for a mixer, although many farmers mention the addition of scales either on their loader, silage wagon or mixer is a tool they could not do without. The ‘Triotronic’ 3600V weighing system on the test machine was self-explanatory to use, allows a number of feed and rations to be stored in the memory, and is well stowed in the movable water tight display cradle.

Fitting with three weigh cells (two under the bin and one on the towing eye) ensures maximum stability. For maximum accuracy, at every weigh cell, two measurements are taken, with the average value calculated. The heavy-duty weigh bars have double-sided strain gauges for maximum accuracy and the system is more accurate (less sensitive to peaks) when weighing while moving.

Solomix _2

Discharge options

Our test machine had the conveyer located on the front right-hand side of the wagon, however, there are a number of discharge and discharge location options.

Front and rear side doors, front conveyer, rear discharge and options extend to include a synthetic conveyor belt, a conveyor chain, a curved conveyor chain, an adjustable elevator chain or straight side discharge door with adjustable deflection plate (this last option was also fitted to the test machine).

The verdict

The test wasn’t easy for the Trioliet. Unchopped bales are widely regarded as the most difficult and time consuming item that you can blend in a mixer, but the Solomix did a very good job of both chop length and consistency with maize, PKE, grass silage and minerals all very well blended throughout the feed trough.

Build quality is unquestionable, which is something we have come to expect from European manufacturers, and if you don’t believe all the sales flannel it is made by the Dutch – they practically invented dairy farming.

Pros

  • Very well made
  • Side conveyer is well placed for both in cab visibility and feed placement
  • Top retention ring gives the bin a real ‘tough’ feel about it
  • Tub wear ring ensures long working life
  • Auger is well supported right to the top with maintenance free bearings
  • Various door and conveyer options
  • Easy-to-use, intelligent and clear digital weigh system
  • Consistent chop length and incorporation of minerals in discharged feed

Cons

  • It had the tendency to push the feed to the front or rear of the tub occasionally during mixing and some material was pushed out the top even when the bin was relatively empty

Read the full test in issue #231 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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