Attachments: Fieldmaster Swivel Tach

It was in the Innovations Centre at National Fieldays that Brent Lilley first saw the Fieldmaster Swivel Tach. This month he got to test this clever little invention which solves frustrating everyday problems on the farm.

It was during my visit to the innovations area at National Fielday that I came across the Swivel Tach loader attachment from Fieldmaster. This clever yet simple concept is an attachment plate that fits to a front end loader allowing the attachment to be tilted from side to side. I was later able to see the attachment in action on the Fieldmaster site and I was immediately intrigued, so getting the chance to test it for myself was a real bonus.

The test

Dairy farmer Paul Toft came about the idea a few years back when he was looking for a way to clean out the water tables on his tracks and races. Being a resourceful sort of bloke, he got into the shed with a welder, angle grinder, pipe bender and some steel and began building the original attachment that Fieldmaster now manufactures as the Swivel Tach. It was during this visit that I got to see the original prototype.

My test unit was one of the first off the production line, which I tested using a New Holland tractor with a Mailleux MX loader attached.


The Swivel Tach is constructed from two heavy-duty steel plates — one that connects to the loader and is cut out of 16mm steel and the other, a matching plate at the front cut out of 12mm steel. These plates are joined in the centre with a hefty 50mm pin welded on one side and retained with a bolt and a washer on the other. To prevent wear, the 50mm pin is greaseable. A steel lip is welded in an arc shape around the edge of the front plate overlapping the back plate, preventing the plates from spreading or twisting and taking the pressure of the pin in the centre, while allowing the plates to swivel.

A hydraulic ram is used to join the right-hand side of the rear plate with the left-hand side of the front plate, in such a way that causes the plates to swivel on the centre pin when the ram is extended or retracted, tilting whatever attachment is on the front 23.5 degrees to the left or right.

The whole attachment is very well built, the plates are laser cut by a company in the Hawke’s Bay, while all welding and assembly is taken care of at Fieldmaster’s factory in Pukekohe.


Fieldmaster doesn’t just cater for farmers like me who favour the Euro Hitch — they will also happily weld Pearson, MX or Euro mounts on the attachment so you can make full use of your loader and current attachments. Hitching the Swivel Tach plate to your loader is simple and the same as any other attachment. You simply pick it up, crowd it to lock the pins, and then connect the hoses to the third service. Attaching a bucket, forks or whatever else you want is equally as simple as the Swivel Tach has the same mounts as your loader. Simply pick up the attachment and tilt it side to side to automatically lock the pins — all done without having to leave the cab. For me, I was keen to find out how much further the bucket would extend out in front on the loader, but I was pleased to find that the simple construction meant it only adds another 200mm with the MX brackets and even less with the Euro and Pearson hitches. Operation

Operating the Swivel Tach with a bucket was easy. Simply hold the third service button on the joystick and push it to the left or right to tilt the bucket up to 23.5 degrees. I did however find it a little tricky to get it back to being level with the tractor, but this could easily be fixed with a level mark painted on the swivel plate or, as Toft suggested, a little more practice for me.

Toft was pretty keen to show off a few of the many uses he had found for the Swivel Tach. First he showed me how it cleaned out a water table along the edge of his driveway with ease, then how he could tip liquids, meal, fertiliser, etc. easily and precisely into feeders, troughs and spreaders. We then tried it out with forks to see just how easy it could pick up square bales off a slope and this would work just as well picking up pallets or boxes.


Fieldmaster is selling the Swivel Tach through its network of dealers across New Zealand and has a recommended retail price of $5900 excluding GST. The price includes everything you need for the attachment — hoses, couplings and your choice of mounting brackets, which are welded on. This price has dropped from what was advertised at Fieldays due to a large amount of interest resulting in mass production of the Swivel Tach, as opposed to individually hand-building them. For me, the price is reasonable but a bit on the steep side.


I imagine anyone out there who has ever used a tractor with a front end loader will know how frustrating it can be when the tractor is sitting on uneven ground and you are trying to dig something out with a bucket or pick something up with forks. The Swivel Tach is an excellent solution to this problem, but where I believe the real merit lies is its versatility — it’s no one-trick pony. The Swivel Tach will tilt buckets but can also be used with your other attachments, meaning you’ll find dozens of uses for it around the farm. I was pleased to see it takes very little away from the lifting capacity and functionality of the loader with only minimal increase in the loader’s length. Overall, an excellent solution to a very common problem and the more I think about it, the more uses I come up for it.

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Photography: Brent Lilley

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