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New technology comes to high output compost spreaders

Greater automation means less maintenance on the larger volume spreaders

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Glacier FarmMedia – The trend toward surface-applied granular fertilizer is prompting manufacturers to develop new spreaders, such as the New Leader compost spreader, which debuted at Ag in Motion Discovery Plus in July.

The spreader is a new design, with only a handful of units sold in the United States so far, and none in Canada.

Details of the spreader were presented on a virtual video tour hosted by Kale Wilson, a New Leader representative. Starting at the front of the machine, Wilson said the hitch was engineered to buffer the shock load between tractor and trailer.

“We use a bow hitch that pivots. It’s an articulating power pin. The spec sheet says it pivots 45 degrees,” said Wilson during a phone interview from his farm.

The spreader uses a Power Pin 105-631 articulating hitch that pivots 45 degrees, buffering the shock load between tractor and trailer. photo: New Leader

“If the tractor hits a bump or if you’re going uphill and the tractor gets a little sideways, and the left side is higher than the right side, then the hitch pivots laterally so the trailer stays level. Or, when the trailer hits that same bump, the hitch will oscillate as well so the tractor doesn’t experience the full impact.”

Drive chains on granular spreaders are typically the first components replaced due to corrosion. New Leader has come up with a solution to that problem. They have two chain oilers spraying oil on the drive chains at each side of the 34-inch wide conveyor.

“I’ve never seen a chain oiler on any spreader other than this one. I think its unique to our company. It has a secondary pump, so it sprays a light mist to keep the chain oiled. Just a light spray, so there’s no gooey mess. The nice thing is that it’s automated,” said Wilson.

“Four-wheel hydraulic brakes are tied into the brake system on any tractor that has OEM trailer brakes. There’s a separate dedicated hydraulic line plumbed through a computer. When the operator hits the brake pedal, the computer tells the trailer calipers to squeeze the rotors.”

The 30-inch diameter spreader discs can throw granular urea up to 120 feet. photo: New Leader

The spreader discs are adjustable, with the capacity to throw granular urea up to 120 feet. Composts and Bio-Sul can be spread from 60 feet to 80 feet. Lime can be spread up to 60 feet.

The G4 discs are 30 inches in diameter. The fins are made of 304 stainless steel. The discs can be set up with either four or six fins, depending on volume to be spread.

The 608 cu. foot box has a 50 degree side slope and is made of 409 painted stainless steel. The machine has a maximum capacity of 55,000 pounds. Wilson says the spreader is ISOBUS compatible and can work with any data management system commonly used in North America.

“New Leader works with the equipment manufacturer to ensure our system functions with their systems. For example, our engineers worked directly with software from Raven and John Deere and others so our ISOBUS ties perfectly into their systems.

“ISOBUS is supposed to be plug and play, supposed to be anyway. However, certain software doesn’t really work. In my experience it needs a bit of tweaking to get it to work properly. One box in your New Leader spreader will work with all systems,” said Wilson.

“The six-point weigh scales are optional. The majority of people buying the spreader for composting would order the scales. Farmers can order it with either power take-off drive or hydraulic drive.”

The New Leader compost spreader carries a list price of US$120,000.

This article was originally published at The Western Producer.

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