Size matters, according to Quaile Machinery, which has the largest machine on show at the Farm Tractor Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) Farm Machinery Show being held in the Republic of Ireland this week.

The machine in question is the Dewulf Quatro Extreme Flow four-row potato harvester, which is just short of 16m in length and weighs around 32t when empty.

Ready for Ireland

The harvester is a new design that was specially formulated for Scottish and Irish conditions and had been showing its paces in Scotland before being brought over to Ireland for the show.

It is an impressive machine with a 500hp Scania engine providing enough power to see it clear up to 10ha a day in the right conditions.

The secret of its ability to keep going when other harvesters need to stop is twofold according Ruben Weltens of Dewulf.

Paired rollers remove dirt

The first is the use of axial rollers to clean the tubers after they have passed through the haulm separator.

These gently remove the soil adhering to the surface before being passed to the ring elevator and up to a final cleaning before being placed into an 11t bunker.

Harvester Ruben potato
Ian Rooney of Quaile Machinery and Ruben Weltens of Dewulf believe the Quatro Extreme Flow is ideal for Irish conditions

The overall aim of the arrangement is to keep the crop flowing without disruption to its linear flow, hence the name.

The cleaning is best considered a process with the various elements being infinitely, variable independently of each other, to achieve the best result.

Wet weather gear from Dewulf

With the ability to clean the crop so thoroughly, the harvest window is extended, just so long as the machine can still travel in adverse conditions.

To this end it comes equipped with a set of rubber tracks as standard. These are 900mm wide and a fraction under 3m long, giving, it is claimed, a ground pressure which is far less than any other harvester on the market.

Despite its leviathan proportions it is said to be highly maneuverable thanks to the 60° turn of the single rear wheel.

The harvester is now in Ireland for the season and will be demonstrated just as soon as the maincrop harvest is ready.