Pottinger - the Austrian machinery manufacturing giant - has plenty to shout about at today's Grass & Muck event.
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Its new round baler and 'combi' baler-wrapper are pulling the punters. However, the biggest machine on its stand is this triple-axle silage wagon (pictured above) - namely the Jumbo Combiline 7210.
It's the first of its kind in Ireland; this unit is already sold.
The 7210 has a DIN (true) capacity of 40.1m³. In the real world of Irish grass, this probably equates to a capacity of about 1.5ac (18t) of average-yielding grass silage.
Up front, at the business end, there’s a 2.3m-wide pick-up.
This pick-up is controlled from both ends by steel cam tracks, which work in conjunction with sealed, twin-race roller bearings.
Keeping the pick-up running “smoothly” over undulating terrain are two hydraulically-folded jockey wheels. These are located outside the tractor’s tracks. This, says the company, “provides improved ground tracking”.
Avoiding the tractor's wheel marks
Further helping the pick-up on this model is an optional support roller – located behind the middle of the pick-up. Because it’s located centrally, it can’t sink into the tractor’s wheel marks.
The grass travels from there into the ‘Powermatic Plus’ rotor, which has eight rows of tines arranged in a spiral and a diameter of 31.49in (800mm).
The crop is then forced through a maximum of 45 knives, which are spaced at what Pottinger describes as an “optimum 34mm interval” to achieve the “best possible feed value for ruminant animals”.
The 7210 can be specified with Pottinger’s optional Autocut knife-sharpening system, which enables sharpening directly on the wagon itself (without removing individual blades). This process is controlled by buttons located at the side of the wagon or, alternatively, can be triggered from the in-cab terminal, and is fully automatic.
One of the most noticeable features of the 7210 is, without doubt, its triple-axle configuration; its steering function is controlled via two link-arms connected to a Dromone spoon hitch.
This ‘forced’ or ‘active’ steering system works in both forward and reverse. Fitted to each axle are optional oversize 710/50 R26.5 Nokian tyres. Completing the package, the entire machine sits on a hydro-pneumatically sprung chassis.