Dutch machinery manufacturer Vredo has developed an “inflatable” slurry tanker concept – dubbed ‘Flex Tank’. Primarily created with strict German road transport width regulations in mind, the system was developed for the company’s largest self-propelled tanker, the giant three-axle VT7028-3.
To reduce the vehicle width by 0.5m, while maintaining the same capacity of 32m³, a 6m³ inflatable slurry bag is fitted on top of the 26m³ polyester tank. This keeps the capacity the same as the standard model, but the width of the ‘Flex’ version is just 2.1m.
This reduces the overall transport width to 3m, even when a 30m-wide slurry application kit (trailing shoe or dribble bar) is folded in to the sides of the tanker, enabling it to travel on German roads without fuss. With a 36m-wide dribble bar, the transport width is 3.40m so, in a German context, special paperwork would be needed for road use.
According to the Dutch firm itself, Vredo’s aim with the patented construction is “to increase the versatility of the biggest slurry applicator in the market.”
Huge slurry rig
As for the tanker itself, the VT7028-3 is powered by a Stage IV Deutz 16L V8 engine, which maxes out at 687hp at a low-revving 1,800rpm. The pump has a capacity of 12,000L/min, so it takes almost three minutes to fill the big 32,000L tank. A chopper (or slicing filter) is fitted in front of the pump, to avoid messy and awkward blockages.
According to Vredo, its recently-developed VVT700 continuous variable transmission (CVT) was designed “for maximum tractive effort, stepless speed adjustment and the lowest possible fuel consumption”.
Extra options available from Vredo include a Trimble GPS RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) steering system, a turbo-filler with a 10in-diameter arm and a tyre pressure adjustment system – for switching between road and field use.