With wet conditions underfoot, it's a challenge to bring machinery onto fields without causing undue damage and hardship. However, Belgian manufacturer Joskin has a slurry tanker that might just help to alleviate the problem.
Its so-called 'Tetrax2' is classed as a single-axle machine but has four wheels; they are spread right across the width (2.6m) of the machine. In other words, the tanker runs on four parallel wheels.
The machine is typically shod on big 650/65 R42 tyres.
The advantages, says Joskin, include the fact that low ground pressure can be achieved with a 'single-axle' machine - thus helping to keep overall length to a minimum.
In work, because the weight of the tanker (and its contents) is spread across the machine's entire width, rutting and compaction is minimised.
The obvious disadvantage is that a bigger recess (cut-away) is needed - thus reducing the effective volume of the tanker's body.
Dealing with a puncture on an inner wheel also looks like a potentially challenging task.
The Tetrax2 is available in a range of capacities - from 10,700L (2,350 gallons) up to 16,000L (3,520 gallons). The 10,700L model has a tank (barrel) that spans 2m in diameter. The 13,000L, 14,000L and 16,000L models have 2.1m-diameter barrels.
Singing the machine's praises, Joskin says its Tetrax2 tanker is welded along its entire length to a self-supporting structure (chassis).
Each of the two pairs of wheels can move independently - to enable "stable operation" on undulating or hilly ground.
A (coil-type) sprung drawbar is standard; a hydro-pneumatic version is optional. The machine can also be fitted with a range of Joskin-built injectors and booms.
Of course, Joskin is no stranger to innovation or unusual 'builds'.
Its Cargo-TRACK (pictured below), for example, was a novel attempt to re-invent the tractor and trailer combination.
It’s not new; it’s been around for some years now. The most recent incarnation is powered by a 450hp Iveco Cursor-13 engine. It drives through a 16-speed gearbox, which can operate in either automatic or semi-automatic mode.
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All eight wheels are driven. Power is distributed between the front and rear axles; each has its own diff-lock. The Cargo-TRACK is fitted as standard with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), as well as an electronic stability control package.
Top road speed is up to 80kph. Braking is via an air system, with two independent circuits.