Thursday, 12 December 2019 10:54

Dual-purpose Keenan Orbital spreads muck up to 20m

Written by  Mark Daniel
The Keenan Orbital spreader. The Keenan Orbital spreader.

With travelling irrigators being the preferred choice for dealing with dairy farm effluent in New Zealand, the sight of effluent tankers or manure spreaders is a relatively rare one.

However, the problem of repeated applications to the same area is, in many cases, causing problems with high levels of potassium. Additionally, the move by some forward-thinking farmers to feedpads is resulting in the need to deal with some drier manures.

The Irish company Keenan, known for its high-capacity mixer/feeders, also makes an interesting dual-purpose machine -- the Keenan Orbital spreader, centred on a semi-cylindrical tank. 

A rear mounted pushing door delivers the material to a large flywheel mounted at the front of the machine. That flywheel, a solid 1.8m diameter disc, carries six paddles and rotates at 170 rpm. 

In operation, the material hitting the flywheel and the paddles is shredded then passes out for spreading through a side opening. It will spread material -- depending on its makeup -- up to 20m.

During loading and transportation, a hydraulically actuated slurry door seperates the chamber and flywheel, allowing the machine to handle both liquid and drier manures and ensuring low start-up torque.

The machine has only four key moving parts and is solidly built, so Keenan claims excellent reliability and low maintenance costs. The set-up also benefits from one main drive chain and all bearings being located outside of the main body of the spreader.

A variable rate control system for the rear door/pusher arm allows precise adjustment of material arriving at the rotor, to achieve typical spreading times of 1.5 to 5 minutes per load.

Additionally, as the load moves forward, weight is transferred to the tractor’s rear axle, for positive traction in poor ground conditions.

The Orbital has a tare weight of 5.5 tonnes and a minimum power requirement of 120hp.

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