Having got throught the ravages of PSA, kiwifruit production has bounced back delivering record harvests and record prices for orchards.
Using an automatic electronic control system, the need for a specific forward speed and a specific hopper door opening height are removed. Set up requires a few steps with two control buttons, with operators only needing to input required spread rate, fertiliser density and spread width. Once inputted to the panel on the front of the hopper, the control system calculates the best belt speed and rear door opening to meet the spread targets. As speed changes because of terrain or load, it makes on-the-move adjustments automatically.
WideTrac spreaders are available with capacities of 4, 6 or 8 tonnes, with all models having the option of tandem or single axle layouts.
A key feature is a lightweight, yet durable, low density plastic (LDPE) body, said to offer flexibility and impact resistance. The bin has inner and outer walls, both 8mm thick, with the air gap between allowing a fully galvanised steel frame, that has no direct contact with any fertiliser.
In the forward bulkhead, a large viewing panel allow operator visibility to the interior of the hopper. The construction is modular, featuring several panels, so if one is ever damaged, it can be easily replaced without the need to replace the entire bin.
In the base of the hopper, the rubber floor belt is 780mm wide, 8mm thick, and constructed with 5mm high cleats. The belt is riveted to the galvanised chain and slat assembly with high-tensile stainless mono-bolts. At the business end of the spreader, the rear door is galvanised, while the spinners are stainless steel.
The spinner discs can work at speeds up to 1000 rpm. They produce an even spread at widths up to 24m with granulated fertilisers.
Giltrap Engineering North Island area manager Eric Crosby says the spreading system is hydraulically-driven, so there is no threat of wheel slip disrupting spreading, which can happen with ground drive systems that use a jockey wheel.
“With its wide belt, the WideTrac can spread virtually any product, from superphosphate to urea or lime, handle organic products such as poultry manure or compost and offer spreading rates extend from 40 to 5000 kg/ha.
“While the frame is hot dip galvanised, all other metal parts are galvanised or stainless steel (including the belt chains) for excellent corrosion resistance. Operator control is achieved via a hand-held remote, with a red button to stop spreading and a green to resume operations.”
Eric says, “with accurate fertiliser spreading being a topical subject, we believe it will come in for more attention over the next few years as regional authorities increase compliance requirements. The WideTrac is a unique spreader that provides a simple, affordable way for farmers to apply fertiliser accurately so they can meet those compliance regulations.”