Rugged new Hustler Combi RX feedout wagon with fewer moving parts eliminates downtime for 650-cow dairy farm
We visited Clinton Fawthorpe on his 280-hectare dairy farm in Clydevale, New Zealand who’s feeding their 650 cow dairy herd fodder beet and balage, and needed the flexibility to feed pit silage or clamp silage in the future. In this video, Clinton tells us why he recently invested in the Hustler multi-feeder Combi RX148 wagon, which proves to be an essential piece of equipment for his operation.
Clinton Fawthorpe farms in the Otago region where the climate is perhaps the most diverse of any region in New Zealand. From one year to the next, winters are all different, and it is not always easy for farmers to anticipate feed costs. The area is largely dominated by sheep farming operations due to special geography made of a mix of high alpine mountains, rough hill country, high valleys and plains as we approach the ocean.
To feed his 650 dairy cows every day during the feeding season, Clinton relies mostly on fodder beet and silage. Clinton was looking for a wagon able to feed out large volumes of a broad variety of feed – including bales. Clinton found the perfect machine in the Hustler’s Combi RX148, hooked to his John Deere 6140 M tractor. Clinton’s Combi RX148 has been purchased from Hustler accredited dealer FarmChief at Gore.
Saving time on maintenance with a durable, easy-care wagon
No chain to be found on Clinton’s multi-feeder wagon’s main floor. The feed is guided from the loading chamber to the main floor and the elevator with a heavy-duty push blade. The main floor is made of hard puck board, a material familiar to a lot of Canadians as it is also used for the ice hockey area. This material is great for its impact resistance and its low friction characteristics, requiring less power to move the load. One of the many benefits of having a chainless rear floor is that the push blade needs to move up and down only once per load, eliminating premature wear and tear of mechanisms and bearings that would be in constant motion with a chain floor.
“We switched to the Hustler Combi feeder because of the reputation it’s got to be very durable and the Chainless floor to minimise breakdowns.”
The design of the Hustler’s Combi RX range has been well thought out to avoid wasting time in the workshop. Thus, you will find standard features such as:
- Self-aligning bearings instead of bushes for longer service intervals, more reliability and lower maintenance
- Single elevator ram to eliminate twisting and to reduce maintenance, mounted out of harm’s way from debris off the tyres and from silage juices damaging the seals
- Low maintenance elevator spillage fans reduced to the minimum number of panels in order to eliminate a maximum of wearing parts from the design
- Axles’ central greasing station to easily and quickly access the grease points
“When the Combi RX148 was delivered, I was really happy with the build quality of it, the ruggedness and you can just tell that it’s going to last a long time.”
Swapping between Silage and Bale feed out mode with the flick of a switch
The Hustler’s Combi RX148 comes standard with our Feed Control system. The Feed Control system includes an in-cab joystick giving the operator full control over all floors, but also the ability to switch between Silage and Bale feed out mode that automatically monitors the feed volume/weight on the elevator thanks to a smart load sensing control system. The load sensing control can be adjusted to your needs, whether you want to feed out in a long, thin windrow ideal for sheep and deer or a thicker row more suitable for cows and feed pads.
“One of the features we really like is the bale and silage modes, so it fits in with us feeding fodder beet and a lot of bales.”
As well as being suitable for all types of feed, the tilting side elevator allows the operator to feed out anywhere around the farm, on the ground, in a trough or over a fence. The combi RX148 comes feed pad ready and eliminates spillage of feed in the isle thanks to the standard feed pad kit.
Choosing a simple and smart feed management system
Clinton added a smart optional onboard Bluetooth scale system to his Combi RX148, FeedLink.
“I really like the fact that we’ve got Bluetooth scales on it so it comes straight to my phone via the Hustler app.”
This wireless scale system is very simple to use and is adjustable to your needs. Use it by weighing in and out live weight, like a conventional wagon scale system or as a technical feed management tool, utilising such features as a pre-programmed daily feeding routine and report that can track feed proof-of-placement, operator performance and insights into over and under feeding.
FeedLink automatically wakes and connects when you open the app on your device (phone or tablet) and can be paired with as many devices as you like, so you don’t need to switch of device when using different vehicles or when you have several different employees using the wagon. FeedLink can also be connected to as many Hustler implements as you like!
“I’m really stoked that we decided to go to Hustler way.”