The daily life of a record breaking feedout wagon on a New Zealand dairy farm
A bit less than a year after Hustler Equipment set the world record for the highest number of bales fed by a single machine in 8 hours non-stop, we are back to Taupō, New Zealand where everything started. The Hustler Combi RX218 record-holder settled nicely in her farm environment, driven by Marcus Deadman and Rodi Price, where she unrolls 50 bales of silage every day, helped by an older Combi model. Watch this video to find out more about her daily routine!
Totara Lodge is located in the central North Island, New Zealand. The primary industries sector is well developed in the Taupō region, which has some of the country’s best dairy farms of the country and a fast-developing horticultural industry.
Marcus and his team feed out 8,000 bales a year across three dairy farms and are milking 4,000 cows.
In the past, they were using “just a normal silage wagon” and they “were feeding six days a week, twelve hours a day,” Marcus said.
“We’re feeding about 8,000 bales a year, the Combi definitely made it a lot easier, taking the stress out”
As they switched from pit silage to silage bales, the silage wagon was not very efficient – too slow to feed out and not made for unrolling bales.
“The reason why we’re using balage is because we think the utilisation is a lot higher in balage than pit silage. We don’t seem to get the lines through the paddock as much as pit silage and they seem to clean it up a lot better. You sort of want to try and utilise it as much as you can, because we grow a little set of runoff down the road that we cut and bale and bring back to the farm to feed out to the dairy cows here,” Marcus explained about the feeding system adopted by Totara Lodge.
“It was a life-changer for us anyway”
Marcus decided to purchase his first Hustler Combi wagon, a Huster Mega Comby XL, five years ago. “Getting the Combi has definitely helped us a lot in getting the bales out a lot quicker and I would say it’s half their time for feeding out,” Marcus estimated “and we haven’t had any breakdowns or anything for five years.”
The Combi wagons developed by Hustler are designed to feed out any types of feed, round or square bales, pit silage, grass, maize, corn, root crops & food waste with ease.
The unique large side elevator can unroll bales in a long windrow and allow feeding into troughs, feed pads, bunks or open pasture without spillage, which made the Combi range extremely popular amongst farmers who need to feed out large quantity of bales or who feed a combination of different types of feed.
“I have two Hustler Combi wagons here, that we use to feed out all our bales”
Today, the old feedout wagon has been joined by a brand-new Hustler Combi RX218! “We feed about 50 bales a day at the moment and it takes us about five hours with two wagons running, and we’re obviously going to three dairy farms from one place,” Marcus said.
“We ended up deciding to get the Combi RX218 which has been awesome – fits about 14 bales on it if you want”
As the main driver of the Hustler Combi RX218, Rodi appreciates the hydraulic six-wheel braking system that helps to go downhill once the machine is loaded. The rear steering on the tridem axle seems to be a brilliant innovation that is handy when it comes to get into tight gateways and corners. A tough axle design with massive 2,200 cm2 of pivot surface area and 100 mm diameter pivot pins means you’ll never be repairing an axle again!
“It’s made life bloody easy and the gear under them is pretty beefy”
“The new one has a tailgate that pushes all the bales forward into the bale feeder,” Marcus noticed. The Combi RX range is indeed a chainless rear floor, a twin-speed rear pusher blade is powered by hydraulic cylinders and greaseless slides for low maintenance and longevity.
“Haven’t done anything to it yet, just maintenance and yeah, won’t be changing anything anytime soon, aye,” Marcus concluded.
Do you want to know more about Hustler’s Combi ranges? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!