Which are the best mixer wagon brands?
Feeding is not only responsible for approximately 60% of a farm’s expenses (in feed costs, resources and equipment) but it is also one of the major contributors to cows’ health and productivity. Mixer wagons – equally called Total Mixed Ration (TMR) wagons – represent a huge expense in any dairy operation (investment costs and running costs) so it is important to choose the right machine.
And here at Hustler, because finding the best way to feed for each client is what we do best, we often get asked who the best mixer wagon manufacturer is in New Zealand or in Australia.
A key focus for us is informing and educating our customers to the best of our knowledge and we are never the ones to shy away from being blatantly honest with respect to competition and other options available on the market.
Here is a list of some of the mixer wagon brands that have a solid wagon manufacturing history:
An integral part of the international farm machinery landscape, Kuhn is a French brand founded in 1828 when Joseph Kuhn, a blacksmith, began manufacturing weighing equipment. The first agricultural machinery was produced in 1864 and the first sales outside France began in the late 1940s. Since then, the Kuhn Group has continued to grow on different continents.
Jaylor founder, Jake Tamminga, was born and raised in Holland and immigrated with his family to Canada in 1977. Jaylor was built upon word of mouth and success on farms. Its reputation for high quality spread rapidly and today, Jaylor’s products are distributed in about 50 countries, including New Zealand and Australia.
The German designed and built Strautmann mixer has been a proven performer in Australia and New Zealand and known for its robust construction and long life. The Strautmann range has models to suit all herd sizes and applications.
- FarmTech Machinery
Farm Tech Machinery is an Australian brand that offers a range of rotary slashers, soil aerators, 3-point linkage and trailing implements built to a high standard in performance and design. They export their range of machinery to New Zealand.
However, beyond wondering which brand you should buy, you should ask yourself first if a mixer wagon is actually the right fit for your operation.
When you analyse your feed efficiency, you need to include expenses such as tractor fuel and maintenance cost in the case of a feed mixer wagon as well as irrigation costs if you are growing feed, and then you subtract that from profit and over time you can get a sense of efficiency levels.
A mixer wagon is a great choice if you add 5 or 10+ ingredients in the daily ration and they need to be thoroughly mixed to ensure that each animal gets a balanced share.
But as all farms are different, maybe a mixer wagon is actually not your best ally. If in doubt, take time to ask yourself:
- Why am I interested in a mixer wagon? Is it just because I need to feed out/to carry large volumes of silage or is it because I need to thoroughly mix a wide variety of ingredients?
- How much of my ration consists of roughage (long fibres such as squares or rounds of hay/straw)?
- How much time do I have or does my farm manager have for feed management?
- How many ingredients are in my herd’s ration and what ratio do I grow myself versus do I buy?
TMR wagon owners who choose a good brand and choose a mixer wagon for the right reasons are generally very satisfied with their investment. However, if you purchase a TMR wagon when you don’t need a completely mixed ration, you may regret your investment regarding the time spent mixing, the horsepower required, the fuel costs and the extra maintenance bills.
In certain cases, owning/using a TMR/mixer wagon is not the best solution for achieving feed efficiency and here are some alternatives to consider:
If you chose to rely on silage as a sole ration for your cows (with feed supplements), using a mixer wagon is what we could call an overkill. The Hustler EzFeed silage wagon is the most simple, reliable silage wagon on the market designed for farmers who simply cannot afford downtime and rely solely on silage as the supplementary feed of choice. Ideal for trough feeding, feeding under a wire, feeding along a fence line avoiding trampling and general pasture feeding.
Due to their simplicity, silage wagons are very cost-effective in terms of maintenance and can accomplish as well as a mixer wagon on silage. As their is no mixing time required, it also means less fuel consumption and less time spent on feedout chores.
Health & Safety is also a growing concern on farms. With high loading height, some operations must use a ramp to load their mixer wagons. They can also be quite bulky compared to a silage wagon with a lower centre of gravity.
The improved stability of the new Hustler EzFeed allows the operator to feed out in the pastures safely without concern for rollover when operating on rolling terrain.
And last but not least, using 100% hydraulically-driven machine is definitely a bonus compared to Power Take-Off (PTO) shafts. PTO injuries are very common on a farm and most of the accidents occur when clothing and/or limbs are entangled in the rotating shaft.
We’ve seen in the past some livestock farmers switching from mixer/TMR wagons to Combi feedout wagons for the versatility the latest can offer.
Due to forever changing weather conditions, being able to switch between feeding pit silage and feeding silage bales (round or square) or even root crops or veggie waste is definitely offering more options to the farm depending on how the year have been.
The Hustler Combi feedout wagons are designed to feed out literally every supplementary type of feed, including all bale types, shapes and sizes and any type of loose feed that can be loaded with a loader including fine chop silage, maize silage, root-crops, vegetables and more.
Bale slicer and bale feeder
After considering all these factors, if a mixer/TMR wagon is the only option for you but you still have concerns regarding fuel consumption (long mixing time) and maintenance costs, you can look at smaller implements that can help to mitigate your costs.
Using a bale slicer or bale knife can help to speed up a bit the process, but using a bale feeder is a real game-changer. Because the feed is teased apart, a lot less power is needed for mixing– which leads to savings in time, diesel consumed and maintenance costs (fewer constraints on the mixer blade and gear).
By using the Hustler system to load the TMR, the exact amount of hay required can be precisely loaded into the machine. This eliminates complicated ration calculations as well as errors in working out the correct proportions of other nutrients based on bale weight.
Now you have all the information at your disposal to make an informed choice that fits YOUR operation.
Let’s schedule a time for your demo! Or simply request to be called back by our friendly team.