Hustler Combi feedout wagon exceeds farmers’ expectations!
Dairy farmer Ian Cougle and his team were a bit skeptical when they discovered the Hustler Combi RX218 feedout wagon for the first time… but after six months on the farm, the Combi has far exceeded their expectations, saving them a good amount of manpower and time and getting a fast and efficient backup service when they needed. Watch this video to find out more about Ian’s operation!
Ian Cougle runs a 690-hectare farm in Willow Grove, a village and rural farming community located in the Baw Baw foothills, Gippsland – the southeastern part of Victoria, Australia. Here, Ian has set up a large herd dairy business, with an associated beef operation. “We milk up to 1,300 cows, and we have 150 cows and calves of vealer production,” Ian detailed.
The operation is predominantly pasture-based and fills in with fodder when need be. “Our fodder is based around our own produced silage and bought in hay for extra protein in those summer months and cereal hay for dry cows,” Ian explained.
Ian was looking for a piece of feeding equipment that could
- handle square bales
- carry large volumes
- be completely operated by one person if required
After a lot of research, Ian got in touch with Jake Genoni from Gendore Tractors and Machinery in Warragul – who was “excellent” according to Ian – and started to look closely at the Hustler Combi range. On the paper, the Hustler Combi RX ticked all the boxes.
This range of multi-feeder wagons is designed to handle every feed type, 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.
But “there was a bit of skepticism” from Ian and his staff – “whether it would make it easier,” Ian said. And he decided to give it a go anyway, choosing the biggest model of the range, the record-breaker Combi RX218, and adding custom hungry boards. “We wanted the hungry boards on it so we could fit two layers of 8x4x3 bales into it at a time,” Ian explained.
“We’ve now six months ago since getting the machine, it’s exceeded our expectations”
The Hustler Combi RX218 is the largest-capacity multi-feeder wagon on the market, born from more than six years of extensive product development and testing on large-scale farms.
The Combi RX218 in eight key features
1. Chainless. Twin speed rear pusher blade powered by hydraulic cylinders and greaseless slides provides longevity with low maintenance.
“The innovation of the chainless floor has made it less maintenance and wonderful to use”
2. Feed Control. The new Feed Control in-cab joystick gives fingertip control over the entire feeder, letting you control the feed row of any feed type and density.
3. Tough design. With the toughest 12,000lb roller chains and hardened sprockets, the new RX range is built to handle the heaviest loads with ease.
4. Puckboard floors. Our unique HD Puckboard floors are slippery, durable and extremely tough. 15mm thick rear floor and 12mm thick cross floor for longevity.
5. Visibility. When it comes to visibility no other wagon beats an RX. See right through to the rear of the machine and into the cross floor with no obstructions blocking your view.
6. Strong feedbars. Hustler have gone to a larger feed bar, giving maximum torsional strength with a lower profile for the best of both worlds.
7. Agile drawbar. Unique drawbar provides superior maneuverability and weighs the load both when on the jack and attached to the tractor without the need to fold and unfold a parking stand.
8. Simple maintenance. All chains have adjustable tensioners with easy access for long life and simple servicing. A central greasing station is standard on all models for simple maintenance.
“Overall, the RX218 has exceeded our expectations, the quality and strength of the machine”
The Combi RX218 is a game-changer for Ian’s operation, saving them a good amount of labour and time. “My son Ben has mastered the machine, being now able to load up to 12 bales at a time into the machine and feeding out sort of 50 plus bales in about three-to-four hour period by himself when that would have taken five hours, two people to do that,” Ian explained.
Ian and his team also appreciate the built quality if the Hustler Combi RX218.
Even weight distribution
In longer wagons – unlike trailers – the load moves to the front of the wagon as it’s being fed out. This shifts the load balance around, and can often exceed a drawbar’s load and create a harsh ride. Adding a triple load sharing axle to our longer wagon range distributes the weight across the entire area, which provides more constant drawbar loading, safer operation and a smoother ride.
“The third wheel steering has exceeded our expectations of our being able to get in smaller tighter gateways”
Thanks to the load-sharing design, the improved suspension of the RX218 reduces impact on the tractor and diminishes chances of unsettling the tractor while operating in winter feeding conditions. This provides far more safety in slippery conditions, compared to a tandem axle in which every bump is transferred to the tractor with fore/aft motion.
Bigger foot print provides a huge reduction in soil compaction and improves floatation on soft ground allowing for a smaller tractor to be used compared to a tandem axle design.
Lower operational costs
The combination of a rear steering axle, with a more popular tyre size range extends tyre life, reduces pasture damage and scuffing, and lowers the overall operational cost for the same weight class when compared to a tandem axle setup.
Brakes & Suspension
The heavy-duty leaf springs suspension with tie rods provides extra cushioning making for a smooth, fast ride, eliminating the bounce when operating at speed with heavy loads, and the 6-wheel braking provides massive stopping power with the heaviest of loads for added safety.
“I’d totally recommend buying a Hustler machine to anyone”
Ian chose to add Hustler Feedlink scale system, which “makes it easy to split loads and feed different mobs at any time,” Ian said. Feedlink is an advanced wireless scale system, allowing the operator to take control of feed management to the next level by pre-programing the daily feeding routine, and receive reports to track feed proof-of-placement, operator performance and insights into over or underfeeding.
And at last but not least, Ian is thrilled with the service received when purchasing the machine with Gendore, but also for “the backup service, Hustler has been fantastic”.
Do you want to know more about Hustler’s Combi ranges? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!