Hustler Combi RX178 feedout wagon impresses this 7th generation dairy farmer by how easy and convenient it is to use
Unlike traditional feeder wagons designed solely for the purpose of feeding bulk silage, limiting their utility on the farm, the Hustler Combi RX178 multi-feeder wagon has been a game-changer with its capacity to handle both entire round or square bales as well as bulk silage and other various types of feed for Matt McLennan, New Zealand dairy farmer.
Watch Matt’s full review of his Hustler Combi RX178 to find out how the versatility of this nice piece of kit increased the efficiency of his family-run farm operation.
Nestled near the little town of Carterton, in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, Matt’s family has a deep-rooted tradition in dairy farming, spanning seven generations. Their 170-hectare dairy farm is home to a mix of Friesian and Jersey cows.
It’s a truly family-run operation, with Matt overseeing the feeding of their 400-strong herd while his sister Anna manages the milking and worker side of the farm. The story of their success, however, wouldn’t be complete without the right tools to simplify their daily routine!
On a farm, the right equipment can make all the difference, simplifying daily tasks, saving time, and ensuring the well-being of the herd. For Matt and his family, the Hustler Combi RX178 multi-feeder wagon emerged as a solution that significantly improved their feeding operations.
Their journey with this piece of equipment began at Fieldays, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event held every year in New Zealand since 1968. Impressed by the capabilities of the Hustler Combi RX178, they decided to take it for a spin through a demo provided by their local Power Farming Wairarapa Hustler accredited dealership. “We got in touch with them and got a demo down and we were very impressed!” Matt said.
The standout feature of the Hustler Combi RX178 that appealed to Matt and his family was its versatility. Many conventional feedout wagons are designed exclusively for feeding bulk silage. However, the Hustler Combi RX178 can do much more. It’s tailored for livestock farmers who need to handle both bulk silage and bales, offering a multifunctional approach that simplifies the feeding process. “We run maize and grass silage through it and also baleage (wrapped bales),” Matt told us.
“Being able to take eight bales at a time without having any bale on the front is wicked”
In Matt’s case, handling bales efficiently was a critical requirement. The Hustler Combi RX178 proved to be a perfect fit. This feeding wagon can accommodate eight bales at a time without the need for a bale on the front, making it a great tool for transporting large quantities of feed across various blocks on the farm. “Being able to take eight bales at a time without having any bale on the front is wicked. Just being able to take that bulk to the other blocks is awesome,” Matt explained.
Modern farming is increasingly reliant on data and precision. The Hustler Combi RX178 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Matt and his team use the inbuilt scales to load the wagon accurately thanks to FeedLink™, Hustler’s optional scales and feed management system.
“We’re loading by weight into the wagon which is all inbuilt scales that go straight to your phone. It’s just so easy to log and to know what you’re feeding out”
The best part? These measurements are sent directly to their smartphones, streamlining the tracking of feed quantities. “We’re loading by weight into the wagon which is all inbuilt scales that go straight to your phone. It’s just so easy to log and to know what you’re feeding out. You can save all the weights and send it back to the office or Anna so she knows what has been fed and what’s left in the stack,” Matt detailed.
This feature simplifies record-keeping and ensures that both Matt and Anna are well-informed about the feed status, making daily farm operations more efficient.
“One of the awesome things that I like about it is it’s just so simple to use”
The Hustler Combi RX178 prides itself on being user-friendly. Inside the cab, a simple joystick is all it takes to operate the wagon. “One of the awesome things that I like about it is it’s just so simple to use. The controller that’s in the cab, it’s just a little joystick that you use with your thumb,” Matt said.
This simplicity in design and operation means that the learning curve for using the wagon is minimal, allowing dairy farmers to get up and running quickly, especially when the operation relies on seasonal workers.
“We’re not leaving much of a footprint in the paddocks”
The efficiency of the Hustler Combi RX178 extends beyond just feed management. The large standard 500/50 x 22.5 flotation grip tread tires on the back of the wagon ensure that it doesn’t leave a significant footprint on the farm’s paddocks. This is a critical consideration for preserving the soil, especially when the paddocks are used for both grazing and hay fields.
Despite its 16.5 m³ (580.5 ft³) capacity, the Hustler Combi RX178 is adaptable to different tractor sizes, even medium-sized ones. In Matt’s case, they run the Combi RX178 on a 120-horsepower tractor, which performs seamlessly. “We basically run it on a 120 horse and it works easy enough,” Matt said.
This compatibility means that farmers can use the equipment they already have, rather than investing in a more substantial tractor solely for feeding.
“Really, really nice machine to use”
The flexibility of the Hustler Combi RX178 is another standout feature. This wagon can feed over fences, making it possible to reach distant paddocks without having to enter them. For Matt, this means feeding over 1.2-metre-high (4-ft-high) fences is a breeze, eliminating the need to disrupt the cows in the paddock. These thoughtful design considerations simplify farm life and make daily tasks more efficient.
The Hustler Combi RX178 is not just a piece of equipment; it’s a testament to Hustler’s commitment to improving efficiency in dairy farming. By listening to the needs of farmers like Matt, Hustler has developed a solution that simplifies daily tasks and helps maintain a sustainable and productive dairy farm. “Just simple things like that that Hustler obviously thought of, just makes the life of farming easier,” Matt concluded.
For Matt and his family, the Hustler Combi RX178 multi-feeder wagon has become an indispensable tool in their dairy farming operation. With its versatility, precision loading, user-friendly operation, and low-impact design, the Hustler Combi RX178 has significantly improved their efficiency and productivity.
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