Reporoa based Murdoch Agricultural Contracting, owned and operated by couple Harry Murdoch and Samantha Parker, started by targeting a niche.
Hustler Equipment, celebrating its 60th year, uses an exhaustive process that starts with an idea, moves to building a machine, which is then handed to farmers to use and test in real world conditions.
User feedback results in tweaks and adjustments to produce the ideal configuration - a process the company used to develop the cradle shape of their Unrolla range bale unrollers.
The shape of the cradle was designed to deal with perfectly shaped bales, while also allowing for crops or conditions that might misshape some bales. A single-piece thermoformed floor made from polythylene is said to reduce bale drag by up to 30%, while durable bis-alloy steel sprockets and covered drive shafts eliminate crop wrapping on any drive components.
Bale weights have grown substantially over the last decade, so the Unrolla LX105 has a substantial suframe, 12,000lb roller chains and 40mm x 40mm box-section galvanised feedbars.
Aimed at users wishing to feed 50 to 800 bales per annum, with weights of up to 1000kg, the machine requires one double-acting hydraulic outlet with an available flow rate of 30 to 60 litres per minute.
A single lever control system allows fine adjustment of feed rate and easy selection of left or right-handed discharge.
From a practical point of view, Hustler Unroller's are fitted with an automatic hands-free connection and disconnection system called Snaplox, allowing users to disconnect the cradle, load a bale from an adjacent stack, then reconnect without leaving their tractor or hanging out the window to pull a rope.
Forged bale spears of unequal length allow the easy pick up of bales and smooth reconnection to the cradle after bale loading.
This feature is complemented with the ability to connect to either end of the cradle and feed out to either side, offering maximum manoueuvrability, adaptability and the versatility to work in conjunction with any front-end loader, skid-steer or telescopic handler.
Throughout the machine, bearings are favoured instead of bushes, increasing the durability and working life of the units, a fact the company recognises by offering a 4-year warranty.