Friday, 05 August 2022 07:25

Local manufacturer builds spreader especially for orchards

Written by  Mark Daniel
With a low profile and narrow width, the spreaders offer orchardists and viticulturists great manoeuvrability. With a low profile and narrow width, the spreaders offer orchardists and viticulturists great manoeuvrability.

Based in the heart of the Waikato, New Zealand manufacturer Coombridge & Alexander is well known for its range of yellow and green SAM Fertiliser spreaders, feeder wagons and tip trailers.

In 2020, the company’s 75th anniversary year, it took the opportunity to move into the horticulture and viticulture markets with their new SAM Orchard Spreader.

Now orchardists – including those growing avocado, kiwifruit, apples or grapes, amongst a host of other crops – can choose between spreading and banding from the tractor seat at the touch of a button.

This is made possible by the configuration of the main hopper belt, that moved forwards for banding/ piling, and backwards for spreading offering the versatility to spread a wide range of products. From the rear the machine can easily spread superphosphate, lime, urea and chicken manure, or band/pile compost, vermicast, or mulch from the front.

Featuring a single axle layout, the spreader has a capacity of 2 cubic metres, but can be optioned with top hats for extra capacity. Standard features include an 800-mm wide floorbelt, an intuitive computer controller, front and rear safety nudge bars, the rear spinner assembly, combined spinner RPM control and the fixed front conveyor.

With a low profile and narrow width, the spreaders offer orchardists and viticulturists great maneuverability – as well a wide range of options of what they can spread.

Looking at the front conveyor, the assembly is designed to band bulk products such as vermicast compost or even notoriously tricky mulch, dispensing material to the right-hand side of the machine. Offering the ability to apply material in a continuous windrow or as strategically placed piles, in either case, the operator has a clear view of the spreading as it takes place.

Application control takes a flick of the switch to instantly start or stop the application, with both conveyors switching together, meaning material is preloaded for the next run.

The rear, twin spreader unit features extensive use of stainless steel in the discs and spinner tubes making them suitable for granular fertilisers or lime.

The spreading discs are driven via enclosed stainless-steel spinner tubes and two variable speed hydraulic motors.

Taking a closer look at the machine’s general construction, firstly the chassis gets a steel grit abrasive blast, followed by a thermal-arc pure zinc spray, a primer, and finally a two-pack epoxy topcoat. The spreader bin is also constructed from stainless steel to offer a comprehensive package of corrosion protection and a long service life.

The SAM computer controller, rated to an IP 67 rating for water resistance, makes it easy for the operator to choose spreading or banding. This is simply done by entering the spreading rate, density and tractor centres.

Options include a heavy-duty swivel drawbar coupling, LED lights for road use, individual spinner control, customer hopper widths, axle risers, a choice of tyre options and a touch screen display.

For those working in arduous or extended conditions, temperature monitors and oil coolers are available. Meanwhile, spinner-specific options include right-handed discharge only and another for blocking centre discharge.

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