Mt Somers Station owners David And Kate Acland took ownership of their new Hustler Unrolla mounted bale feeder – first prize in the recent Rural News Group/Hustler reader competition.
Much of the redesign was to optimise the capacity of the main body to allow maximum use of space particularly for round or square bales.
The RX 138 (13.5cu.m) will hold six, rather than five, 4 x 6 foot round bales -- a 20% increase. Or carrying a square bale 4 x 4 x 8 foot long the capacity increases from two to three bales -- an increase of 50%.
The machine is also said to be much more manoeuvrable than its predecessor, with a tighter turning radius achieved by shortening and sculpting the drawbar and repositioning the axles.
Within the body, a heavy duty polyethylene flat floor design combines with a hydraulic pusher, running on grease-less slides, to move the load forwards to the cross conveyor.
Attention to detail shows in two points: the main floor delivers the load to the cross-conveyor with only a minimal difference in heights, giving a seamless transition of material; and the hydraulically adjusted discharge elevator originates from well under the machine to avoid feed spillages.
The discharge elevator has also been changed to a 12,000lb rating roller chain design fitted with box-section bars to deliver feed to the required destination.
In operation, the two-speed main floor feed is controlled automatically by the feed control system that takes load sensing signals from the cross conveyor to bring the load forward as required.
Much of the redesign has been aimed at reducing the number of moving parts within the machine and upgrading to better technology for a longer service life. This involved replacing bushes with bearings or grease-less components in key areas.
The combination of changes is said to have reduced the number of greasing points by up to 39%, and maintenance times are reduced by up to ten hours a month.
And there are other changes to engineering detail, e.g. the cross-conveyor is driven by a gearbox and a direct drive to the discharge elevator.
Standard equipment includes mudguards, access ladders, a heavy-duty parking jack and rear opening tailgate. Add to that an integral weighing system with load cells on the drawbar and axles, a choice of options such as a FeedLink wireless weighing and feed management system, braked axles and a road ready kit.