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Wheels& Fields

Wheels& Fields 01 12 FCI CONFEX 2018


The Official Membership Magazine of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) Ltd

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We give you a summary of just some of the

Bruce Lett examines the fuel challenges in modern

activities of FCI over the past year on behalf of

diesel engines in the typical contractor fleet.






FCI Confex 2018 is the biggest contractor event

Wheels & Fields reports on news across Europe

ever held in Ireland with over 40 exhibitors and

for the Forestry Contractor sector with the latest

over 30 technical presentations and here we

product news for the sector.


preview the January 10, 2018 event.





We look at the latest news from CEETTAR, the

As a new recycling levy is introduced for 2018

European contractors association of which FCI is

we look at what contractors need to do to com-

Ireland’s sole member.





Wheels & Fields looks at the impact of the new

As Irish contractors flocked to Agritechnica we

tractor regulation, called the Tractor Mother

seek out the machine changes of most interest to

Regulation, and how it will impact on machinery






Bruce Lett examines the benefits for contractors of

We look at the new Vermeer prototype self-pro-

keeping the loader in good condition.

pelled baler and examine its features and options


for Irish contractors.

MAN WITH A MISSION Wheels & Fields talks to FCI National Chairman Richard White on his business and plans for FCI growth.

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We profile the new Valtra T254, awarded the coveted title of European Tractor of the Year for 2018.

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elcome to Wheels & Fields, the official magazine for members of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI). This is the first edition of our member magazine, which will be produced twice yearly for farm and forestry contractors in Ireland.

Michael Moroney Editor & Chief Executive

We have modelled our magazine on that produced by our counterparts in Europe, especially the contractor associations in Netherlands and Germany. Through our partners in CEETTAR, the European contractors association, we continue to take on board more ideas to develop FCI into the type of association that gets respect and recognition for your contracting business which in turn will bring rewards for the very important work that you do as farm and forestry contractors. This new Wheels & Fields magazine is supporting our FCI confex 2018 event which takes place at the National Show Centre, near Dublin Airport on Wednesday, 10 January 2018. With FCI Confex 2018 we aim to provide you as contractors with

a new biennial event tailored to your needs. For this first event we need your support in numbers to show Irish agriculture just how important contractors are in ensuring that we can sustain Ireland’s reputation as being a world-class food producing country. We know that farm & forestry contracting accounts for a turnover of in excess of €700 million annually in Ireland’s farming economy. This needs to recognised and so does the way that you as contractors provide an efficient and cost-effective mechanisation service that has the flexibility to respond to a changing farming, food and forestry sector. We appreciate the support of advertisers and of all of whom have been prepared to come on the journey with us in developing an association for farm & forestry contractors that can deliver strength through services that are supported by good advice.

Michael Moroney Editor & Chief Executive Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) Ltd The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) © is Irish member of CEETTAR, the European Farm Contractors Association. FCI is a registered company limited by guarantee. Company Registration Number: C511007 Wheels & Fields is the official magazine of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) Ltd. It is published biannually and circulated only to contractors on the FCI Membership Database.

FCI Contact Details 087-755-1111


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The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI Ireland), Portlaoise Enterprise Centre, Clonminam Business Park, Portlaoise, Co Laois R32 XH0X, IRELAND.

Agri Contractors

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Depend on Emo for great value on Texaco lubricants You can now order Texaco lubricants from Emo.

Call us at 057 8684500 to order today. Or visit Emo. Lubricants you can depend on.

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FCI NEWS DIGEST FCI Contractors Sought Extension To Slurry Spreading Deadlines The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) welcomed the introduction of the slurry spreading flexibility scheme for autumn 2017 following a series of submissions to three Government departments requesting an extension to the slurry land-spreading deadline from October 15 to at least the last day of October.

FCI Contractors Welcome Opportunity To Amend Tractor Roadworthiness Regulation

This was in response to requests from FCI Farm Contractors across the country, who raised concerns in September about their ability to meet the October 15 deadline due to the poor weather conditions which prevailed in some western counties since the middle of July 2017. Despite adopting best practice in machine operation and being mindful of the need to minimise field surface damage and run-off risks, many FCI members found it impossible to complete their normal land-spreading operations, on behalf of their farmer customers, before the start of the prohibited period on 15 October.

The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) recently welcomed the opportunity to play a key part in the tractor roadworthiness testing consultation process, in advance of the implementation of any test for agricultural tractors in 2018. This follows the agreement of the Department of Transport to now enter into full negotiation with FCI and other key stakeholders. This came after the decision of the Minister for Transport, Mr. Shane Ross, TD, to revoke Statutory Instrument SI 413/2017, which had previously been written into law, without any consultation with FCI and other farming bodies. Since March of this year, FCI has raised contractor’s concerns on the issue, both with Minister Ross and the Road Safety Authority. Both gave a commitment to engage with FCI, as one of the primary stakeholders, in any process during the drafting of any national regulations on tractor testing. FCI raised concerns in recent weeks when it became aware that Minister Ross had signed the relevant Statutory Instrument (SI) into law, without fulfilling any of the prior agreed consultation procedures. FCI National Chairman Richard White said, “We are satisfied that following revocation of SI 413/2017 that a full and thorough consultation process will now take place, to allow for an opportunity for sensible amendments to the Statutory Instrument. We are determined to ensure that contractor’s tractors with a maximum design speed exceeding 40km/hr, which are used for the specific purposes of the agricultural work including transport of agricultural produce, crops, forage and biomass crops such as hay, silage and straw bales and woodchip and biomass materials, low value animal feeds derived from a distilling or brewing process, as well as sludge waste materials being used for land spreading, directly to a farm or from a farm to a farm, or from a farm to processing area, are exempt from any tractor testing regulation.”


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Richard White, National Chairman of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors Association in Ireland (FCI)

Agri Contractors

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C = Much Cleaner Diesel !

Dipetane Will be on Stand 34 at the FCI CONFEX 2018 on Wednesday January 10th 2018, The National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords, Dublin COMMERCIAL FEATURE (beside Dublin Airport)

HOW DIPETANE WORKS FUEL SAVINGS equate to running ONE in TEN vehicles at NO FUEL COST! Using DIPETANE regularly ensures a more complete combustion and in more than 30 YEARS OF EXTENSIVE FIELD TRIALS DIPETANE has proven to have a POSITIVE BENEFIT on the following 5 common & costly problems:

➊ Poorly performing DPF’s and EGR’s Avoiding DPF blockages & expensive regenerations ➋ Damaged Injectors due to EU90% reduction in sulphur ➌ DIPETANE reduces the use of expensive Urea Gas ➍ Poor quality & expensive fuels which include 7% Biofuels by EU Order

Dipetane uniquely addresses and solves the fundamental problem existing in standard combustion, which is that some of the valuable carbon remains unburnt. Irish scientists are the first and only scientists worldwide who have discovered how to enable the existing fixed oxygen to gain proper access to burn the valuable carbon much more completely compared to standard combustion.

INJECTOR PROTECTION Dipetane protects costly injectors and valve stems from the EC 90% cut in sulphur, the sulphur had been acting as a lubricant for Injectors and valve stems. Dipetane’s full burning of the carbon leaves no hard unburnt carbon grating in the system and combined with its built in lubricant greatly increases lubrication thereby protecting injectors and valve stems.

DPF’S-DIESEL PARTICLE FILTERS Minimising regeneration, minimising fuel usage and protecting DPF’s is very efficient. As mentioned above protecting DPF’s through the use of Dipetane is critical and very cost-effective. Dipetane treated fuel’s unique ability to burn the carbon more completely, compared to all standard fuels means that much less un-burnt carbon enters the DPF and therefore the regeneration occurs less often. In some 6.8 Litre engines Dipetane’s use has extended the regeneration from 70 hours out to over 200 hours. This is a substantial fuel saving and protects the DPF from the very high revs involved in the regeneration process.

UP TO 10% FUEL SAVINGS Dipetane’s independent Scientific Chassis Dynamometer and Boiler Tests under controlled conditions show up to 10% fuel savings. Mix rate for Dipetane is always 1:200. 1 Litre treats 200 Litre’s Diesel, Petrol, Kerosene, Heavy Oil. It does not change the spec of the fuel. It is not an ‘additive’, being 100% hydro-carbon. Visit for further information.

➎ Failed DOE, NCT, MOT Smoke and Emission Tests


DMD Sales Ltd. Unit 5, Kilcoole Industrial Estate, Co. Wicklow Tel Ireland +353 1 2876922 Email We are the Inventors and Sole Manufacturers & appoint only Authorised Distributors of DIPETANE worldwide. DIPETANE is available in all good Motor Factors, APPLE GREEN and CORRIB OIL Service Stations and Agri-Machinery outlets. DIPETANE is a member of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI). 57

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FCI NEWS DIGEST FCI Contractors Stage Monster National Charity BBQ The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) staged its Annual Monster Charity BBQ on Sunday April 30th at the yard of FCI Executive Council member James Geoghegan at Cornaher, Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath. Over the past five years, the FCI Annual Charity BBQ has now raised more than €95,000 for various rural charities, supported by working farm contractors from across Ireland. Live music on the day was provided on the day by bands Wagon Wheel and Ruaile Buaile. FCI Executive Council Member James Geoghegan, who hosted the event at his yard at Cornraher, Tyrrellspass, was delighted with the attendance and he also staged a display of his own machinery fleet on display along with some additional machines arriving on site to support the event. James, who also operates the knife sharpening company Agriknives, donated one of his own sharpener units for auction at the event. This year’s event raised over €30,000 to support the St Francis Hospice, Blanchardstown, in memory of Joan Fagan, who was James’ sister and was unsuccessful in her heroic battle with cancer. The event also supported Downs Syndrome Ireland, in particular, the local Midlands branch. The funds raised from the event were presented at a black tie function held in Trim at the end of September.

Contractor Debt Keeps On Rising “The results of the Irish Farmers Journal Red C poll on farm debt, which was published on the week of the National Ploughing Championships, did not surprise us as contractors,” said Richard White, national chair or the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI). “As the scale of farm operations have increased, especially on many dairy farms, so too has the level of indebtedness to many farm contractors, as we are doing more of the work than ever.” “Irish banks don’t seem to understand the level of credit being carried by farm and forestry contractors in Ireland,” he said. “We hear from FCI members of reports where banks are encouraging farmers to delay contractor payments, and the Irish Farmers Journal survey confirmed what we have already highlighted and that is that contractors are the largest providers of interest fee and unsecured credit to Irish farming.” he said.


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Agri Contractors

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The recycling levy now applies to netting & twine CONTRACTORS make sure you pass on the label code to farmers for netting & twine supplied

FARMERS will need the label code to avail of reduced IFFPG recycling charges

For further information contact Tel 1890 300 444 or email

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Confex 2018

CONTRACTING: A VISION FOR THE FUTURE FCI stages major National Contractor Conference and Exhibition


he Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) is staging its biennial Conference and Exhibition (Confex) 2018 with the support of FBD Insurance, at the National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords, adjacent to Dublin Airport, on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. The FCI Confex theme will be ‘Contracting – A Vision for the Future’ and it will be focussed on providing Irish Farm & Forestry Contractors with a one-day event that will incorporate a series of information seminars embedded within a targeted machinery exhibition for Irish contractors.

FCI has welcomed the support of FBD Insurance as the lead sponsor of the one-day event. FBD is Ireland’s leading farm and farm contractor insurance provider. FCI has worked closely with FBD Insurance to provide a tailor-made insurance support service to suit the needs of Irish contractors. The FCI Confex 2018 has been modelled on the success of similar contractor-focussed events across Europe. Through its membership of CEETTAR, the European contractor’s association, FCI has been able to call on the support and expertise of contractor associations in Denmark,

A view of the attendance at the 2016 FCI Conference and Exhibition which was held at Cillin Hill, Kilkenny.


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There will be a large machinery display at FCI Confex 2018 with the full range from Krone on view from Irish importer Farmhand Ltd along with pat O'Donnell & Co's display of the Volvo range for farm and forestry contractor applications.

Germany and the Netherlands, all of who run similar biennial events, the best known of which is the biennial German DeLuTa event ( The FBD Insurance supported FCI Confex 2018 builds on the success of the smaller event held in Kilkenny in March 2016 and for 2018 at a new location at the National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords, which is adjacent to Dublin Airport. The facility includes a large covered display area, restaurant facilities and extensive hard standing car parking at a convenient location to the M50 and M1 motorways. FCI has confirmed that there will be 45 exhibitors at the event, the biggest contractor focussed event ever held in Ireland. Some big exhibitor names have been confirmed for FCI Confex 2018, which combines an exhibition and conference as well as catering facilities, for all contractors under one roof. There is free car parking on site. FCI can now confirm that John Deere, Farmhand/Krone, New Holland/Kongskilde, AGCO Fendt, Claas UK, McHale Plant

Sales and Pat O'Donnell & Co, will be among the large exhibitors at this exclusive contractor-only event. Other big machinery names to confirm attendance include Agrigear, Clarke Machinery, Cross Agricultural Engineering, Dipetane, Egmont Agri, Farmec Ireland, GES, NC Engineering, Tanco, Mastek, OCE Engineering and Vogelsang. The supporting sectors including CC Lubrication, DTE Systems, Fossland Services, Kingswood Computing, OKO Sealants, OneClick Accounts, Petronas Lubrication, Topcon and a number of the main banks, will be supporting the event, which is the first of its type ever held in Ireland. The FCI Confex 2018 has been modelled on the DeLuTa event organised the German BLU contractors association, who have supported FCI in this initiative for Irish Farm & Forestry Contractors. The date for FCI Confex 2018 has been planned to suit a time in the calendar of Farm & Forestry Contractors, ahead of the slurry spreading season and post-Christmas. FCI maintains a database of more than 1,200 Farm & Forestry Contractors, all of whom

Pictured at the announcement of FBD Insurance sponsorship of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors of Ireland (FCI) Conference and Exhibition 2018, were from left: Michael Moroney, CEO of FCI, Patrick Carey, Business Development Manager at FBD Insurance, Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance and Richard White, National Chairman, FCI. The event will take place at the National Show Centre, beside Dublin Airport on Wednesday, 10 January 2018.

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Confex 2018

will be invited to the event. The event will run from 12 noon until 9pm. Entry charge is €20 with free car parking with refreshments included all day. FCI is encouraging its members to pre-register for the event by email to info@ or telephone on 087-7551111. Richard White, National Chairman of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) said; “We are delighted to have FBD Insurance support for our Confex 2018 as it recognises the important part that Farm & Forestry Contractors play in the Irish agrifood and rural economy. FCI is growing in membership and developing a support network based on the needs of Irish contractors. This event will prove to highlight the important role of the farm and forestry contractor in Ireland, a massive show of strength by the sector, which has an annual turnover of in excess of €700 million. “Our Confex 2018 with the theme, ‘Contracting – A Vision for the Future’, will provide Irish contractors with new information and advice in a structured way to help them to enhance their business to meet the needs of a changing agriculture. We want to see our FCI members play a full part in the future development of the Irish agri-food industry and this can be achieved through access to the best information in order to best the best decisions for their contracting businesses.” Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance said “This is the first Farm & Forestry Contractors of Ireland Conference & Exhibition and FBD Insurance is delighted to be the first sponsor of this inaugural event. FBD Insurance supports innovation in the Irish agricultural sector in all


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its forms. I hope we will see this conference grow as successfully as Ireland’s agri-economy over the coming years and I wish the organisers every success with their new event”. Farm and forestry contractors in Ireland provide a valuable ruralbased mechanisation service to the farm, food and forestry sectors. FCI estimates that turnover in the Irish rural contractor sector is in the region of €700 million annually. Contractors are major purchasers of modern farm machinery, accounting for an investment of close on €200 million per year and use more than €100 million worth of fuel and lubrication oils in providing their cost-efficient mechanisation services to Irish farm and forestry owners. Key • • • • • • • • •

facts about FCI Confex 2018 Takes place on Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 12 noon until 9pm National show Centre, beside Dublin Airport M1 motorway exit This is an event for contractors and their operators only 1,200 contractors invited from FCI database Over 40 trade stands Over 30 short 25 minute technical presentations all day Free car parking Entry fee €20 refreshments included Meet CEETTAR contractors from across Europe in exclusive FCI member area

Agri Contractors

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John Deere will be showing its latest technology for farm and forestry contractors at FCI Confex 2018.

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Confex 2018

Exhibitor Stand Number AGCO Fendt 37 Agrigear 32 Agriknives 10 Breens 14 Case IH 27 CC Lubricants 21 Claas Finance 12 Claas UK 38 Clarke Machinery 43 Conaty Tractor Parts 22 Cross Agricultural Eng 45 Dipetane 34 DTE-Systems 27 Egmont 46 ESB Networks 24 Farmec Ireland 44 Farmhand Ltd 38 FBD 29/30 FCI 1/2 Fossland 15 GES 31 IFFPG 3 JFC 16/17 JMC 5/6 John Deere 41 Kingspan 19/20 Kingswood Computing 26 47 Kongskilde New Holland Mastek 48 McHale Plant Sales 42 NC Engineering 35 OCE 36 OKO Sealants 23 One Click Accounts 4 Pat O'Donnell 40 Petronas 25 Redmac 13 Safe Shaft 18 Samco Manufacturing SelectDNA 7 Tanco 33 Topcon 11 Vogelsang 8/9

Pictured at the announcement of FBD Insurance sponsorship of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors of Ireland (FCI) Conference and Exhibition 2018 were from left: Michael Moroney, CEO of FCI, Patrick Carey, Business Development Manager at FBD Insurance, Peter Farrelly, FCI Secretary, Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance, Norman Egar, FCI Vice-chairman and Richard White, National Chairman, FCI. The event will take place at the National Show Centre, beside Dublin Airport on Wednesday, 10 January 2018.


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Agri Contractors

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December 2017

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Recycling Levy

RECYCLING LEVY; ON NETTING AND TWINE From 2018, contractors must provide the label code to farmers for netting and twine products supplied


ontractors should be aware that from the 1st of October 2017 the Government has amended waste legislation to ensure that in future netting and twine producers contribute to recycling costs. This means that for the 2018 silage season, the recycling levy will apply to netting and twine in the same way that it applies to silage plastics. The Irish Farm Film Producer Group (IFFPG), which is the national farm plastics recycling scheme, will use funds generated from this levy to drive the recycling of netting and twine waste streams. As contractors are typically suppliers of netting and twine to farmers, it is essential that contractors obtain a label code for all of the netting and twine products that they buy and then pass it on to farmers when invoicing for work carried out. In the future farmers will demand a label code from contractors for netting and twine supplied to ensure that they can avail of reduced recycling costs going forward. For example, a farmer who presents a valid label code for netting and twine at one of IFFPG’s bring-centres will be charged at the rate of €5 for a half tonne bag of waste compared to €15 without the label code. Contractors who are carrying over netting and twine stock from 2017 to 2018 are advised to contact IFFPG to pay levy on that stock and to receive label codes for distribution to farmers. The levy on netting and twine is set at €110 per tonne, which is the same rate as it is set for wrap

and sheeting. A tonne of netting and twine equates approximately to one pallet of product. Netting market value The netting market is estimated at 2,500-3,000 tonnes per annum, while the twine market is estimated at 500-700 tonnes. All the major Irish suppliers of these products are committed to meeting their new obligations through IFFPG membership. IFFPG will grow the recycling of netting and twine waste streams by reducing the cost to farmers from the current €15 to €5 per half tonne bag of waste. In addition, IFFPG will be carrying out an extensive awareness increasing campaign aimed at all links in the supply chain to ensure that all due levy is collected and that the label code is received by the farmer. IFFPG, which was originally established in the late 1990s, has very considerable experience in farm plastics recycling. The scheme currently recycles in the region of 27,000 tonnes of wrap and sheeting waste streams annually and consistently exceeds the 70% national recycling target as set by the government. For further information, you can contact Stephen Crampton, Compliance Officer, IFFPG Tel. 01 408 9966 or by email stephen@ where all queries will be answered.

For the 2018 silage season, the recycling levy will apply to netting and twine in the same way that it applies to silage plastics, so make sure that you retain a valid label code on all net and twine purchased.


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Agri Contractors

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AGRITECHNICA REPORT FOR CONTRACTORS This year’s Agritechnica Show provided contractors with a worthwhile insight into the trends in the farm machinery sector. The show is the largest farm machinery event in the world and with over 450,000 visitors to see more than 2,800 stands, the week-long event in Hanover, Germany provides much to see. grass, cuts and feeds it into the intermediate hopper, from where the grass is then loaded into a trailer by means of a wide high-speed conveyor. The intermediate hopper allows for non-stop grass harvesting. The Fliegl Buffalo works as a feeder unit for nonstop harvesting. Fliegl claims that the system chops the forage efficiently and reduces soil compaction. The system is being tested during 2018 and it’s seen as a new, cost-effective and very efficient alternative to forage wagons and high power demanding self-propelled silage harvesters. At the Agritechnica 2017, the Fliegl Buffalo was awarded the Silver Innovation Award. The company has applied for a patent for the all-in-one loading system.

German trailer maker Fliegl showed this new silage harvesting system, which claims high output with lower running costs.

Loaders and harvester news with fresh approach to silage harvesting There were plenty of new developments to interest Irish contractors, from new loaders to electric tractors and a novel approach to silage harvesting. Automation was the order of the day on many stands, giving a hint of the need for contractors to buy into the new technology, which has become a critical part of the tractors and machinery for the present with hints of more to come in the future. One of the more interesting developments for the event was the launch of the prototype of the new Fliegl Buffalo silage harvesting system. This signals a significant change from blowing grass into trailer by instead conveying it using high speed and high output conveyor systems. German company Fliegl, best known for its large capacity trailers, believes that forage wagons may offer better fuel efficiency and performance than forage harvesters, but the drawback is that they are not productive during road travel. The Fliegl Buffalo is a loading platform with a rotor and an intermediate hopper which combines various components from a forage wagon such as pick-up and rotor cutter, as well as the intermediate chopper system of a baler and a new type of unloading system. The rotor-based loading system picks up the


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Claas leads with Liebherr loader lines There was plenty of news among the loader manufacturers at Agritechnica. Claas, New Holland, JCB and Atlas, all introduced new loaders designed for the farm contractor market. Claas introduced their new Torion range of loaders, which they claim is the first wheel loader designed for agricultural use. The loaders are developed in co-operation with Liebherr. With the largest Torion 1914 and 1812 models, Claas focuses its attention on contractors, who have the highest demands in terms of power, performance and operator comfort. With their Liebherr engines, these machines develop 195hp and 228hp, respectively, and meet Stage IV emissions standards with no additional diesel particulate filter. The tipping loads are 11.1 and 12.4 t, respectively. Both large models are equipped as standard with the Dynamic Cooling system and an optional automatic reversing fan system for very dirty working conditions is also available. The infinitely adjustable, power-split CMATIC transmission works with a combination of hydrostatic and mechanical drive, to achieve optimal efficiency in all loading and unloading operations. The high level of mechanical transmission at lower speeds of up to 10 km/h and, at maximum speed, enable high power output with low fuel consumption.

Agri Contractors

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The Claas Torion loader range for contractors has been developed in co-operation with Liebherr.

New Holland has wheeled loader models on view with improved engine performance.

New Holland adds loader to its display New Holland added some loader models from its D Series loader range to its Agritechnica display. The W170D feature a 45km/ hr Ecoshift five-speed powershift transmission with torque converter, while the other two models come with a 38km/hr four-speed powershift transmission with a choice of automatic or manual gear selection. The loading performance comes from the closed-centre, loadsensing hydraulic system and the mighty Z-bar boom made of 45mmthick plate steel. The largest model also features tandem pumps. The D Series wheel loaders are powered by 4.5-litre and 6.7-litre engines and feature New Holland’s EcoBlue HI-eSCR emissions technology to meet Stage 4/Tier 4B standards. Both have been co-designed with FPT Industrial. The latest EcoBlue HIeSCR technology relies on a newly developed electronic control unit that manages the engine and the HI-eSCR exhaust to precisely match engine load, emissions and aftertreatment.

JCB shows new loader JCB used the occasion to launch the new JCB 419S Agri wheeled loader. This loader replaces the current 418S Agri with increased power and torque from its 6.7-litre Cummins six-cylinder engine. Peak power is increased 5% to 136kW (183hp) and the engine now meets latest emissions rules using only an AdBlue injecting SCR system and DOC – no particulates filter is needed. The JCB 419S Agri can also travel on the road at up to 48km/hr enabling it to keep pace with other machines in a contractor’s silagemaking or manure spreading team. JCB wheeled loader operators moving to the newcomer will find the CommandPlus cab is 15% bigger than the previous design, with improved visibility and control and information features that establish new levels of operator comfort. This loader has a new joystick and multi-lever hydraulic controls, both of which feature a thumb-operated shuttle switch and provide proportional control of all loader functions.

The new 419S Agri joins existing JCB wheeled loaders for agriculture featuring unrivalled power-to-weight ratios, six-speed torque lock-up powershift transmissions and high output hydraulic pumps.

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The new Krone cab lift system for the Big X 880 self-propelled silage harvester gives better visibility for maize harvesting.

New Holland claims big forage harvesting performance from the new FR920 harvester, powered by a 911hp FPT engine.

Krone lifts the harvester cab Krone unveiled its new cab lift on the BiG X 880 self-propelled silage harvester at Agritechnica. At the touch of a button inside the cab, the operator can raise up the entire cab by 70cm on a hydraulic scissor lift. This gives the operator a perfect view out over the crop and of the trailer driving alongside and is also very handy when opening up the field. Another convenient feature: raising the cab moves it further away from the chopping assembly, which impacts positively on the noise level in the cab. Besides a good overview, this redesigned Krone cab also claims to provide an excellent all-round view, as it now comes with 360° multiple wipers. There are three windscreen wipers on the curved front windscreen, one on each side and one on the rear windscreen. This guarantees the operator a 360° all-round view of the machine and the headers even in poor visibility conditions such as rain and dust. The engine of the new BiG X 880 forage harvester is a Liebherr, underlining Krone’s confidence in its supplier. The engine oil and oil and fuel filters only need to be changed after 1,000 engine hours. Krone also showed a new Big M 450 series mower that boasts a new cab and a new engine, a new running gear and redesigned mower units. Cutting at widths of 9.95m, the new model offers the potential of achieving work rates of indeed 17ha/h. The gap between the cutterbar and the deck was increased by 20% compared with the predecessor models. The steel V-tine conditioners on the side mowers are singlepiece now, which eliminates the central drive unit and positions the pto shaft and gearbox on the side - a solution that results in a more uniform crop flow and reduced input power for better wilting and productivity. The self-propelled mower conditioner is powered by a 449hp, 12-litre Liebherr engine with extended 1,500-hour service intervals for the BiG M 450. The cooling system is updated and the auto engine control switches automatically between Eco Mode and M Mode to supply just the right engine output to match the current demand, hence saving output and fuel in thinner crops. To ensure clean cuts at all times, the new top speed control reduces ground speed automatically when the engine is revving within a predefined speed range. Trials have shown that the BiG M 450 travels at up to 25km/hr in the field and up to 40km/hr on the road. A new development is the now stepless wheel drive in combination with hydraulic swashplate motors and planetary drives. New Holland unveils new harvester flagship New Holland Agriculture showed its FR920 Forage Cruiser which takes foraging to a new level. High capacity and productivity result from the powerful new engine and improved feeding, while the HydroLoc technology claims to deliver best-in-class chop quality. A choice of three ranges of crop processors, all available in different roll configurations, covers every requirement from Biogas applications to shredded silage. The overall feeding system now features a 12.5% bigger intake channel. The new FR920 flagship model is powered by a new FPT Industrial V20 engine developed for forage harvesting applications. It delivers 911hp maximum power at 1600 to 1800 rpm, 4,095 Nm maximum torque and a productivityboosting 44% torque rise at 2100-1600 rpm. The power curve specifically mapped to match the precise require-


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ments of foraging applications ensures the best transient response, so that the FR reacts fast to changing load. The V20 engine delivers the most fuel-efficient performance in the 1600rpm to 1900rpm working range. More harvester comfort, performance and reliability at Deere John Deere has announced the introduction of several new features on its 8000 Series self-propelled forage harvester range, designed to enhance operator comfort and increase productivity. With the new Active Fill Control rear unloading function, the spout automatically fills the trailer when the tractor follows behind the forager. This mostly occurs during the opening of the field when the driver needs to concentrate on the field boundaries. This new option uses the forager’s StarFire satellite receiver to ensure a quick response during unloading. It claims to reduce operator fatigue and avoids silage spillage, especially in high yielding crops. New forager customers can choose between the optional 10in GS3 2630 display directly mounted on the seat armrest or the standard 7in Command Centre display. Use of the GS3 2630 reduces the number of

displays in the cab and can save up to €2000. For contractors John Deere offers a choice of connectivity packages. JDLink is standard on all 8000 Series foragers (excluding JDLink Select). The Connectivity Premium package includes guidance ready functionality, JDLink Connect, the work order management app MyJobConnect and a GreenStar 2630 display. In addition, the Connectivity Ultimate package includes a StarFire 6000 receiver and HarvestLab 3000 with constituent sensing calibrations. Both packages can be optionally upgraded with John Deere’s Ag Navigation system and the logistics app MyJobConnect Premium, in countries where these are available. John Deere introduced Dura Line crop flow components on its forager range for the first time in 2010, and owners of these machines have experienced a dramatic reduction in the cost of wearing parts. Based on this experience, John Deere will now guarantee its Dura Line wear parts for a period of 3000 engine hours (or a maximum of five years) on all new 2018 forager sales.

For contractors John Deere is offering a choice of connectivity packages; Connectivity Premium package includes guidance ready functionality.

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SERVICE CHECKS BOOST LOADER PERFORMANCE Agriculture and forestry related contracting businesses provide a wide variety of services for customers. While tractors are a key element of any contractor’s fleet and so too are dedicated wheeled loaders.

very important to aid resolving a breakdown on increasing complex machinery. Some will also provide part numbers for service items and filters so, again it’s no harm to have a good browse through the operator’s manual. If possible keep it with the vehicle; there is usually a pocket on the back of the seat (it could get you out of a hobble). Many contractors are capable of carrying out their own servicing and maintenance. And often have to, to keep costs under control. Where there is doubt or confusion, consider getting expert help from the dealer or qualified mechanic – it might cost in the short-term but may create significant savings in the long-term.

Regular servicing while adhering to maintenance schedules are keys to keeping any loader running smoothly and efficiently.

Article by Bruce Lett


oaders come in many shapes, forms and sizes but for the most part tend to be articulated shovel type or telescopic. Telescopic machines can again be divided into two categories; rigid chassis, side boom machines or articulated telescopic machines with the boom out front. Loaders and their operators often perform key roles in contractor services, such as clamping silage at the pit, loading dung, stacking bales and many other tasks. Without the loader and its operator, many contractor services or operations cannot function. So, it is incredibly important that the loader is in excellent condition and fit to perform its tasks without hiccup while the same goes for the operator!

Servicing systems Servicing and maintenance is key to keeping any machine running smoothly. There will always be breakdowns and unforeseen issues, but a strict service and maintenance regime will hopefully keep these to a minimum. A great guide is the operator manual, so have a look at it at least once! It provides information on servicing, oils, grease and coolant specifications plus quantities, grease points, fuse locations and use. Some manufacturers also provide fault-code information in the operator’s manual,


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Engine care The engine is as good a place to start as anywhere – daily checks should include checking oil and coolant levels (done cold before start up). A loader being worked hard needs its engine’s cooling system to work to its best, so if levels are low check for leaks. Make sure fan belt/s is tight (preferably with ignition key in your pocket to avoid nasty accidents) and the belt or belts themselves are in good condition. If in doubt, change them or get them changed. It could save you thousands on a seized engine! Check radiators for external blockages by debris – hay, straw or whatever can restrict the flow of air through the radiators. If in doubt, blow it out! This is especially important on modern loaders with emission control systems on engines. Engines equipped with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) as part of their emission control packages, generally means they run hotter and it is very important that air-flow through radiators is not restricted. Coolant used in engines with EGR tends to be a higher spec than ‘ordinary’ coolant. Always enquire if the system needs to be topped up after curing a leak. Most engine fuel systems have a clear glass bowl of some sort on or near the engine. A quick peek will indicate if there is any foreign matter in the diesel, water or dirt. It can be a tough task to keep fuel clear when on the road and being filled with bowsers or cans. It really pays off to have a

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proper filtration system on re-fuelling equipment. Diesel system repairs are very expensive. The hours between engine oil changes has been stretched by manufacturers over the year’s right out to 1,000hrs or more on some engines. Be aware through that challenging working conditions and emission control systems can considerably shorten these very long service intervals. This is especially so on engines using DPF-diesel particulate filters on their exhaust systems. Consider more regular servicing or having engine oil tested as part of the loader’s service regime. Transmissions complexities Transmitting the engines power to the wheels is through what can sometimes be a complex transmission arrangement including a torque converter, powershift packs or hydrostatic drive. On many transmissions there may be more than one oil level to check and different types of oil. Refer to the operator’s manual on how and where to check (and change). The same applies to the axles, there may be one axle with a limited slip differential that requires an extra limited slip (LS) element to its oil. Oil immersed brakes in the axles may also require a specific oil. Again, refer to the operator’s manu-

al for the oil specifications. Invariably, connecting the many drive elements of any loader is a drive shaft or drive shafts, all with universal joints (UJ’s or Hardi Spicer’s) that require greasing. Some of these can be more than a bit challenging to grease and you require the help of a second persons help to align grease nipples. There is a temptation to neglect those hard to reach grease nipples – don’t! ’Rock and perish’ and all that! Also, examine UJ’s for wear or damage when greasing. A new UJ is generally not expensive but damaged shafts are, if allowed to go too far. Brake update In the same area and regardless or make and model, there is usually a handbrake mechanism on one of the prop-shafts. Hand-brake mechanisms are typically very easy to adjust and usually this is done down at the brake disc and calliper. So, it is easier to have a second person in the cab to assist than climbing up and down to check the adjustment. Make sure the vehicle’s wheels are chocked so it cannot roll with you under it! Before putting away the grease gun, make sure the loader arm or boom is well greased and all the grease nipples are taking grease. Again, if

Cab filters will help the heating system keep the glass clear so don’t forget to blow out

It is important to have even tyres pressures on a loader because the centre of gravity is constantly

or replace if you find the heating system underperforming.

changing as it is loading.

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one isn’t, ignore at your own peril. The same applies to grease pipes if they are burst. Greasing the boom also provides an opportunity to check for cracks, loose pins, bolts or worn piping and leaks. Rectify as necessary.

Hand-brake mechanisms on many loaders are easy to adjust and usually this is done down at the brake disc and calliper.

Hydraulics highlights Hydraulics oil levels also need to be checked. The correct oil specification will be in the operator’s manual. Examine all hydraulic pipes and cylinders for leaks or damage, if any are found, they need to be rectified. Most loader’s hydraulic systems operate around 3,000psi under load; human flesh is no match for hot oil under pressure. Leaks can also cause loader boom or implement to tip or drop, again, not a safe scenario. A loaders electric system needs to be in top health to deal with our dark and damp winters. The first cold day of the winter will test any battery, replace if required. Messing with jump leads and using other vehicles to jump start from can end badly, especially if operating under pressure and making a mistake connecting or disconnecting leads. Make sure all battery connections are in good condition, corroded or broken terminals will not transfer battery power to the starter and give the impression that the battery is at fault. If in doubt get the battery tested by a suitably qualified person. Batteries are not for messing with and can blow up. Visuals Lights, beacons, horns, heaters, wipers, windscreen washers all need to work so the loader can be seen and heard, and so the operator can see out of the vehicle. There is usually an aftermarket auto or truck wiper head option to suit all sizes if the original (OEM) part is very expensive. Cab filters will help the heating system keep the glass clear so don’t forget to blow out or replace if you find the heating system underperforming. Keeping a loader clean is a challenge because of the environment it works in. Not being able to see out through dirty cab glass or mirrors is not a safe scenario to operate out of. Clutter or dirt in the cab that could potentially interfere with the loaders controls is not desirable either. Good house-keeping is good practice and also safer.

It pays off to have a proper filtration system on any mobile re-fuelling equipment.


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Tyre pressures Those working within agriculture and forestry are aware of the impact that tyre pressures can have. Tyre pressures on a loader are even more important because by the nature of any loaders design, its centre of gravity is always changing as it is loading. A soft tyre or tyres are very dangerous on a loader, especially so on telescopic and articulated machines. With the load in a raised position, a soft tyre on one corner could drastically reduce the loaders stability and cause the loader to overturn far easier that it would with correct tyre pressures all round. Tyre condition is equally important. Perished tyres or a tyre with a slice in it could blow out and cause a similar incident. It is no harm to check wheel nut periodically too. Finally, consider having your loader tested and certified. Any loader on a construction or building site has to be. It not too expensive and removes any doubt about a loader’s safe operating condition and might help keep everything in order and up to scratch.

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JOHN DEERE GUARANTEES UPTIME AND FUEL EFFICIENCY Contractors want to know in advance the costs associated with operating and owning a tractor or any other machine in their fleet.


hanks to innovations such as the JDLink remote monitoring technology, John Deere claims to offer customers the opportunity to view machinery operation data, such as fuel consumption, remotely from their contractor office. JDLink also offers the opportunity to introduce new services for maximising tractor uptime. John Deere has now taken another step further in this area with the full-scale launch of the revolutionary Fuel Guarantee and Uptime Guarantee programmes, which are part of the company’s new ‘Do More. Guaranteed’ campaign.

Fuel guarantee From this September, new owners of all John Deere six-cylinder 6R, 7R and 8R Series tractors have been eligible to participate in a programme which financially rewards fuel-efficient driving. This includes both a cashback incentive and training to ensure more fuel-efficient operation of the equipment. Customers will be refunded during the first full year of ownership if total fuel consumption has exceeded the John Deere target level. And that’s not all – if the operator achieves a higher fuel efficiency than the target level, owners will receive an efficiency bonus equal to twice the cost of the fuel saved. Depending on the amount of transport work carried out during the year, this bonus could mean a cash refund of up to four figures. “As approximately 50 per cent of the cost of ownership is spent on fuel, we want to encourage customers to proactively monitor their tractor’s fuel consumption,” says Chris Wigger, John Deere’s Region 2 Vice President Sales & Marketing. “The capabilities of JDLink and our network of specialist dealers will enable operators to track their

machine usage and to optimise fuel efficiency during transport. This is one of the key benefits of our FarmSight precision farming approach.” Uptime guarantee Customer surveys consistently show that machine reliability and uptime solutions are the most critical issues for any farming business. That’s why John Deere has now created the Uptime Guarantee programme, giving customers one less thing to worry about. The Uptime Guarantee is also based on John Deere’s well-established and reliable six-cylinder tractors. Starting on 1st November 2017, new owners of 6R, 7R and 8R/8RT Series tractors are eligible to enrol in this new programme. Uptime Guarantee is a comprehensive package of PowerGard Protection Plus warranty extension, maintenance and remote support services, designed to keep customers’ tractors running. For example, the brand new Expert Alerts service informs the dealer of potential failures before they happen. The dealer can therefore provide a new level of preventative maintenance, reducing the risk of an unexpected breakdown. If the customer experiences downtime exceeding 48 hours within the extended warranty period, an equivalent back-up machine will be provided. “With these two guarantee programmes, our message is clear,” says Chris Wigger. “We are committed to supporting our customers by reducing their overall total of cost of ownership.” More information on these new Fuel Guarantee and Uptime Guarantee programmes will be available shortly on John Deere dealers across Ireland.

John Deere’s new Fuel Guarantee and Uptime Guarantee programmes offer contractors the opportunity to manage their machinery costs by having accurate fuel cost data on each machine in their fleet.

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Contractor Profile

MAN WITH A MISSION Richard White, Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), National Chairman

Two years later and following an increase in workload and a significant investment in new machinery, John and Martin joined the company as part of the full time team. Richard White became involved in farm contracting from an early age. “I was always interested in the machinery in our contracting fleet and had intended to study in England after my year at agricultural college, but that was not to be. I became fully involved in the business when I took it over from my father Pat in 1989, as I had a vision of where we needed to be in providing a modern contractor service in this thriving farming area of Tipperary”, he says.

Richard White of SAS Contracting and national chairman of Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), runs a farm contracting business in Tipperary, Ireland along with his brothers John and Martin.


ichard White is chairman of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), having been an FCI member since the association was established in 2012. Richard and his family have been involved in farm contracting since the 1960’s at Drangan in Tipperary. His father Pat started a farm contracting business with a small square baler and tractor in the shadow of Slievenamon, one of Ireland’s best known mountain peaks. The White family moved to silage harvesting in 1973 with the arrival of a Kidd double chop silage harvester powered by a Zetor 8011 tractor, which for its time was a large silage harvesting outfit. Richard joined the business after school and has been part of the team since his early teenage years. He completed a year at Gurteen Agricultural College and then came home to Drangan in Tipperary, to become actively involved in the farm contracting business with his father. In 1997, Richard joined forces with his younger brothers John and Martin to establish Slievenamon Agricultural Services Ltd (SAS), a limited company to run the expanding farm contracting operations. At that time John, a trained welder/ fabricator and Martin a trained plant fitter, were both working outside of the farm contracting business while being joint shareholders with Richard.


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Forming a company When the White brothers started SAS in 1997 the company turnover with a limited amount of machinery was in the region of €150,000. In the 20 year since then they have embarked on a huge investment in machinery. The turnover at SAS is now in excess of €1 million with a range of machinery that has a replacement value of close to €2.5 million. The brothers have kept machinery investment at pace with developments in farming. They will invest in new technology if it brings benefits for their farming customers and can expand their range of services in a more efficient way. Over that time they have also built up their asset base in the business through a prudent machinery investment programme. At the summer peak time, the White Brothers employ a team of 12 operators including themselves. The off-peak winter work-load is less and team numbers drop to six full-time from November until April. What we do The White Brothers farm contracting business is based in a predominantly dairy farming region of Tipperary, which is considered to be in the heartland of the Golden Vale of Irish farming. Grass silage harvesting is the dominant operation for SAS and between grass silage, whole crop cereal silage and maize silage, this aspect of their business accounts for more than 50% of their turnover. Slurry spreading is the second most important

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part of the business and now accounts for close to 25% of turnover. They use a range of different slurry spreading machine options to satisfy local customer’s needs. The balance of their turnover is accounted for by a range of other farm contracting activities including fertilizer spreading, grassland spraying, maize sowing and a growing customer demand for grassland re-seeding services geared towards the needs of the expanding dairy farmer sector. Charge rates for farm contracting services vary across Ireland. The rate charged will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the job, transport distance in the case of silage harvesting and the number of machines involved in the case of animal slurry spreading. Grass silage harvesting is the major farm mechanisation job in Ireland and White Brothers charge rate is on an acreage basis that includes mowing and tedding the grass, picking it up with a self-propelled forage harvester, transport to the farm’s silage pit and loading and consolidating the silage in the pit. This team can include a harvester, industrial type loader, four tractors and trailers and a high output mowing system. Slurry spreading is charged on an hourly basis and with five different spreading options offered, it is difficult to give a standard charge basis, according to Richard White.

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Farm changes and structures Farm sizes and enterprises have changed in the Tipperary area. “We have noted that farm sizes have increased drastically in the last ten years in our area,” says Richard White. “We are in a major dairy farming area and since the abolition of milk quotas, cow numbers have increased by 35% in this region,” he says. “We have geared up to provide more services to our customers who all have major issues with labour availability. Recent reports indicate that 6,000 workers are needed on Irish dairy farms to cope with the management demands that come with an additional 327,000 dairy cows where the average herd size has increased by 50% to 75 cows in just ten years,” says Richard White. “All of this is pointing to the need for more contractor services and at FCI we are helping contractors to cope with this additional work demand,” he says. “The needs of our farming clients continue to change over time, as farms get bigger and put more emphasis on grassland management,” says Richard White. “We are spreading more fertilizer on farms now and doing more the slurry spreading than in the past, as we can do both jobs more accurately and efficiently with our high output and modern machine systems,” he says. “We have responded to farmer requests for new approaches to re-seeding grassland areas.


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Contractor Profile

Recently, we invested in a new Moore Uni-Drill direct drill to speed up grass re-seeding, make it more cost effective for our customers than the traditional ploughing approach and it also brings a quicker grass crop response,” he says.

SAS Agri Contracting

In typical Irish silage conditions the grass is loaded into the silage pit using White’s Volvo loader fitted with Irish designed and manufactured OCE folding fork.

The machinery fleet Down through the years, White Brothers have used a range of tractor and machine types. “We are fortunate to have a network of impressive machinery dealers in our area, including Breen Farm Machinery (Claas tractors), Kelly’s of Borris (Claas harvesters), Kill Agri (Case IH), M & S Machinery (New Holland & McHale), Tobin & Cantwell (Case IH) and TFM (John Deere),” says Richard White. “These local dealers can provide us with an impressive back-up service for repairs and parts supplies, which is so essential in order to keep our contracting business growing and developing,” he says. “While we started with Zetor and Deutz-Fahr tractors we have had Massey Ferguson and Valtra tractors in our fleet was well as the brands listed here,” he adds. The main machines in the SAS contracting fleet are as follows: • Case IH Puma 165 • Claas Arion 650 x 2 • Claas Arion 640 x 2 • Claas Axion 840 • New Holland T7.210 & T7.235 • John Deere 6930 x 2 • Claas Jaguar 950 self-propelled silage harvester • Claas Jaguar 890 self-propelled silage harvester • Claas Jaguar 870 Claas self-propelled mower conversion • Volvo loader L90G • JCB 426 loader • 7 silage trailers, Redrock & NC Engineering • Joskin 11,000litre (2,500 gal) tankers with trailing shoe injector and dribble bar system, • Abbey and Hispec 13,500 litre (3,000 gallon) splash plate slurry tankers • Slurrykat umbilical slurry spreading systems x 2 • Samco four row maize seeder with plastic x 2 • Amazone 6 row standard maize seeder • Moore Uni-Drill grassland direct drill • McHale Fusion combination baler/wrapper • Claas triple butterfly mower and Kverneland mowers • Bredal K65 lime and fertilizer spreader • Sulky 3 tonne fertilizer spreader • Gregorie Besson ploughs 7 and 5 furrows • Kuhn 3m power harrow x 2 & Lemken 4m power harrow • Claas Median 3 combine What’s happening in FCI? “In the past year we have established a national office for Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) in Portlaoise in the centre of Ireland and we have employed Michael Moroney as our chief executive to grow and develop the association” says Richard White. “We are still looking to grow membership numbers and have created a database of working contractors in Ireland who are having growing contact with,” he adds. “In FCI we are also working on the development of a Forestry group and this will help to expand our profile even further,” he adds. “Our priorities for FCI include getting more recognition for the role of the farm and forestry contractor in the Irish Government and among other farming bodies. We are highlighting the important role of the contractor to our farming customers both for now and for the future,” says Richard White. “As a contractor association at FCI we also have to develop member’s services in addition to lobbying. We are constantly looking for new opportunities to develop services that bring value to our membership, covering areas such as training and development and services that bring savings to our members,” says Richard White.


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NEW SWING-AROUND POST DRIVER FROM VECTOR POWERDRIVE The latest innovation from specialist fence post driver manufacturer, Vector Powerdrive operated by Brennan Fencing from Co. Kilkenny, is its Model-4 Agri 120° machine.


xpanding the firm’s range of fence post-drivers for farmers and professional fencing contractors, the new Vector Powerdrive Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ adds a whole new layer of versatility to the line-up. Designed for single-user or contractor level fencing, the Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ claims to facilitate fast, accurate and effective fencing through a high level of mast manoeuvrability. The post driver mast can be tilted 15ᵒ off-perpendicular in any direction to compensate for all terrain types and inclines. In addition to mast adjustment, the entire post driver can be swung 120ᵒ from beside the tractor to behind the tractor. Combined with a 600mm telescopic facility, the Vector Powerdrive Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ can drive a fence post in the most awkward of places. The extensive range of adjustment and positioning of the Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ post driver allows the operator drive fence posts without having to precisely position the tractor. No reversing of the tractor required to position over the post, just drive in a straight line. This latest design from Vector Powerdrive claims to make it far more convenient for one person to carry out fencing operations or fencing repairs. As a two-person or contractor fencing scenario, a tractor driver & fence post driver operator, again the combined ‘swing-around’

and telescopic facilities makes for speedy and accurate fence post positioning and driving. The 300kg hammer has been designed with a triple pulley system to literally have a greater impact than a single pulley system all of which are essential features for fast and efficient fencing operations. The 120ᵒ swing-around and telescopic features of the Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ post driver also allows it to reach into awkward corners or over drains. This is especially useful, and important, for correct positioning of straining posts. A hydraulic support jack under the mast provides steady support while driving fence posts. Controls are clearly labelled and intuitively laid out, thanks to the in-house experience of Vector Powerdrive owners, Michael and Joe Brennan. The brothers also own a sister company, Brennan Fencing, also based at Crosspatrick, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny, (056- 8831421 or which provides the ideal testing and proving ground for the development of all of their fence post drivers. The Vector Powerdrive Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ is suitable for tractors 80hp plus. Standard on the Vector Powerdrive Model-4 Agri 120ᵒ is a ball hitch making it ideal for towing a trailer with all the necessary fencing supplies. Optional equipment includes a rock spike.

This shows the new Vector Powerdrive Model-4 Agri 120° post driving machine with the unit

The Vector Powerdrive Model-4 Agri 120° can also be used in a direct rear position from

located in the side fending position.

the tractor.

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Fuel Management

FUEL CHALLENGES IN MODERN DIESEL ENGINES The vast majority of off-road vehicles use diesel to power their engines. Off-road vehicles include machines such as excavators and bulldozers, right through to agricultural tractors, horticultural tractors and large self-propelled mowers used by the golfing industry.

Article by Bruce Lett


he big difference between off-road and onroad vehicles is the colour of the diesel fuel and where it is sourced, plus of course the fact that there is lower excise duty on it. In the Republic of Ireland we use green diesel, commonly referred to as ‘Marked Gas Oil ‘while in Northern Ireland red diesel is used. The vast majority of road going vehicles will fill at fuel stations dotted around the country. Offroad vehicles generally do not have that luxury. Off-road equipment users will typically have their own fuel supply on-site. With own-tank fuel supply in mind, never has it been more important to ensure that the diesel being used in off-road machinery is as clean as possible. The migration towards tougher diesel engine exhaust emission regulations has affected not just the products using the diesel but the actual diesel itself.

Diesel Specifications The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government sets out the technical specifications for gas oils, petrol and diesel in Ireland. Since January 2011, gas oil (green diesel) marketed for use in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) must contain no more than 10 milligrams of sulphur per kilogram of fuel (commonly referred to as 10 ppm- parts per million sulphur).


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Gas oil used for home heating purposes, stationary equipment, or marine fuel will continue to have a specification of 1,000 milligrams of sulphur per kilogram of fuel or 1,000 ppm sulphur. Non-road mobile machinery includes tractors, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, portable generators, forklifts, forestry equipment railway engines, inland waterway vessels and recreational craft when not at sea. Reducing the sulphur in green diesel has environmental benefits from reduced sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. It is also essential that only diesel with 10ppm sulphur content is used in engines with emission control systems. Such equipment is now routinely manufactured to meet stringent EU emission standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and diesel exhaust PM-particulate matter (soot). These newer engines and their emission control systems can be damaged if exposed to high levels of sulphur, even if it is only for a brief period. Manufacturer’s warranty will not cover damage to their engines or emission control systems from using the incorrect diesel fuel. Reducing the sulphur content with the fuel while being better for the environment, does raise more challenges for equipment manufacturers. Sulphur was the lubrication element within the fuel that fuel injection systems relied on to run smoothly and trouble free. Injections systems are manufactured with extreme precision to within incredibly narrow tolerances. Meeting ever tougher emission regulations has seen fuel injection pressures rise hugely over the last couple of decades. Where fuel injection pressures were around 2,000psi twenty years ago, injection pressures on the very latest common rail fuel injection systems can exceed 40,000psi. To compensate for reduce sulphur levels and subsequent lubrication value within the fuel, biofuels are typically added to rectify the problem. Bio-fuel is added to diesel at a rate of up to 7% but this has the potential to create further problems and requires careful fuel storage and management.

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Fuel storage and filtration Increased care is advised when storing 10ppm sulphur gas oil where this contains bio-fuel. Basically, the bio-fuel that is being added to the diesel is a bit of a water magnet and can cause a lot of problems, especially in fuel storage tanks with a low ‘turnover’. The ideal fuel turnover period would be no more than six months and definitely not longer than twelve months. In steel tanks, this will reduce the possibility of oxidation (rust) which has the potential to block filters in fuel distribution systems or in off-road equipment fuel systems. Eliminate water from fuel storage tanks and conduct monthly checks to ensure that tanks remain free of water to reduce the possibility of bacterial growth which can result in the blockage of fuel filters, increased corrosion and also contaminate the fuel to an extent which results in damage to engines. Fuel storage tanks come in two common types, plastic or steel. Plastic versions are incredibly convenient and generally replace steel gravity tanks

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of the past. Larger consumers of diesel tend to use steel tanks, mostly ground mounted with pumping system though some do use high-mounted gravity units. Steel tanks are generally regarded as more secure and not as vulnerable to damage due to vandalism, fuel theft or sunlight (degrades plastic). Steel tanks are usually equipped with a rear drainage bung. Setting the tank at an angle creates a ‘trap’ for any water or sludge generated from condensation. A fall to the rear of 1 in 16 would give an angle of 3.5 degrees, though some quote a fall of double that, 1 in 8 or 7 degrees. Anywhere between the two should be fine. Typically drain off any excess water or sludge twice a year (and preferably when the fuel is ‘run out.’) A drainage tap would be useful but would need to be secured against fuel theft. Another option, particularly for plastic fuel storage tanks is a water absorbing tank drier. This soaks up any water which gathers in the trap area under the lighter diesel fuel. Retained by a long


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Fuel Management

string, the water soaked drier can be recovered from the depths of the tank and disposed of accordingly. On the outlet side of the tank, there are a variety of filtration systems available. All need to be capable of filtering out both dirt and water. This can be done by single or double filter units with the double units catering for larger flows. On double filter systems, one filter removes the water while the other concentrates on dirt particles. A simple single filter gravity feed filter will absorb any water before it passes through and filters any dirt particles out down to 15 microns (1 micron = 0.001mm). Flow with this type of gravity system is slow by comparison to pumped systems. In all cases the flow will slow down if filters are becoming blocked. Fuel additives To combat fuel related problem in modern and older diesel engines, there are a huge variety of additives designed to combat almost every issue. The vast majority have evolved in-line with ever tougher diesel exhaust emission regulations. The following are examples of what is available on the market, needless to say there are many, many more. Exocet Wexford firm Rotech is agent for the Exocet range of fuel additive products. Claims for Exocet Anti-Bug additive are listed by Rotech below: • Controls microbial contamination • Inhibits sludge and slime build up • Reduces blocking of filters, injectors, burners and gauges • Protects against tank and pipe corrosion 1 litre treats 2500 litres of diesel • A second Exocet product called Gas Oil Extra claims to do the following: • Protects fuel pumps and injectors Easier starting • • Reduces sludge and fuel tank contamination • Improves fuel economy, power and smooth running • Increased fuel lubricity • Enhanced water resistance • 1 litre treats 3000 litres of fuel Contact details: Tel: 053 9135165 Actioil Finol handles the Actioil product in Ireland and the UK and claims to be the only product with manufacturer’s approval. The company recommends treatment per 600hours of tractor usage. Actioil claims to be a long life, complete fuel solution, with twenty two functions to solve all diesel problems, using nine different groups’ chemicals. There are biocides which kill bacteria in diesel, additives which eliminate sludge and sediment, enzyme treatments for burning water, other additives for reduced emissions. Contact details: or Finol Oils Ltd or Tel 01-4555484 Würth Dieselcure diesel purifier The Würth group is a major supplier of fixtures, fitting, tools and many other ‘solutions’ to many different industries including the automotive and agri industries. It has a range of fuel additives and its latest one, Dieselcure diesel purifier is of particular interest to the agricultural sector. Water in fuel is a breeding ground for bacteria, water also mixes


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with the sulphur in fuel to create sulphuric acid. This acid causes the fuel to breakdown and creates resin which the bacteria feed on. One tin of Würth Dieselcure will treat 400 litres. Contact details: or Tel Würth Ireland Limited 061430200. Dipetane Described as a fuel treatment rather than an additive, Dipetane treats the fuel before it is combusted to produce a better, cleaner combustion process rather than after the combustion process, according to the firm. Dipetane does not invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty and conforms to the British Standard for fuel BS2869 and EN590. Some of the Dipetane claims: Increases fuel economy by 10-15%. • • Meets or exceeds all fuel specifications. • Dipetane is a 100% hydrocarbon product. • Cleans the fuel injectors and keeps them clean. • Lubricates fuel injection pump. • Extends engine life. • Dipetane mixes readily with fuel requiring no further circulation. • Dipetane has a longer stability life than diesel fuel or gasoline. Contact details: Tel: 01-287 6922 Stanadyne and Soltron Mullingar based QTP is the agent for Soltron and Stanadyne fuel additives. Soltron is available in 50ml, 125ml, 500ml and 1 litre sizes. Initial treatment quantities of fuel for each size of Soltron respectively are 125 litres, 312.5 litres, 1,250 litres and 5,000 litres. Soltron is suitable for use in petrol and diesel engines and listed below by QTP are its claims: • Eliminate diesel bugs • Remove tank sludge • Remove environmentally harmful emissions Reduce engine wear • • Improve fuel economy Stanadyne fuel additive is suitable for high pressure common-rail injection systems, unit injectors, rotary and in-line injection pumps. It comes in four sizes of 235ml, 470ml, 1.9 litres and 19 litres and can treat 120 litres, 240 litres, 960 litres and 9,600 litres of fuel respectively. Contact details: or Tel: 044 9341638 Fuel testing for contractors If in doubt about the quality of your diesel, then get it tested. Most agricultural users tend to be all year round consumers of diesel fuel so fuel or fuel levels, in fuel tanks never remain static. More seasonal consumers of diesel fuel, such as machines used in the maintenance of fairways and greens in the golfing sector, could benefit from a little fuel testing. Testing fuel in tanks would provide an assurance that fuel quality is good before the cobwebs are dusted off expensive grass machinery. Diesel fuel testing is available through a number of sources, including independent labs and some agricultural/plant dealerships. Some of these can also provide analysis of engine oils, coolants and even Diesel Exhaust Fluid (Ad-Blue). In the agricultural sector, the AGCO group of companies provide excellent coverage throughout the country. AGCO brands include Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Valtra and Challenger. AGCO dealers can provide a broad testing facility for ‘liquids’ through Caterpillar distributor Finnings (AGCO has a historical association with Caterpillar, the AGCO Challenger tracked tractor was originally developed by Caterpillar).

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TOPCON X25 CONSOLE OFFERS MID-RANGE PRECISION MACHINE CONTROL Topcon Precision Agriculture solutions serve professional farmers and agricultural contractors with technology that is easy-to-learn and easy-to-use. Topcon’s X-25 console along with the new AGI-4 RTK receiver bring industry-leading performance and reliability to any size of farming operation that is seeking to improve operational efficiency and reduce input costs.


ith an 8-inch display, designed for productivity and ease-ofuse, the X25 offers full-featured precision machine control and high-accuracy auto-steering in a smaller package to increase machine automation while lowering input costs. The X25 utilizes a next generation processor platform while leveraging the same core Horizon software from the X30 display. The same intuitive user interface with drag and drop menus, configurable mini views, dashboard and ISOBUS compatibility result in a very competitive solution from Topcon. The X25 is designed to eliminate cab clutter. This includes guidance, auto-steering, planter and seeder control, sprayer and spreader application control, and mapping. X25 provides a full range of steering patterns including AB line, identical curve, pivot, and controlled traffic. It also offers one of the most sought-after Topcon features, GuideLock. Working modes include Topcon ASC-10 based section control (up to 30 sections), ISOBUS -based section control (up to 200 sections), spinner/spreader control, sprayer control, straight rate and variable rate product control, row crop planter interface, and compatibility with boom levelling via ISOBUS thru the Topcon NORAC solution. Mapping and documentation includes PDF job reports, as-applied data, ISO TaskData, HD prescription mapping support, import/export .shp file, import/export ISOXML and compatibility with Topcon SGIS data management software. Topcon Horizon software claims to provide the new X25 with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface designed specifically for agriculture. Horizon software brings a modular design that enables all of our control platforms from auto steering and guidance, crop input controls and water conservation, to farm information services. The Topcon AGI-4 reciever/steering controller is the first modular ISOBUS-compliant steering system. The all-in-one modular design incorporates the antenna, receiver and steering controller in a single component. The AGI-4’s ISO11783 compliant steering system features state-of-the-art inertial sensors and full terrain compensation for superior line acquisition and holding capabilities. The ability to add implement control (which enables auto-shut off, section control and variable rate control to the X-25 console and AGI-4 combination) makes this precision farming solution the choice of the progressive and environmentally conscious contractor or farmer.

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A major benefit of the Topcon X-25 is the fact that it is ISOBUS compatible. All leading implement and machinery manufacturers are going to be ISOBUS compatible in the future, most have already have ISOBUS options available today. ISOBUS is a standard communication protocol for the agriculture industry. So in simple terms if your tractor is ISOBUS compatible you can plug an ISOBUS implement into the tractor and run it through our Topcon X-25 screen. The dimensions and settings, sections etc. of the implement automatically appear on the Topcon screen. This also then enables auto shut off, section and rate control, variable rate control and other features to be done through the Topcon X-25 screen, this can be done with multiple implements, even while auto-steering, at one time therefore eliminating the need to have several control boxes in the cab. With Topcon you do not need to have the latest and newest model tractors to run ISOBUS we can make your tractor ISOBUS compatible by adding our own harness and connectors. Starting with a very keenly priced complete guidance option (ISOBUS compatible for under ᵒ3,000) that can be upgraded right the way to full RTK auto-steer, there is something in the range to suit the farming needs of today and well into the future.


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Forestry News

FCI NEWS DIGEST Forestry Contractors In Finland Agree On Principles Of Ownership, Use And Processing Of Data Digital technology and information are moving agricultural and forestry sectors into a new era where data will play a crucial role to the benefit of the whole farming and forestry businesses. Data produced by machines and their devices, data aggregated, processed and analysed, make it possible to realise substantial improvements in many aspects of the production processes and create a new vision for agriculture and forestry. Almost all operations in farming and forestry sectors are concerned by this revolution which allows contractors: •

to contribute to more competitive agricultural and wood outputs by improving production processes;

to ensure a more sustainable production, offering a better service (improved energy efficiency for instance) and a better knowledge of the environment in which they operate;

to improve and develop new and better ways of operating in the interest of their clients;

to create new business models, bringing unexpected solutions to crucial problems and ensuring economic vitality in rural areas.

All stakeholders (farmers, forest owners, contractors, machinery manufacturers, purchasers…) are interested in creating and collecting data, however the use of data differs from one stakeholder to another. For instance in an operation executed by an agricultural contractors, some datasets are useful for the farmers, others for the contractors to improve their business and other data for the authorities. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of the many collection activities taking place.

Forestry Sector Faces Sustainability Challenges Pressure from society is growing for a sustainable forestry sector as climate change is affecting the tree species that can be grown in traditional forest areas while recruitment shortages loom as the ageing population of forestry workers leaves the industry. The many challenges facing the forestry sector came under the spotlight in the Forestry Technology section of Agritechnica 2017. The role of woodlands in contributing to clean air and water means they are coming under ever more scrutiny. Owners and operators need to look at strategies that allow forests to be managed in such a way that they can be sustainably developed, while also meeting the needs of society and generating a source of income for future generations. The sector faces two other significant challenges. First, climate change is altering the geographical range where certain tree species will grow. These changes considerably affect the forest structure and the functioning of forest ecosystems and their services. This will have an impact on the goods and services that forests provide. For example, the value of forest land in Europe is projected to decrease between 14% and 50% during the 21st century. The second major issue facing the forestry sector is a shortage of skilled labour. A 2005 report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that productivity in the forestry sector had been increasing while the total employment in the sector had been steadily falling. The FAO expected this trend to continue, with the ageing population of forestry workers is now leaving the sector with a shortage of newcomers to replace them.

It is important for all contractors to be aware of these changes and of their increasing influence in the agricultural and forestry value chain so that they can embrace the evolution and bring answers to upcoming challenges. Contractors as well as national and European organisations representing them have identified the challenges and categorized them as legal, economical and technical constraints. On legal aspects, there is an urgent need to clarify the rules of ownership of data collected by the contractors during the operations executed for their clients (e.g. farmers, wood purchasers). The development of new technologies has brought the business in possession of ever more data without rules for storing and sharing them. Contractors should be able to use this new flow of information to keep improving their operations, develop new applications and services to the benefit of both their companies and their clients. It can’t be done without clear rules. Contractors are also confronted with technologies, systems, interfaces that are conflicting with each other. Therefore, CEETTAR believes that a standardised approach for the production of data at European level needs to be considered. 34

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Birdhill 061 379 112 Dublin 01 401 8540

For Sales Enquiries Contact Munster & Connacht: Patrick Leinster: Paul

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086 836 6739 086 044 0272

Used Equipment: Denis McGrath Merlo & Utility: John Cahill Zetor Sales: Gerry Rabbitte

086 387 2881 086 130 4611 086 145 0911


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Forestry News

FCI NEWS DIGEST John Deere's harvesters




John Deere is now introducing a 6-wheeled model of the 1170G harvester as well as the smaller 1070G harvester. At the same time, Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) will be available also for the 1170G harvester. IBC is a unique boom control system developed by John Deere. It is not an automatically operating boom extension or damped valves; it is an intelligent control system with sensors that detect the positioning of the harvester head and algorithms that adjust the boom’s trajectory in one continuous, efficient motion. IBC also functions as a platform for new features that facilitate the customer’s work.

Pictured with one of the red-coloured Komatsu harvesters used to fell, strip and cut each tree for onward transport to the sawmill is Mitsuru Ueno with McHale directors Tim Shanahan and John O’Brien.

Komatsu forest delegation visits McHale Plant Sales

With the harvester, IBC operation has been designed to suit the harvester’s work cycle. The boom’s trajectory and operation automatically adjust as the boom is taken to a tree and when the tree is in the harvester head. The operator doesn’t have to move the different sections of the boom individually. IBC ensures precise operation and efficient practices. The boom’s electronic end damping makes for soft and smooth work, thereby reducing stress on the entire boom. IBC improves work ergonomics and guides the operator in the correct use of the boom, which is directly reflected in the machine’s increased productivity. The new John Deere 1070G harvester is ideal for thinning also in fragile terrain. The machine can also operate in logging areas with dense growth, and the wide tires and balanced frame protect the terrain from damage.

A delegation from Komatsu Forest recently visited the Rathcoolebased headquarters of McHale Plant Sales on Greenogue Industrial Estate in the wake of its appointment to distribute their range of timber harvesting and forwarding machinery in Ireland, north and south. Led by its president and chief executive officer, Mitsuru Ueno, the delegation viewed the company’s facilities and met with staff before engaging with sales director John O'Brien and colleagues to discuss what their future plans for the market in Ireland will be. Linked with the Japanese manufacturer for the past 23 years as distributor of its excavators and construction plant, the enlargement of their role to include the Komatsu Forest range is one that brings the firm into an area of activity that John O'Brien notes ‘has grown significantly over recent decades’.

John Deere’s IBC technology is designed to suit the harvester’s work cycle.


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CAN TRACTOR BUMPERS IMPROVE ROAD SAFETY? Laois based machinery dealer, Bailey Machinery Sales Ltd. (BMS) have just taken on the agency for the Dutch manufactured Tractor Bumpers for the entire island of Ireland, both north and south.


ractor bumpers are growing in use in the Netherlands as there is a high level of cycling on rural roads with a higher density of rural based non-farming population. The new Tractor Bumper range from BMS is the third range now available in Ireland, as JMC Parts, based in Reenascreena, Rosscarbery, Co Cork has already sold a number of units to farmers and contractors in the Munster region. Farmhand Ltd is also an agent in Ireland for the Zuidberg range of tractor bumpers, which are part of the Zuidbert range of tractor attachments. The Dutch contractors association CUMELA has a financial support package for contractors who invest in a tractor bumper through a special scheme with Agri Bumpers. This is because every year on average there are 16 deaths and over 100 serious injuries from accidents involving agricultural vehicles just in the Netherlands only. Accidents involving agricultural vehicles are three times more fatal than accidents Tractor bumpers are now available from a number of Dutch suppliers with Ireland’s latest importer Bailey Machinery Sales offering entry involving a car and are 1.5 times models from €1,300 plus VAT. more deadly than accidents involving trucks. In more modern farming, agricultural vehicles are used for a on collision. When the tractor bumper is set up correctly (underside of multitude of purposes not only around the farm but also on the public bumper 40 cm from the ground) it is the same height as that of a car road and in urban environments. 26% of accidents in which agricultural bumper. vehicles are involved happen in urban areas. The tractor bumpers are universal fit to any front linkage and are fully Modern tractors are getting bigger and can achieve higher speeds adjustable to suit different tractor and tyre widths. For added safety of up to 50-60 km per hour to cope with the ever increasing workloads. the bumper features a unique “break back” protection system which Tractors by design are equipped with two headlights in the middle along prevents the bumper becoming damaged in the event it gets caught with 2 width lamps up high on either side of the cab. However the cab is while reversing. All bumpers are powder coated for added protection smaller than the actual width of the tractor, so these lights don`t give an and feature LED marker lights as well as red/white reflective panels as accurate representation of the real width of the tractor. This means that standard. Various options are also available such as an integrated 135 for other road users it’s very difficult to estimate the width of the tractor litre toolbox, extra lights, guide bars, jack stands and ballast weights as it approaches especially on small roads and in the dark. With the from 600kg up to 2000kg. tractor bumper it clearly highlights the maximum width of the tractor for Prices for the Tractor Bumper range start at €1,300 plus VAT and other road users thus drastically improving safety. are now available in stock at BMS in Laois. Prices for models from the In a frontal collision between a tractor and another road user, there Agri Bumper and Zuidberg ranges will vary according to the bumper is a greater risk that the vehicle will go underneath the tractor wheels, specification. because they are not shielded. The tractor bumper helps to protect this area, in front of the wheels and between them thus deflecting the car

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CEETTAR NEWS CEETTAR responds to early CAP Reform communications: where is the vision?

CEETTAR president Klaus Pentzlin,(centre) with FCI national chairman Richard White (left) and Brendan Hughes, Kilkenny at the recent Agritechnica Show, where FCI and BLU, the German contractors association held some information meetings.


EETTAR has been part of the public and stakeholders consultation process, representing land-based contractors in contributing to the EU Commission roadmap for future developments in the Common Agricultural Policy. Agricultural, rural and forestry contractors reacted with disappointment to the publication of the communication on the future of the CAP. Admittedly, good intentions are on the horizon, but the EU Commission is missing out on real reform that would put the sector in a position to respond to the economic, societal, environmental and technological challenges that are already imposed on them and will be imposed within the next 10 years. Klaus Pentzlin, president of CEETTAR, said, “The Commission is maintaining a strong agricultural policy and this is good news. The communication is, however, disappointing as the simplification effort seems to be the Commission's first priority. It is off the mark!” In its communication, however, the Commission proposes some interesting ideas. The promotion of smart farming, for example,the success of which relies on the level of support to agricultural contractors who in turn make the latest technology available to all farmers. The commitment to implement the Cork 2.0 Declaration is also welcome,


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although the Commission needs to strengthen its measures for rural development. We must not limit ourselves to smart villages lost in deserts but aim for progress throughout the territory. Moreover, an ambitious policy for the European Union is based firstly on common legislation on the continent; in fact, subsidiarity must be taken with care. Europe is at the beginning of the CAP Reform process and CEETTAR will discuss the expectations of contractors with the EU Commissioner and the Commission services to contribute to a more competitive agriculture and forestry sector, including: • Integrating all actors in the agriculture and forestry value chain into policy priorities and implementation measures; • Effective use of European taxpayers' money with a CAP focused primarily on tangible results; • A real application of the notion of fair competition for a more efficient CAP; • Maintaining a strong sustainable development policy to support economic activity in rural areas to better support farmers; • Better consideration of the forest's potential for the environment and the rural economy in the CAP. CEETTAR provides EU Commission input on new regulations CEETTAR has provided feedback to the EU Commission on the proposal for a regulation on the requirements of what are called mobile machinery, which includes tractors and self-propelled farm machinery. The main objective of this is to achieve a single market for mobile machinery (self-propelled mobile and towed machinery which are intended to be operated on the public roads. As a result it would address the specific objectives of reducing costs and administrative burden, removing market obstacles deriving from different safety requirements for the design and manufacturing of such machinery in various EU Member States and maintaining a high level of safety throughout the whole. In the EU Commission’s view, mobile machinery includes a wide range of machinery sectors and

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types, such as agricultural and forestry machinery (e.g. sprayers, combined harvesters, forestry equipment, etc.), construction machinery (e.g. lifting and handling equipment, earthmoving machinery, etc.), gardening and municipal machinery (e.g. for snow removal). Roadmaps and inception impact assessments are documents which set out ideas for new laws and policies. CEETTAR aims to try to avoid problems similar to the ones created by the Directive 167/2017 "Mother" of all type-approval of tractors. CEETTAR 2018 general assembly meeting for Dublin CEETTAR will be hosting its 2018 general assembly in Dublin on Thursday, January 11, the day after the FCI Confex 2018 at the nearby Dublin Airport, Radisson Blu Hotel. This event is being organised especially to make the official release of the second edition of the Panorama of the contractors of Europe. The one-day general assembly event will provide members of contractor associations from across Europe the opportunity to see and meet with Irish contractors during the Confex 2018 event at the nearby National Show Centre, when they arrive on Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 as special guests of FCI. CEETTAR will be hosting a

reception and official release of the second edition of the Panorama, the magazine for CEETTAR, which highlights the important role of contractors throughout Europe. CEETTAR experts respond to ABS brakes issues CEETTAR has provided useful information to the European Commission on the issue of the availability of ABS braking systems for agricultural and forestry vehicles with a maximum design speed between 40 km/h and 60 km/h. CEETTAR experts contend that tractor brakes are more efficient than those on most of the trailers. This is an important parameter as it entails the risk of jack-knifing the combination, a substantial road safety hazard. Therefore, to ensure that a vehicle combination can brake safely, it is essential that the trailer brakes at least as efficiently as the tractor does. While decelerating, the trailer has to slow down the hauling tractor to some extent, to ensure that the combination does not jack-knife. The national experts of CEETTAR have asked the EU Commission to investigate the availability of using existing technical solutions such as the load-sensing systems for trailers that would efficiently complement the already improved braking capacities of tractors.

Peter Farrelly, secretary, FCI with Richard White, national chairman attending the CEETTAR General Assembly in Finland in June 2017.

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EU Regulations

WHEELS AND FIELDS Tractor Mother Regulations – what they mean for contractors


ractors and other agricultural vehicles are the only mobile machinery of the group of so-called ‘Non-Road’ Mobile Machinery (NRMM) that currently fall under EU type-approval. This allows tractors to be marketed in all EU Member States by harmonising the approval was part of the strategy. Type-approval starts with the EU agreeing with tractor manufacturers on a common set of technical and administrative requirements and common requirements for testing stations and approval authorities. For agricultural vehicles there is a new 'Mother' Regulation 167/2013, published in March 2013 which now provides for European type-approval for all tractors. This comes into effect on January 1, 2018 for Irish contractors. The regulation applies to wheeled tractors (category T), track-laying tractors (category C), trailers for transport (category R) and interchangeable towed equipment (category S). The regulation does not apply to interchangeable equipment that is fully raised from the ground. The new regulation sets forth two ambitious objectives: • to cover many more machinery types including their technical requirements • to regulate type-approval to keep it in line with technological progress The 'Mother' Regulation sets the requirements for road use of agricultural vehicles. In addition for tractors it sets the requirements for workplace safety. Theoretically, the regulation has been in effect since March 2013 but only as of 1 January 2016 it was mandatory for new types of most wheeled tractors. For most wheeled tractors and their related components, the 'Mother' Regulation will become mandatory for all types of tractors sold from 1 January 2018. The old Directive 2003/37 will cease to exist at that date. The Irish legal Statutory Instrument that brings the regulation into Irish law (S.I. No. 621 of 2015) was signed into Irish law in December 2015. A small number of tractors have been allowed a derogation, which means that by prior agreement with the Irish Revenue Commissioners, who are responsible for vehicle registrations, these ‘older’ tractors will be allowed to be registered as new tractors in 2018. This number is typically 10% of the brand market share in each market, so should amount to not more than 200 new tractors to be registered in Ireland during the early part of 2018. If you buy a new tractor that has not been listed for derogation or does not comply with the new regulations, you may have trouble getting


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the tractor registered from January 2018 onwards. Those in the tractor industry have conceded that this inevitably means that tractors are going to cost more. The big changes are to the braking systems and the additional costs will vary with the choice of system used by the tractor manufacturer. We know that Massey Ferguson will be supplying a dual line air braking system as standard on all new tractors registered in Ireland from January 2018. This will mean that some contractors who take delivery of a new tractor then will have to incur significant additional costs in converting all trailer and implement braking systems to an air brake system. New Holland has chosen to opt for a dual line hydraulic braking system. This will require less changes to other machines in contractor fleets. Other features of the regulation are that there are now technical standards in new areas such as tractor tyres. The regulations also state that any safety recalls issued by the manufacturer must be notified to the approval authority that approved those vehicles. There must be a set of procedures put in place to withdraw the type approval of a vehicle that presents a risk to safety. Tractors built after September 2017 will fall under the new Mother Regulation enforced by the European Union. This will mean that given normal delivery times we will start 2018 with all new machines abiding by the new regulation. The new features introduced for type-approval are many and vary widely. The Mother Regulation is a European requirement (EU/167/2013) which impacts on different areas of the tractor design and operation. Those regulation requirements involve some improvements on the tractor, mainly on the areas of tractor and trailer emergency braking performance, guarding on the tractor, access and handrails, new safety decals and labels, changes to the warning indicators and the tractor control logos, improved guard access and changes to the shapes of some of the components around the operator environment. Hand Brake Emergency brake lever will have a holding position – it becomes a handbrake lever. Parking lock stays as standard. Brake pedal safety rules The tractor must be fitted with a brake pedal sensor to warn the tractor driver that if the brakes are split when travelling at speeds above 40Kk/hr

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Two line braking system There is a requirement to have at least two brake lines, some manufacturers are opting for a two line hydraulic system, while others are opting for a two line air system. The twin hydraulic or twin air connectors aim to provide fail-safe braking of compatible agricultural trailers. Access and handrail The right hand step must be integrated into the fuel tank with a folding section for more convenient access. Guard access To open the bonnet, a tool is now required and this must be included in the tractor toolbox.

This shows the double mirror requirement on all new tractors from January 2018.

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Some of the current type-approval requirements will be maintained including Rollover Protective Structures, ROPS, with reference to the OECD code, seats, power take-offs, PTOs, drawbar hitches and ballast. Some of the new requirements introduced by the regulation include the fact that all manufacturers of fast tractors are required to obtain type approval, effective for all new tractors entering into service from 1 Jan 2018. Tractor manufacturers are also required to make repair and maintenance information available to both franchised dealers and independent repairers in a non-discriminatory way. The tractor importers and distributors are required to ensure the legality of vehicles they sell and keep certain records. Other features of the regulation are that there are now technical standards in new areas such as tractor tyres. The regulations also state that any safety recalls issued by the manufacturer must be notified to the approval authority that approved those vehicles. There must be a set of procedures put in place to withdraw the type approval of a vehicle that presents a risk to safety.


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EU Regulations

Massey Ferguson is just one of a number of tractor manufacturers that will be providing air brake couplings in place of hydraulic brakes on all tractors from January 2018.

Fastrac updates secure new EU Type Approval JCB’s two top selling tractors have been given the all clear to go full speed ahead in Europe after they became the first tractors to comply with new regulations governing on-highway use of agricultural vehicles. The Fastrac 4000 and 8000 have top speeds of 60kph and 65kph respectively but have had to be sold into certain markets with restrictions which reduced this by as much as 25k/hr. Now they have become the first tractors to comply with new pan-European T1b Type-Approval regulations for agricultural vehicles capable of more than 40kph. This means they can be supplied to contractors in Ireland without the top speed restrictions that previously applied in some markets. Operators can now use their high-speed capabilities to the full on private roads, as well as on public roads where national regulations permit. JCB Agriculture General Manager John Smith said: “This is a significant development for operators on large farms and estates where tractors often travel significant distances on private internal roads that are not subject to the speed limits of public roads. “Operators in this situation can now exploit the exceptional speed-withsafety capabilities of these two Fastracs for travelling with implements, farm inputs such as fertilisers and sprays, and harvested crops between field and store.”

Tractor cab entry steps have been modified to comply with the new regulations.


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New Machinery

SELF-PROPELLED BALING: VERMEER LEADS THE WAY US-based Vermeer, continues to lead innovation in the hay and forage industry by introducing the world’s first self-propelled round baler.


he new prototype ZR5 self-propelled round baler promises to make quick work of any field while offering unprecedented ride quality and manoeuvrability. Irish contractors, many of whom provide high output baling services will be interested in the new technology behind the machine, which is still in the prototype stage. Taking the idea from the lawn care industry, Vermeer has applied zero-radius turning to the steering system in the self-propelled baler. This feature claims to allow operators to gain better manoeuvrability and driving efficiency than a conventional tractor-baler combination. “Our patent-pending suspension technology allows operators to better handle the bumps and jostling that naturally comes with baling hay. If you think about all those bumps over the course of the day or multiple days, ride quality can really impact the operator,” said Josh Vrieze, product manager. “In the ZR5, operators experience a smoother, more comfortable ride with the cab uniquely positioned over the suspension,” he claims. “Operators can spend less time turning in the field and more time baling. The zero-radius turning can eliminate skipping a windrow to make the turn, or swinging out wide to get into the next windrow,” adds Vrieze. “And, when it’s time to head to the next field, zero-radius turning can be disengaged. Folks who have operated other self-propelled machines will appreciate the dual steering functionality; with the zero-turn disengaged, the operator steers the ZR5 using the front wheels for a smooth, confident ride.” While still a prototype, automating the baling process, as well as providing the ability to automatically make real-time adjustments based on field, crop and operator inputs, are just a couple of the goals Vermeer has for the ZR5. Integrated quarterturn technology is part of the ZR5 baling automation process. During the tie-cycle, the machine can automatically rotate to the left or right, positioning the bale parallel to the windrow upon ejection. When placing bales parallel to the windrow, the picking up process can be completed up to 35% faster. Keeping machine maintenance simple is another objective Vermeer is striving to achieve. The bale chamber can be removed for maintenance in a matter of minutes, helping to ensure producers are spending time productively in the field.

SP baling features and benefits Vermeer claims some of the following benefits from the self-propelled baler. Spend less time turning and more time baling • with the zero-turn capability of the ZR5. When on the road, switch to Transport Mode which disengages the zero-turn capability. • In the cab, experience wide-field visibility and the camera system allows the operator to easily monitor crop entering the chamber. • Key parts of the baling process are automated when using the ZR5. When the desired bale size is achieved, the machine will stop automatically, begin tying, quarter turn for bale ejection (if desired), open and close the tailgate and return to where it was in the windrow. To begin baling again, simply push the “Go” button. • Integrated quarter-turn technology allows the operator to eject bales to the right, left or straight back. • Transport speeds of 40km/hr.






propelled baler has been demonstrated on farms in North America, with its high output baling systems.






propelled baler in action in a crop of grass which would be light and dry by Irish standards.

A number of the prototype Vermeer ZR5 self-propelled balers have been tested and the company will continue testing in 2018.

This shows the level of ground clearance from the prototype Vermeer ZR5 self-propelled baler and if introduced to Irish conditions there would have to be significant changes to wheel and tyre configurations along with other machine changes.

December 2017

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Tractor Of The Year

TRACTOR OF THE YEAR The Valtra T254 Versu featuring the SmartTouch armrest recently won the ‘Tractor of the Year 2018’ and ‘Best Design 2018’ awards at the Agritechnica Show in Germany.

The award winning Valtra T254 tractor comes with a 5-step Powershift transmission that features four main and two creeper ranges for a total of 30 speeds in both directions.

Valtra T254 wins Tractor of the Year 2018 The Valtra T254 Versu featuring the SmartTouch armrest recently won the ‘Tractor of the Year 2018’ and ‘Best Design 2018’ awards at the Agritechnica Show in Germany. The jury’s comments in justifying their decision to select the Valtra T254 as the ‘Tractor of the Year’ award were as follows. “Valtra sets a new standard in intuitive operation; the tractor in general offers high level of comfort, performance, efficiency and versatility. The standard fitted SmartTouch armrest with the 9 inch touchscreen, the intelligent multiuse drive lever and the new hydraulic joystick give the best and most straightforward user interface in the industry. It allows the driver to control and adjust almost any setting of the engine, transmission, hydraulics, AutoGuide, Telemetry etc to provide a new way of working with tractor terminal.” The Valtra T254 Versu was launched in June 2017. The Valtra T254V is a true arable working machine, and with SmartTouch it brings all the latest precision farming tools to the same user interface as the tractor controls. SmartTouch claims to further enhance driving with the powershift transmission, making it possible to drive like a CVT tractor. With a maximum output of 271hp, the T254 Versu is the most powerful model in the T Series. Valtra SmartTouch is easier than your smart phone The Valtra T254 Versu comes with the new easy-touse SmartTouch user interface that was designed and engineered in Finland. SmartTouch features fully integrated technology: Guidance, Isobus, AgControl and TaskDoc. The new armrest claims to increase the productivity 44

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of any tractor-implement combination and lighten the workload for the driver. Separate profiles can be set for each individual driver and task, and configurations can be made in seconds using the touchscreen. All settings with the exception of changes to the terminal’s settings are automatically saved to the active profile. The 9-inch terminal has been designed to be easier and more intuitive to use than a modern smart phone. All the functions on the terminal can be accessed with a maximum of two swipes or taps, and the design makes it impossible to get lost in the menu. Anyone, whether they have used a touchscreen before or not, can operate this terminal with little or no practice. Intelligent drive lever to drive a powershift like a CVT Valtra’s Versu models revolutionise the way powershift tractors are driven. The speed can be increased by pushing the hand-operated drive lever and decreased by pulling it, keeping acceleration in full control at all times. There is no switch to change between lever and pedal mode, as they work in prefect sync all the time. Driving with the drive lever is a new feature that provides more flexibility for the operator. Valtra’s Versu models are the only powershift tractors in the world that enable full operation using only the drive lever. Jury panel The selection of the Valtra T254 as the Tractor of the Year 2018 was made by 23 independent journalists representing 24 European agricultural magazines. It is the first time that Valtra has won the main award of the ‘Tractor of the Year’ in the annual competition. Agri Contractors

19/12/2017 12:34

The Valtra T254 Versu comes with the new easy-to-use SmartTouch user interface on the armrest that was designed and engineered in Finland, and features fully integrated technology: Guidance, Isobus, AgControl and TaskDoc.

Valtra’s Versu models are the only powershift tractors in the world that enable full operation using only the drive lever.

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UNDERSTANDING TRACTOR DEPRECIATION Any examination of tractor costs will clearly show that the depreciation charge comes out as the highest cost in tractor ownership. Even as fuel and oil costs continue to increase, they are still significantly lower than the tractor depreciation costs.

Depreciation rate differences can be impacted by local as well as national or international issues and often depend on the popularity of a tractor brand in an area.


hat is depreciation? You need to include a depreciation charge in your tractor ownership costs in order to establish by how much the value of the tractor falls during the period of its ownership. This is done by estimating the value of the tractor at the end of the period of ownership, which is often a difficult figure to establish. By including a depreciation charge you are putting aside an amount of money in your farm accounts to build up a reserve to allow you to replace the tractor with a similar model after its period of use. There are three methods of calculating your machinery depreciation: • Straight line depreciation: this is the original cost minus the sale value divided by the number of years of ownership expressed as a percentage • Diminishing balances: this is a constant percentage of the written down value of the tractor


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Decremental depreciation: this is a version of the straight line system except that the amounts of the depreciation will vary with the age and value of the machine year by year.

Depreciation rate differences can be impacted by local as well as national or international issues and often depend on the popularity of a tractor brand in an area. Some of this relates to reliability of the machine, local farming needs, the performance of the local dealer and the level of back-up service provided. These combine to enhance or otherwise change the value of the tractor when you go to trade it in. So much of the depreciation cost which will range from 38% to 42% of total operating costs on the examples that we used, will depend on the price that you get on trade-in. An example of a simple depreciation method is calculated as follows. If a tractor costs €100,000 new and is kept for 8 years, and at the end of which the trade in value is 20% of the new price or €20,000. Then the average depreciation has been €80,000 over 8 years or €10,000 per year. Formula to calculate the depreciation percentage = ((NP – TiV)/AoM)/NP x 100 NP = New Price TiV = Trade in Value AoM = Age of machine In this case 100,000 – 10,000/8/100,000 x 100 = 10%. This means that the running costs of the tractor must take into account a depreciation charge of €8,000 per year each year when calculating annual and hourly running costs of a tractor costing €100,000 when new. This is an especially important figure for contractors in helping them to decide on the hourly rate charged for their tractors. A tractor in a contractor fleet would typically be expected to work for in excess of 1,000 hours per year, giving a depreciation cost per hour of €8, before other ownership costs such as bank repayments, fuel and oil, and maintenance as well as the operator cost.

Agri Contractors

19/12/2017 12:34

STEER CLEAR OF ELECTRICITY POLES Damage to poles puts people and livestock at risk of electrocution.

• • •

Electricity wires can end up on the ground or resting on a fence. Electricity wires are never safe to touch. Report any damage immediately.


1850 372 999 (24 hour/7 day service).

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Farming. It’s in our roots. Protection. It’s in our nature. Farm Insurance 1890 617 617

Protection. It’s in our nature. Terms, conditions and normal underwriting criteria apply. Calls may be recorded for training and verification purposes. FBD Insurance plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

FCI Mag 001.indd 48 Generations Teagasc A4.indd 1 60110238 FBD Farming

19/12/2017 03/08/2017 12:34 15:21

FCI Wheels & Fields - Issue 1  

FCI Wheels & Fields - Issue 1

FCI Wheels & Fields - Issue 1  

FCI Wheels & Fields - Issue 1