The Mighty Giant model 2015 to hit Oz shores

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Built big for the Nebraska winter, the Mighty Giant Model 2015 PTO-driven tub grinder is ready for its Australian debut

The Mighty Giant model 2015 is the highest capacity model of its kind in the world, says Valton
The Mighty Giant model 2015 is the highest capacity model of its kind in the world, says Valton

Hay bales have been a hot commodity in Australia over the past year, with the prices getting higher and the bales getting bigger over the course of 2019.

But taking hay from the bale and to the mouths of hungry livestock, on everything from feedlots to family farms, is not always an easy process – and more and more farmers are turning to hay grinders to make fodder more appealing to cattle.

Valton Feeding Solutions sales and service manager Leigh Byron says with the change in approach, the need for hay grinders is rising, and the higher the capacity the better.

For that reason, Byron and the team at Valton have taken on the distribution of the Mighty Giant model 2015 – a power take off (PTO)-driven tub grinder, which its manufacturers say is the highest capacity model of its kind in the world.

"These machines will do three bales in the time it takes its rivals to do one," Byron says.

"The output of the machine is second to none when it comes to what it can do in a timeframe… there has been a market for these hay grinders in Australia for some time, but to bring this Mighty Giant in is next level."

With a nine- tonne torsion spring suspension system, the 3.5m-high grinder uses tractors with up to 300 horsepower (224kW) to operate 84 hammers used to pulverise hay and other materials for animal consumption.

The processed hay is then pushed out onto a 7.6m hydraulic folding elevator which boasts a swivel capacity, enabling the operator to move it while operating in order to either build a larger pile or load different parts of a truck, rather than piling the hay in the middle.

Byron adds that the 2015’s remote control operating unit, which controls the speed of both the mill and the elevator, means that the Mighty Giant can be a one-person operation.

"You can be loading the hay in with your tractor and control the tub and everything it is doing from that remote," he says.

The Mighty Giant Model 2015 behind a John Deere tractor
The Mighty Giant is capable of grinding any type of forage or grain

EASY MAINTENANCE

The Mighty Giant is capable of grinding any type of forage or grain, with corn, wheat, barley and beans also processed by the machine at one time or another.

"I have even seen them put wood and shipping pallets and things through this machine and it didn’t phase it at all," Byron says.

"There are quite a few companies interested in them that want to make shavings out of wood pallets to recycle them… the 2015 will do your fine pallets and recycled smaller timbers no problem."

Material from the grinders is processed through screens with holes varying in size from 1-15cm – which Byron says will only take about 10 minutes to replace when they are in need of repair.

Key to the time saving here is the fact that the tub on the Mighty Giant lifts up – which allows easy access to the screens instead of requiring the operator to pull the machine apart to access the mill.

"With another brand it might take an hour or an hour and a half to swap a screen out, so maintenance wise it is quite easy because everything is accessible and everything lifts up via remote control," he says.

The tub on the Mighty Giant lifts up, which allows easy access to the screens
The tub on the Mighty Giant lifts up, which allows easy access to the screens

On top of this, the Mighty Giant also has a governor system that automatically slows down operation in case of a blockage, rather than pushing pressure back onto the tractor’s PTO system.

This is particularly important when processing wet hay and silage, which is more likely to mash up and block the screens, Byron says.

"There is not really a machine out there at the moment which would do a silage bale that might be 50 per cent moisture, because everything blocks up, but with this machine it has got the capacity to push it through," he says.

"Half the reason these machines are so popular in the US is that when the snow comes the bales are frozen and take in quite a bit of water and they either have to wait for them to dry out in the summer before they can use them or store them out of the snow, whereas these machines will just eat them regardless."

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