Farm Machinery, Spreader

Pichon slurry tanker opening farmer’s options

A 20,700L Pichon slurry tanker has been deployed on a South Australian dairy farm to facilitate easier effluent spreading over large paddocks

When the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) came looking for ways to better implement dairy effluent management systems, Brendan Ashby was already ahead of the game.

If not managed properly, dairy effluent can have negative effects on the environment, but with the right systems in place like Ashby’s effluent pond, it can be used as a fertiliser – full of organic nutrients.

Since 2008, the South Australian farmer has had the effluent pond which can provide temporary storage of the natural cow byproduct known as effluent, when soil conditions are not suitable for irrigation.

When his pond had reached the point where it needed to be desludged, Ashby purchased a 20,700L Pichon slurry tanker from Muck Runner to drain it and remove the solids.

Muck Runner

Ashby has also had a Pichon slurry stirrer from Muck Runner for 10 years now, giving him ample time to familiarise himself with the brand’s machinery and Muck Runner’s business.

Less than 10 minutes away from the Mount Gambier based business, Ashby says Muck Runner’s proximity makes service easier and convenient when purchasing machinery.

“Having existing Pichon machinery from Muck Runner made it an easy decision when looking to purchase the slurry tanker,” he says.

“It’s really easy to do business with Muck Runner, Tom and Louise (Paltridge) have been great to work with.”

With a large landmass between his effluent pond and the site where he wants to spread the effluent, Ashby uses his 20,700L Pichon slurry tanker to suck up and easily transport the liquid waste around his paddocks.

The 9m shoe attachment places effluent directly on top of the ground, underneath the leaf of grass. Image: Brendan Ashby

Slurry Tanker

A main goal for the South Australian dairy farmer is to ultimately rely on using effluent from his dairy farm to fertilise, instead of purchasing external fertilisers.

Ashby’s Pichon slurry tanker is currently helping him to achieve this goal.

Receiving the machine in late January, he is still very new to the tanker but so far has enjoyed deploying it on his farm.

One feature that particularly stands out on Ashby’s slurry tanker is its 9m trailing shoe attachment.

This attachment sits on the rear of the tanker and places effluent directly on top of the ground and underneath the leaf of grass.

“It’s a more efficient way of putting effluent on the ground, as it gives better utilisation of a business’ product and reduces nitrogen loss and smell,” Muck Runner’s Tom Paltridge says.

Ease-of-access is important to Ashby and so far the slurry tanker is making life much easier for him.

“I love that the machine provides direct access, I can literally pull up right alongside my effluent pond, just drop the arm straight in and have the tank filled up within minutes,” Ashby says.

“The tank can be filled in under three and a half minutes and then I’ve got 20,700 litres ready to move on.”

Brendan Ashby has had an effluent pond since 2008. Image: Brendan Ashby

Another feature that he loves is a flow meter 7-inch (17cm) touch-screen LCD.

This allows Ashby to look on the screen and see how much effluent is being put out and where it’s going – heavily influencing his decision to go with the optional feature.

“The flow meter is probably one of the biggest bonuses of the machine for me,” he says.

Once he has had a bit more experience with the slurry tanker, Ashby says the flow meter feature has the potential to help him with contracting.

“I’d like to be able to supply data back to farmers and tell them how many litres per minute or litres per hectare can be put out across the fields, whatever the case may be,” he says.

“By doing this, they can tell me how much they want to spread in a certain area and make nutrient-based decisions – eliminating the guess work.”

For more information on Muck Runner’s Pichon products visit or call Tom Paltridge on 0419 851 543.

The flow meter touch-screen LCD tells Ashby how much effluent is being put out and where it’s going. Image: Brendan Ashby
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