REVIEW: Haze Ag Toogong Fertiliser Spreader

By: Tom Dickson, Photography by: Andrew Britten, Video by: Andrew Britten

Presented by

The Toogong Farm Spreader is the latest edition in the line-up of intelligently designed Haze Ag spreaders to hit the market. TOM DICKSON met the maker and tried it out.

Curious to find out where the name Toogong came from I quickly did a bit of research and discovered Toogong is about 10km south-west of Cudal in New South Wales where Haze Ag Spreaders is located.

According to the company’s founder Richard Hazelton, Haze Ag spreaders represent strength, reliability and accuracy. His 10 tonne trailing gooseneck spreader is, in his words, the result of years of research and development (R&D).

Hazelton has been working in the spreading industry since 1975 and in that time has operated his own contract spreading business. He has served as president of the NSW Fertiliser Services Association and national vice president of the Australian Fertiliser Services Association.

From these credentials it is fair to assume he is passionate about the industry and will have a sound knowledge of the machinery required to operate a successful contracting business.

 

Background

More than 35 years ago, Hazelton purchased two new spreaders he now describes as absolute duds which let him down badly.

From that time he decided to make it his personal challenge to design, build and distribute a machine that would service his needs and also those of the wider farming and contracting community.

He redesigned the bin, in particular giving it steeper sides to aid product flow. He has increased the width of the belt and given it a more aggressive tread to help prevent blockages.

There are an increased number of belt rollers operating closer together and each has sealed bearings inside. Haze Ag spreaders have exposed spinner shafts which eliminate the problem of build-up on the spinner shaft covers.

The spinners on the Haze Ag spreaders are perhaps the most defining feature.

They use replaceable hardened plastic cones that fit onto the shaft just above the spinner. The role of the cone is to guide the product onto the spinner to create the perfect spread pattern.

The spinners on Haze Ag spreaders rotate in the opposite direction to that of many of its opposition.

Hazelton says rotating the spinners in an inward direction creates an overlap in the centre resulting in a really even spread pattern.

The refined design has allowed spreading widths to get right out to about 50m for superphosphate without causing any damage to the structure of the granulated product.

 

The test

Damian Kelly of McDonald Agrimax Fertilizers bought the first spreader off the production line and has kindly lent us the new 10 tonne spreader to test for the day,

Kelly has coupled the spreader up to a JCB 3230 to create what he believes, is an ideal unit.

 "At the moment I am spreading lime at 3 tonnes per hectare, travelling about 30km/h at about 16m wide strips, which equates to around 40ha, or 120 tonnes per hour. The only limiting factor is having a loader capable of filling the spreader quickly enough."

The Toogong spreader is suitable for every form of spreading. Approximate spreading widths for each product are — Urea (36m), super (45 to 50m), lime and gypsum (15 to 16m), chicken manure (16m), feedlot waste (15 to 16m).

These figures can vary depending on moisture content and product type.

 

Bin

Haze Ag Spreader -bin _3267

The steeper slope of the bin Hazelton has developed means product high in moisture continues to flow down freely without sticking to the sides.

An important feature of the bin is an inverted V-shaped piece of steel that runs from the front to the back about one third of the way down.

It adds structural strength but more importantly prevents heavy compacted lumps crashing on to the centre of the floor during filling, which could damage the rollers.

It also helps provide an even distribution of lime, gypsum and manure products and reduces compaction onto the belt.

 

Belt

Haze Ag Spreader -belt _3126

Because the bin has steeper sides the base of the bin is also wider, which in turn led to the widening of the delivery belt to 1m.

The wider belt allows a greater flow of fertiliser to the spinners at a lower turning speed. It has extremely aggressive cleats moulded into it which help it resist blockages.

Clods of dirt and grass that make their way into the bin from loading out of ground dumps will be churned up and forced through.

"Existing models had a rubber strip running the full length of the base of the bin that flared out over the belt but this used to wear out very quickly," Hazelton says.

"Haze Ag now uses hardened polyurethane and although this wears much better it has been prone to cracking at the point where it’s bolted to the bin. On future models an aluminium strap will bolt on over the polyurethane strip to hopefully solve the issue."

 

Rollers

The roller assembly has been completely overhauled. Placed closer together, the rollers share the load more efficiently so roll much better, making start-up much easier.

The rollers are made from Class 18 PVC (high pressure water pipe) and the three plastic spacers once fitted inside have been replaced with four sealed roller bearings.

Beside each roller is an inspection hole neatly cut out of the beam to which they are mounted. This allows you to get your hand in and physically turn the roller to make sure its operating properly.

If in the event of roller damage each one can be quickly unbolted and removed through the adjoining hole for repair and replacement.

Self-cleaning 200mm rollers with 50mm shafts sit at each end of the belt. The large diameter is less aggressive on the belt and 12mm slats provide extra grip for easy start-up.

The rear door operates with a manual adjusting mechanism with 12 different settings. The lever moves up and down and can be locked into any one of the holes.

 

Spinners

Haze Ag Spreader -spinner Blades _3264

A spreader can really only be measured in one way and that is how well it gets product out in consistent, even spread patterns without harming it.

The spinner blades, polyurethane spinner cones and spinners direction of travel are the major points of difference from existing spreaders on the market.

The Toogong spreader has four cast spinner blades per disc. Each blade has been moulded with a rounded rear side to create a turbine effect.

As the blade reaches high speed it creates a vacuum or negative pressure drawing the fertiliser into the centre of the 6mm disc.

Mounted on the top of the spinner is a polyurethane cone. It comes together as two halves held by steel pins to control where the fertiliser drops onto the spinner.

There are three different size cones with the smallest allowing the product to be delivered closer to the centre and the larger directing it further out toward the spinner blade.

As a general rule the largest cone is best suited to urea. Medium is for super and the smallest for grass seed.

When the product is delivered closer to the spinner blades it stays on the spinner for less time, so throws more out to the side.

It seems obvious as the fertiliser drops off the belt into the delivery chute and onto the cone that it’s entering the spinner at a better angle. The cone seems to ease the product into the spinner rather than just dropping it at right angles.

The best way to describe it would be to say that the cone design helps fling the fertiliser out rather than bashing it out.

Hazelton says by spinning the discs in the opposite direction he achieves wider spread, block pattern spread and an overlap in the centre to ensure no part of the paddock is left under treated.

Hazelton says his company was the first to spread lime damp and that is how this whole new spinner design evolved.

"We used to wet [lime] on 40-foot [12m] conveyers but we could never get it even when we used the spinners in the conventional direction.

"It was hard to do but we actually got there in the end with a lot of trial and error, and that’s how the whole thing evolved."

Haze Ag spreaders all have exposed spinner drive shafts to eliminate the build-up of damp lime and powdery products on the drive shaft sleeves which impedes the desired flow of product onto the spinner.

 

Hydraulics

Haze Ag Spreader -gearbox _3260

A heavy duty 20:1 hydraulic Sumitomo, reduction gear box runs the floor belt. Four braid hydraulic hoses are used as the flexible delivery lines and like the Sumitomo gear box they are mine-specced.

Hydraulic oil flows from the front of the spreader to the rear through stainless steel pipes. I think this is just a zero maintenance delivery line, but am quickly informed as the oil flows through, it is cooled by the outside air temperature.

Each spinner shaft has its own hydraulic drive motors. They can be run in series, oil flows from pump one then to pump two, or in parallel, oil is shared equally to pump one and two.

When run in series they operate at a higher speed with reduced power suitable for granulated super and urea. When operated in parallel the spinners have more power for spreading lime and gypsum.

A manually operated directional flow valve is used to switch between series and parallel operation.

The shaft drive has a nylon dampener built in for added protection. It creates a cushioning effect between the hydraulic motor and shaft and will sheer off under extreme pressure as a protection for the spinner mechanism.

 

Construction

The frame is manufactured with 75mm x 100mm x 6mm rectangular hollow sections (RHS) and 10mm plate steel is used for extra support at pressure points.

The gooseneck design on this model attaches to a D’Angelo turntable and pin. The chassis mounts on air bag suspension similar to that used on trucks and has a stabiliser bar to help prevent body roll on rough ground.

Each time we fill the bin we let the air out of the suspension which brings the height of the bin down a bit to make loading that little bit easier.

As soon as the tractor is started the system is pressurised and the air bags reinflate back to the pre-set level.

As the load empties and weight decreases the pressure in the air bags adjusts to keep the spreader level.

It is running 540/65R34 tyres at 2m centres to follow directly in the tracks of the JCB Fastrac 3230. The wheels can easily be adjusted out to 2.7m centres to create a fresh track in the event of wet boggy conditions and to reduce compaction.

The total weight of the spreader when full is equally distributed between the rear wheels and the drawbar, however Hazelton suggests on future models he may locate the rear wheels a little further back so most of the weight remains over the rear axle as the spreader empties.

 

Control

Kelly is using a Topcon monitor for GPS tracking and spreader functions as well as auto steer. The Toogong spreader does variable rate control for complete accuracy.

It can of course be operated with other monitors and link in with the tractor’s ISOBus system.

 

Verdict

Once the cracking polyurethane flare has been replaced with the better stainless steel strap option I really can’t fault it. This is a really well-built, reliable, large volume contractor’s spreader.

A wait time of about five to six weeks can be expected between order placement and delivery.

Hits:

  • Mine spec hydraulics
  • Steeper bin sides
  • 50m-wide spread width
  • Spinner cones
  • Sealed roller bearings
  • Individual roller access
  • Air bag suspension
  • Chassis strength

Misses:

  • Cracking polyurethane flare at base of bin over belt

 

Specifications

Make/model:Haze Ag Toogong fertiliser spreader

Capacity:10 tonne

Belt: 1m wide, cleated

Spread width: 50m (maximum)

Gearbox: Sumitomo

Hydraulic hoses: Four braid

Hydraulics: Mine spec

Tractor attachment: Gooseneck

Chassis: 75 x 100 x 6mm RHS

 

Look up spreader specifications. 

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Haze Ag spreader spreading lime 3204 The Haze Ag Toogong spreader In action spreading lime to about 16m. Haze Ag spreader spreading lime 3204
Haze Ag spreader founder Richard Hazelton 3246 After 35 years in the industry Richard Hazelton has lost none of his passion and enthusiasm, and still possesses a bit of good old fashioned Aussie larrikinism. Haze Ag spreader founder Richard Hazelton 3246
Haze Ag spreader belt 3126 A more aggressive tread on the metre wide belt eliminates the chance of blockages. Haze Ag spreader belt 3126
Haze Ag spreader bin 3267 The inverted ‘V’ shaped piece of steel provides protection to the belt and rollers during filling and even distribution of product while spreading. Haze Ag spreader bin 3267
Haze Ag spreader cone 3116 Variable size cones guide the product onto the spinner blades. The cones come in three sizes for different product application and spread width. Haze Ag spreader cone 3116
Haze Ag spreader drawbar 3141 D’Angelo turntables and pins give three-dimensional travel through the gooseneck drawbar. Haze Ag spreader drawbar 3141
Haze Ag spreader gearbox 3260 The 20:1, Sumitomo, mine spec gearbox operates well below its capabilities. Haze Ag spreader gearbox 3260
Haze Ag spreader spinner blades 3264 The hands of a man who has dedicated himself to achieving his goal. Haze Ag spreader spinner blades 3264

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