Review: Kuhn Euromix 3370

By: Jaiden Drought, Photography by: Justin Bennett

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The massive Kuhn Euromix 3370 is saving both time and money for its new owner, so we decide to give it good testing!

The Kuhn Euromix 3370 has been providing valuable times savings per day
The Kuhn Euromix 3370 has been providing valuable times savings per day

Often, testing the big gear takes you to settings as impressive as the machine itself. This was certainly the case when we turned up in North Otago to check out the Kuhn Euromix 3370, where the 33 cubic metre mixer wagon was flat stick feeding a massive herd of 1,500 cows.

It was hard to know what to be more impressed by: the machine itself, the sheer size of a 1,500 cow barn or the amount of time and feed it takes to keep the hungry mouths fed.

We run a relatively intensive system at home in Taranaki, so I know first-hand just how much big cows can eat – often you feel like they're bottomless pits. With the sheer scale of this dairy operation, it’s obvious how the upgrade from the Kuhn twin auger machine to the newer Kuhn triple auger wagon is helping make savings of up to three hours a day.

CHASSIS AND WEIGH SYSTEM

Starting at the front, the Kuhn Euromix features a wide-angle shaft and bolted drawbar, which can be adjusted to suit different drawbar heights. Although the hydraulic stand comes as standard, both it and the stepladder to the loading platform are pretty low, limiting ground clearance for some setups.

During our visit the Kuhn Euromix was connected to a 180 horsepower (134kW) tractor. Admittedly, given the size of the machine, this doesn’t seem like a massive tractor to hook up to, but it wasn’t working particularly hard with what was a relatively fibrous mix of straw bales and longer chop lucerne balage. This type of long fibre does put a bit more demand on the tractor to actually chop the feed rather than just blend it.

The machine itself runs on an independent chassis. This particular model has six weigh cells, which means that because the tub is independent of the chassis, it gives accurate weighing even if loading while disconnected from the tractor. This probably isn't something that's going to happen on a machine this size, but the feature is standard throughout the Euromix models.

The weigh system itself has two monitors, one in the loader tractor and one on the machine, and these talk to each other wirelessly. There are various levels of complexity available here (Kuhn calls it Bronze, Silver, Gold and Opus). I won’t get too caught up in the details but essentially you can send rations from the computer at home to the monitor. You can do a countdown where it goes from one product to the next, counting down from the desired amount to zero, so that the loader operator knows exactly how much of each different product to put in. You can also increase the amount of feed per cow as they grow or as numbers increase, so if you wanted to go from 3kg dry matter of maize per cow to 4kg, it automatically increases the amount of maize to be put into the mixer based on the information being fed into the monitor remotely. This gives really impressive accuracy and the ability to intricately manage your feed out requirements.

The Kuhn Euromix range is available up to 45 cubic metres. The triple auger is available from 28 cubic metres to 45 cubic metres, with this machine sitting at 33 cubic metres. Set on a tandem sprung axle with rear steering, the overall height is just under three metres. This wasn’t much of an issue in this particular barn, but sometimes lower mixer wagons can be a benefit, depending on the barn set up.  

Kuhn Euromix - The 'kicker' at the base of the auger ensures that the product is moved between all of the augers in the tub
The 'kicker' at the base of the auger ensures that the product is moved between all of the augers in the tub

AUGERS AND KNIVES 

The three mixing augers feature the same geometry as those on the smaller single and double auger mixers. The seven knives are carbide coated (essentially hardened for longer life) and double pitched, which allows the ‘boiling’ of feed to still happen regardless of how full the mixer is. ‘Boiling’ allows feed to go up the middle to the top and then fall back down the sides. This allows concentrates to be evenly mixed through bulky forage.

The ‘kicker’ at the base of the auger ensures that the product is moved between all of the augers in the tub and allows for even and fast emptying, as it's one thing to fill up a 33 cubic metre tub,  but it's another to get it all evenly mixed and then out of the mixer in a timely manner.

The front auger on the mixer is also fitted with a magnet, which stops any metal fragments from contaminating the feed and avoids them ending up in the cow. This is extremely useful as you’d be amazed at what you find sometimes in the mix and it can make stock very sick, particularly if they get peritonitis from steel rupturing the rumen wall.

It's impressive how well the ration is mixed, even with the mixer in the low gearbox speed
It's impressive how well the ration is mixed, even with the mixer in the low gearbox speed

TUB AND DRIVELINES

The 10m long, 2.8m wide tub is made from 15mm steel on the base and 8mm on the sides.

This machine wasn't fitted with the top anti-spill ring, however this is usually standard on these models. It wasn’t an issue at all when we were testing the unit as it wasn't being absolutely filled to the brim, but for those who want high forage base mixes this is definitely something that you would opt for.

Also, because this anti-spill ring wasn’t fitted, the tub height was just under three metres, allowing it to be easily loaded with a loading shovel. Anything higher would probably warrant a telehandler or a tip toe bucket to protect the top of the tub. As well as the anti-spill ring, you can get bin extensions to increase capacity if your herd size increases. While this saves buying a whole new mixer, the auger height/tub height ratio does affect blend quality.

The transmission drive on the augers is via gearboxes that have been tried and tested on the largest Kuhn power harrows. This is good for two reasons; firstly, because they are tested in long, hot conditions where they go for hours on end, and secondly, because they fit multiple machines, there are plenty in stock in the county.

The augers themselves have a cone-based mounting system (imagine a traffic cone, then slide another cone over the top). This means there is more support through the centre of the auger halfway up, rather than a flange mounted system, just at the base of the auger.

This machine was fitted standard with a two-speed gearbox, which I reckon is a must for one of these machines. The reason for this is that because it's so big, I would say in high gear there is a risk of overmixing, as it takes so long to load it due to the sheer size. The low box is perfect if you do need to stop it and start a backup. The alternative is that you would either continue to stall the tractor or start smashing shear bolts. The high box is mainly used on the test machine to increase auger speed to clean out the tub after the last of the four daily loads.

The Kuhn Euromix controller

CONTROLS AND FEEDING

Various feeding options are available:

  • 1,100mm-wide discharge shoots, front and rear and available on either side
  • A tilting conveyor
  • Front cross conveyor
  • Front cross conveyer, which can move hydraulically from side to side. This allows you to feed both left and right, with a 250mm extension either way, perfect for a feed pad bin-type situation.

A couple of special features on this machine include the electric over hydraulic control unit. This runs the various discharge points, as well as the door opening, which is clearly visible via a numbered scale that is easy to see from the cab. It also has hydraulic counter knife inserts for really tough, long forage, which needs a bit more time to be chopped. I like the fact the hydraulics can be used by themselves as a back up, as it would be a shame if a small control box was to malfunction and shut the whole machine down.

 

The Kuhn Euromix supplying feed to cows in New Zealand
Plenty of Cows, so plenty of feed

SUMMARY

It’s easy to get caught up with the size and scale of the operation, but importantly the Kuhn Euromix is providing valuable time savings per day, as well as a well-mixed, consistent ration to keep the barn cows fed. I was impressed at how little the tractor is under load, and how well the ration is mixed, even with the mixer in the low gearbox speed.

The clever weigh system has some benefits for absentee owners/managers to ensure consistent feeding, and the various feeding options will suit a wide range of buyers, no matter what feeding setup they already have. No doubt just a small percentage of farmers will need a triple auger machine, but these traits are trickled down through the entire 8–45 cubic metre range, so the same benefits in smaller machines to suit the masses.

PROS

  • Capacity – saves up to three hours per day on feeding time
  • Six weigh points for greater accuracy
  • Clever weigh system
  • Wireless monitor in loading machine
  • Rear steering, sprung tandem axle
  • Relatively low power requirements for the capacity
  • Various discharge options
  • Electric over hydraulic feed controller (normal hydraulics can be used as backup)
  • Excellent ration mix

 

CONS

  • Low ground clearance from the hydraulic stand, the steps and the sprung axle
  • The main monitor is mounted low which is great to view from in the cab but hard to see while loading if the second wireless monitor is not equipped

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