Manure application is usually done under the gun — in the spring before a crop is being planted or in the fall after a crop has been removed from farm fields. Either way, time is of the essence — get done so the planters can roll, or beat the flying snow and frozen ground that follows. You do not want to spend a lot of time unrolling and rolling drag hose, a job that usually has taken two people.
Pat Thome, New Product Tour panelist who uses a hose system on their Adams, Minn., operation, says loading and unloading hose is a big time-eater. “You can only pump so fast, but if you can save time unrolling and rolling up hose, that’s big.”
Hydro Engineering has answered that call with its HR128AG hose reel, which provides liquid manure application technology that is both innovative and easy to operate. The hose reel’s hydraulic articulating hitch and Danfoss DP200 control unit allow you to pick up hose on the go while maintaining a tight, even wrap, all without leaving the tractor seat. An electrohydraulic circuit automatically matches reel speed to the tractor’s travel speed, offering a fast, versatile method to fill the entire reel without leaving the cab.
Other front-loading hose reels require a vigilant eye on the speedometer while picking up hose on the go, but not the HR128AG. Automatic tensioning allows the unit to maintain a set tension on the hose, leaving the operator free to focus on tasks other than evenly wrapping the hose.
Hydro’s Nate Zimmerman says the initial goal was to increase the capacity, as well as making something unique. This hose reel holds 1½ miles of 8-inch hose, 2 miles of 6-inch hose and 1 mile of 8-inch hose. Previous models had a maximum capacity of eight 8-inch hoses, or 1 mile of hose. Compared to previous models, this model has increased capacity along with more versatility.
Recognizing that every pumping situation is little different — every field, every lagoon, every producer — the HR128AG packages three custom solutions in a single reel. This gives operators the flexibility to choose the option needed for the situation: stop and pull in hose from the rear, either over the top or underneath, or pick up the hose on the go with automatic tensioning.
Zimmerman says the hose is one of the biggest investments for manure haulers, and traditionally hoses are dragged across the field to be reloaded, putting a lot of wear and tear on the hose, “so we want to be gentle with our hose.”
Aaron Lower, the panel’s veterinarian, was really impressed with “the amount of thought that went into the little things … more so than what I thought going into it.” He likes the ability to load the hose in the front and rear, “and the ability to go over and under” with the hose on the reel.
A direct hydraulic drive and planetary hub replaces a traditional chain and sprocket system on the HR128AG, offering the same functionality with less maintenance and increased operator safety.
Thome appreciates that the company has taken user feedback from real-world application to make a better product.
Joseph Darrington, the New Product Tour panel’s engineer, says, “It was a big jump forward from previous models, such as with the floating tires. This takes a two-man job and makes it a one-man job, so that will save you some money.” That aspect also gains points with Thome, seeing the practical application in the field, literally and figuratively.