Australians wheel out chaser bin with a 60t appetite

Chaser bins, of any size, are few and far between in Ireland. There are some – typically Horsch and Cross units – that are gainfully employed here.

We’ve come across a truly gargantuan chaser bin, albeit in the far away climes of Australia.

Coolamon Steelworks – based in the town of Coolamon, New South Wales – designs and builds chaser bins and has been in existence since 1972. It produces a range of models – from 18t upwards.

The 60t model is the biggest in the line-up. Its 20in auger can shift grain at a rate of 14t/min; an optional 24in version can churn through grain at a speed of 18t/min. Rated capacity is over 70m³ – to “water level”.

While not of practical relevance here in Ireland, it is interesting nonetheless to see the scale of machinery that is now in use in some regions of the world.

Coolamon

The Coolamon’s heavy-duty gearbox is rated at 294hp at 1,000rpm. The floor is made from 8mm-thick plate; the sides and ends are 6mm thick.

This massive machine comes with hydraulic self-levelling suspension, front and rear self-steering axles and six 30.5L32 tyres. 900mm-wide tyres are optional.

Coolamon

The 10-stud hubs are each rated for 15t. The chaser bin stands 3.7m tall, 3.78m wide and spans 14.6m in length. Optional extras include an (unloading) auger extension and, not surprisingly, a camera package.

Coolamon also manufactures even larger “mother bins”. Unlike chaser bins, so-called mother bins are not designed to be moved about when full.

The manufacturer says that its mother bins can be moved when up to 50% full. Hydraulic load-sharing suspension distributes the weight to each wheel – enabling “accurate weight calculations”.

Its largest model can hold a whopping 150t. It can be equipped with a 16in or 20in “delivery” auger.

Coolamon

The wheels on the front axles steer on the standard build configuration; rear-steering axles are optional.

Closer to home, the biggest Irish-built chaser bin is a 30t unit from Cross Engineering – based in Rathangan, Co. Kildare. This machine is designed as both a chaser bin and a drill filler.

The company’s Mark Cross told AgriLand that the bin is split, so it can accommodate both fertiliser and seed simultaneously – when sowing crops. “During cereal harvesting, both augers can be used for unloading grain into lorries,” he added.

The likes of Australia, the US and Russia are thought to be the key markets for such a machine. Nevertheless, three have already been sold to tillage farmers in Ireland.

Asking price is about €115,000 plus VAT.

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