Richard and Philip Tyrell farm on the Offaly-Kildare border. The cousins are both sizeable suckler farmers. For the past 16 years they have run a Strautmann wagon on their farms. Starting out with a Super Vitesse in 2003 which was worked for 7 years and replaced by the same model which stayed on the farms till last year. The latest machine to arrive is a Zelon 2901 with the CFS system. Richard said that they have found that the Strautmann is the best build machine on the market and that over the three machines that they have had, there are constant improvements in the design and their ability of them to get through work. Picking up about 400 acres per year, they find that the Zelon gives them the ability to pick the silage on their own farms on the days they want to and still have the capacity to undertake a small amount of local contracting work. In the field the latest Strautmann with CFS gives the Tyrells a shorter chop length than the previous machines and also spreads the load more evenly across the floor of the wagon. This allows for better weight distribution and to maximise the space available. This wagon came with the self-loading option, Philip said that this is very useful as it removes the risk of overloading or putting any of the components in the machine under too much pressure.

 

The cousins work with a ten-foot mower and a rake to merge two cuts into one. In these 20-foot swarths they can travel at between 8 and 10 km/h depending on the condition and weight of the crop. Philip has found that 40 acres per day is easily done and this is more than enough capability for himself, Richard and their customers. It allows them to pick the best times and days to put their precious fodder in the pit. On the new machine they have noticed the cam-less pickup to be a big step forward in conjunction with the new heavier tines. This feeds the spiral rotor which they see as the best option for both feeding the wagon and for chopping. Richard said it give a “lovely even chop” and less “lumping”.  The latest Strautmann come with double sided knives, they have found that swapping every 200 acres gives the best results. One other feature that stands out to them is that the Zelon is gear driven, this removes the “hardship” that they have has with chains in the past on other machines. Richard and Philip both said that the most important reason for the years of repeat Strautmann business is the service that they have received from IAM, they have found that nothing is a problem and even a backup machine was available on one occasion when the pressure was on. They see this service and the quality of fodder that the Zelon is giving them means that they will stay with Strautmann machines into the future.