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Multi-Use Feed Truck
Gus Schrauwen's search for better cattle-feeding equipment took him to the dairy farms of British Columbia's Fraser Valley. Multi-use farm trucks like the one pictured are so popular in that area that a valley firm is doing a booming business customizing heavy trucks to order.
Schrauwen bought the truck and had it customized to do a variety of jobs. Total cost $55,000 with half of that for the box and hydraulics.
That may seem like a lot of money, but take a look at what it can do. Schrauwen hauls silage from the field, hauls feed from the silo, and feeds all his cattle with it every day. He hauls shavings, spreads all the feedlot manure and can haul small loads of cattle with it.
The truck is equipped with 2 separate sections of moving floor. A small belt conveyor below a set of flails at the front of the box is used for feeding.
The larger section at the back of the truck has a floor chain that can move material quickly to the back or front of the truck.
Schrauwen likes the truck for hauling silage from the field. It holds about 6 tons of silage more than most other trucks or silage wagons.
To haul wood shavings used for bedding, he simply adds planks to the top of the box to reach the maximum allowable 13 in. height and loads it up. Like the silage hauled from the field, shavings are also dumped out the back of the truck.
To haul small loads of cattle, Schrauwen has to drop in a sheet of heavy plywood just behind the flails, at the front of the truck box. It won't haul many, but it works well in a pinch for moving a dozen or so cattle.
Spreading manure may be the job this truck performs best. Schrauwen pulls off the tailgate and installs power driven beaters on the brackets located at the back end of the truck. Those beaters are removed and stored when not in use. The big box holds about 16 yards of material, although this may be a bit too heavy for field travel if it's wet. That's about 4 times what Schrauwen's big manure spreader would haul, and the truck is much faster getting out to the field and back once it's loaded.
Hydraulic controls for the gadgetry on the truck box are located within handy reach of the driver's seat. However, the real beauty of this system is that it runs off a separate hydraulic system located at the front of the truck. So there's no need to clutch the truck every time you want to use the hydraulic system. It also lets him operate the controls from outside the truck, a handy feature when the driver wants to keep an eye on silage being unloaded at harvest time.
Reprinted with permission from The Cattlemen Magazine, Winnipeg, Can.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #2