The Forbes family are putting a slurry separator on their farm at Blackford near Carlisle, so they needed to buy a new tanker.
“The separator will make our slurry more like water, so we needed a trailing shoe,” explains Richard Forbes who runs Dykehead with his dad Alex. “We couldn’t put one on our old tanker, so we started looking round for a new one.”
Having bought an Abbey 3000R, Richard says he’s finding it surprisingly easy to use.
“It’s also got an automatic arm on it so we don’t have to jump off the machine and fill it manually – we can do it all from the cab. That saves us a lot of time. It takes us just over a minute-and-a-half to fill it and, when you’re doing that for 30 loads in a day, it makes a big difference.”
Richard has also been very pleased with the handling and manoeuvring of the Abbey. “We jumped from a 2,300-gallon to a 3,000-gallon tanker, so I thought it might be awkward to get it through gateways and around our tight buildings. But it actually follows the tractor better than our smaller tanker did.
“We’ve got a 50k tractor and when it’s going at full speed, it doesn’t bounce or anything, which we were quite surprised about considering the extra length. But the tanker sits quite low to the ground, which helps.”
Dykehead runs to about 300 acres, but the family rent a further 120 acres. They have 330 milking cows as well as young stock and followers.