The main benefit of the Tomahawk is the time saved when bedding down the beef stock
Although the Retallicks had previously owned a bedder from another manufacturer, when they consider the reasons for buying the 8080 8 years ago “it was nice that the product is made locally, but ultimately it came down to the performance of the machine and the fact that it was well priced. In addition it came with a side chute option which works well with the building layouts.’
The 8080 is used every day from October to June and fitted to a John Deere 2650 which comfortably handles the Tomahawk.
The haulage business shifts around 6000 tonnes of straw each year, from which around 600 of the most difficult bales, which would not resell for as much, are reserved for use on the farm.
Maurice and Russell are happy to do this, safe in the knowledge that the Tomahawk will handle these bales, in fact they find that “Using the Tomahawk, the savings on lower quality straw are greater than savings on straw that is in good condition compared to bedding by hand.”
Russell also notes; “Because of the abundance of straw, the main benefit of the Tomahawk is the time saved when bedding down the beef stock. In addition, the safety aspect is important as we do not have to go in the pen with the big finishing cattle.”
When it comes to spreading muck “the difference between the dung from a straw bed laid with a Tomahawk compared to one laid by hand is noticeable as the Tomahawk spreads the straw which takes up muck more evenly.”
Although the machine is only used for bedding, Russell has been impressed with the reliability and low running costs. “Over the last 8 years I have only changed a shear sprocket to the crossbeater and 2 sets of blades”.
This works out at around £0.12 of wearing parts usage per bale.
And the Retallicks’ experience of dealing with Teagle. ‘We would definitely consider buying another one. If we need spare parts it is just one phone call to our local dealer and the parts come in the next day.'