Arguments for a swivelling silage spreader

Updated on:
December 6, 2023
Silage loading technology
Karoline Glöckner


Silage distribution is almost a standard part of forage harvesting in Austria and Germany. Due to the ever-increasing harvesting technology in the field and the large unloading quantities, powerful technology is also required in the bunker silo. But why should the silage spreader be swivelling? What are the arguments in favour of the swivel function? – These are precisely the questions we address in this current blog article. We give you an overview of how a swivelling device works and also look at the areas of application of a swivelling silage distributor in practice. This and much more awaits you in this knowledge blog on the topic of silo feeding technology – and off you go!

Functionality of a swivelling silage spreader

We have already explained the general functioning of a silage spreader in previous blog articles – here it is briefly summarised again: The silage spreader rotates its drum to distribute the feed evenly to all corners and along the entire length of the silage area. Throwing vanes welded onto the distributor drum ensure that the grass really gets to where it is supposed to go. The gearbox speed and the direction of rotation are, of course, coordinated. MAMMUT silage spreaders are equipped with a rigid headstock as standard. If a swivelling device is ordered, cylinders and a massive pivot point ensure that the entire headstock including the distributor drum can swivel to the left and right.

With the swivelling silage spreader, the procedure is as follows: Via hydraulic hoses attached directly to the cylinders, the hydraulic oil from the carrier vehicle is delivered to the double-acting cylinder when the control unit is actuated. The oil runs into the respective piston cavity and causes the piston rod to move, which in turn causes the swivel frame to move to the side.

In the MAMMUT silage spreaders, from the Silo Fox TITAN model series onwards, all types are equipped with two hydraulic cylinders. Since the cylinders run in exactly the same direction, it is sufficient to control only one of them – the piston rod of the opposite cylinder is then moved forwards and back again purely by the mechanics. One double-acting function on the tractor is therefore sufficient to control the slewing mechanism.

Good to KNOW:

The lateral offset of the swivelling silage spreaders of the SILO FOX series is 20 degrees on the left and right. This results in a swivel range of approx. 40 cm per side. The cleverly chosen pivot point of the MAMMUT silage spreaders close to the three-point linkage allows a large radius when swivelling.

Advantages of a swivelling silage spreader

The operation of a silage spreader alone brings unique advantages that guarantee a stress-free harvest and thus also the highest forage quality. Adding a hydraulic swivelling device to your spreader at the time of purchase also means even greater comfort and tangible advantages, which we will now discuss in more detail.

Advantage #1 - Forage quality & spread pattern

The most important advantage of the swivelling silage spreader is clearly its performance: The operating range and thus the working width of the spreader is extended when swivelling. This means that it can be controlled much more sensitively where exactly the fodder should go. Especially at the edge of the silo, air holes quickly form, which are difficult to avoid without a swivelling device. The grass is therefore distributed much more evenly with the help of a swivelling device – this provides the basis for stable silage without feed losses and unwanted secondary fermentation.

Advantage #2 - Ease of work & comfort

But in addition to forage quality, the swivelling silage spreader offers other advantages – especially in terms of working comfort. With the swivelling device, you automatically have more working width, so that in total fewer passes are necessary. In addition, spreading is simply more comfortable when the silage spreader can be swivelled in at the push of a button. Anyone who has ever worked with a swivel device will never go back to harvesting without it – that much is clear!

Advantage #3 - The pivot brings it

The swivel point of the MAMMUT silage spreader is located near the three-point linkage. You ask yourself what this really does for you in practice? – Well, it’s quite simple: With the SILO FOX from MAMMUT, distribution is possible right up to the edge of the bunker silo, as the cleverly chosen pivot point ensures easy freeing from the wall. The design also provides a larger swivel range, as the entire distributor including the headstock can be turned to the left or right. The two graphics below illustrate these arguments once again.

SILO FOX in straight position

SILO FOX swivelled in

Advantage #4 - Swivelling without wide angle

Everything now literally ” turns ” once again around the pivot point: In addition to the comfortable operation of the well-chosen pivot point of the MAMMUT silage spreaders, this also results in other technical advantages. For example, the issue of the PTO shaft: Due to the pivot point positioning, the path of the PTO shaft is shorter, so that in most cases a normal PTO shaft is sufficient. The advantage compared to a wide-angle PTO shaft on both sides lies primarily in the lower purchase costs and the lower maintenance requirements.

Working without wide-angle cardan shaft

Increased efficiency in silage spreading due to the swivel function

In order to do justice to the topic of efficiency in silage distribution, we must first go a little further: A silage spreader increases the impact force in the entire harvest chain through its mode of operation. This results in less standing time, a better flow during the forage harvest and thus better economic results. The swivel function on the silage spreader extends the working area by around 40 cm on each side. The result is, of course, that fewer passes are necessary – which makes a difference in the overall silage time. The more stress-free the distribution of forage in the silo, the fewer errors occur and the more efficiently work can be done. This means that there is more time for compaction and the silage quality is improved.

Good to KNOW:

In short, it can be said that a swivelling silage spreader improves the impact force even further and thus ensures relaxed ensiling. The lateral offset thanks to the swivelling device brings a higher working width compared to the "rigid" design of the silage spreader.

Examples for the use of a swivelling silage spreader

Since overall the absolute majority of silage spreaders are used with a swivelling device, there are numerous examples of swivelling devices of the MAMMUT brand. In the video below, for example, Alexander Kopper from Styria (Austria) talks about his experiences with the silage combination of silage spreader and silage roller. In particular, the topics of efficiency and impact are discussed. You can also find more examples in the adjacent picture gallery. There you can also see silage spreaders in use with wheel loaders, where a swivelling device is just as useful as on the tractor.

Play Video

Interesting facts about the swivel silage spreader

In this article you have learned a lot about swivelling systems in distribution technology. In the last point, we summarise the most important facts for you. If you have any further questions, you can contact us via the contact form or simply call us – we will be happy to help you and take the time to provide you with detailed advice.

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