The Quad Train liquid manure spreader unit offered by Ontario-based Nuhn Industries has set the bar high when it comes to size. With models available from 8,000 to 15,000 gallons, the Quad Train line may well be the biggest in the industry. “I don’t know of any bigger,” says Dennis Nuhn, president of Nuhn Industries.
Nuhn is the only company to offer a dual-tank design like the Quad Train. “We did get patents for them and I’m so glad we did,” he says. “They turned out to be really popular for a variety of reasons. If you want a dual-tank design, you’ll have to look to the Quad Train.” They are available in a slurry tank design, which has to be loaded manually, or a vacuum, self-loading version.
Where liquid manure has to be transported long distances, a truck can be used for the road portion of the trip and the vacuum Quad Train can meet it at the entrance to a field, attach to the truck’s unloading outlet and start pumping without anyone getting out of the cab. And it can do it quickly; the Quad Train can transfer 6,500 gallons in about two minutes.
The Quad Train can spread the manure or inject it directly into the soil. “We’ve been working on injectors over 20 years, and now they (farmers) are realizing the value of injecting manure, making it a lot more valuable as a fertilizer,” says Nuhn. “Environmentally, you don’t get the air pollution or run-off. It’s just a much, much better way to get value.”
To help get the maximum fertilizer value from manure, these implements allow the driver to precisely control the spread or injection rate. “We also build volume control, in-tank mixing and other features to give you more accurate manure application,” he says.
The company’s tanks have been used in research trials over the years, looking for the best way to use manure as fertilizer. Nuhn notes today’s attitude toward maximizing manure’s value is a change from older approaches that had producers just wanting to get rid of it. “What I always say is if you spread fertilizer as bad as some people spread manure, it wouldn’t work either,” he says.
“When you get to the field, you turn on the in-tanking mixing, which stirs it all up. So you get the same analysis at the beginning of the load as the end, which makes a big difference on your crop,” he says.
But first getting to the field requires some safety considerations. To help keep the weight of the Quad Trains under control, the company offers a hydraulic brake kit which can link to a tractor. “It’s becoming quite popular,” says Nuhn. And most major manufacturers now offer an optional trailer braking connection on new tractors to accommodate heavy implements.
When filling the slurry tank models, the company provides producers with the option of two loading points, one on each tank. Both tanks can be filled from either loading point. And that is only one way in which the Quad Train acts as a single system. It’s designed as a single unit. “The geometry is very important,” says Nuhn.
And they’re designed to handle easily. “You can actually turn a 10,000-gallon Quad shorter than you can a single tank. What people don’t understand with liquid spreaders is how important the weight and balance is. It makes a huge difference on how it handles,” says Nuhn. “With a big single tank, you get that block of inertia in one spot. Whatever direction it’s going it wants to keep going because it’s a single mass. If you look at the Quad, both halves weigh the same, they tend to push and shove each other, so it tends to neutralize (that force).”
To help keep the tanks connected, the company uses Kevlar reinforced hoses for durability. In the past, they tried using other hose types, but found they didn’t stand up as well. “The sun and the manure damaged them, so we went back to the Kevlar,” says Nuhn.
What do they cost? A 10,000-gallon Quad Train with hydraulic brakes will run somewhere in the mid-to high-$80,000 range, and as size and options increase that price can climb to about $150,000.