Remember the pedal trike tractors from your early years? Here’s a king-size model for grown-ups. Even better, you also get paid for riding it. Now let’s walk around this three-wheeled leviathan to find out what its game is actually about.
Starting with the business end of the machine, a fully retractable Schouten liquid manure (aka slurry) injector. Rather than just spreading the manure on the pasture or farmland, it’s injected directly into the soil. The injector as seen here is typically used on pasture land.
You must have noticed that the trike is equipped with a rather small tank. It simply doesn’t need a bigger one, as a long umbilical hose, connected to a big tanker truck or container, constantly “feeds” the trike while it’s working on the land.
The manure is transported from the hose to the tank through this swinging arm.
Business as usual here, a three-pointed hitch.
Dutch manufacturer Vervaet introduced the Hydro Trike in the early nineties, with only minor changes and updates since. The company also makes beet harvesters.
Hydro Trikes have always been powered by a big DAF diesel, placed right underneath the cab; a 510 hp, 12.9 liter MX-13 engine in the latest models.
The expression climbing into the cab is highly appropriate here.
Glass all around, for a perfect view to all sides.
Two hydraulic Sauer-Danfoss pumps are used for the drive-system of the wheels. The front wheel has its own hydraulic motor. Yes, it’s a genuine AWD mega-trike.
Another hydraulic motor drives the mechanical rear axle. The on-road top speed of the Hydro Trike is 40 km/h (25 mph). I always prefer to park on the roadside, gently waiting, when an agri-juggernaut like this is coming straight at me on a narrow country road.
When driving in a straight line, there’s no track overlap of the three tires. Perfect.
A close-up of the tire inflation system. For more tire pressure when you want to hit the road, and less when you want to float on the pasture land.
This factory video, also featuring the article’s Hydro Trike, perfectly shows how things work. Maybe you wonder why the liquid manure isn’t just spreaded on the pasture land the easy and cheap way. The answer is simple: that’s illegal. Since the early nineties, as a matter of fact.