From powerful Pumas to dominant Deeres
In this week's machinery pages we take a look at a John Deere 8600i forage harvester with almost two seasons on the clock, we test-drive a Case Puma 150 and get behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Arteon

A lot of field work has now drawn to a close for 2017, but thoughts are already turning to next year for contractors around the country looking at changing their forage harvesters.

They’re big-ticket machines with an abundance of technology to make them as efficient and as comfortable as possible for the long hours drivers spend in them come harvest time.

We speak to one contractor running a relatively new John Deere 8600i self-propelled forage harvester to get his impression of it after 800 hours of use in both grass and maize.

Case IH is a well-recognised and popular brand in Ireland for its tractors. We get behind the wheel of a Puma 150 to get a feel for this tractor in the field and on the road.

Alistair Chambers tests it in front of a Tulip disc and tine cultivator and drawing out beet with an 18ft Dooley trailer in challenging conditions. It’s a tractor that has all the technology a driver may need with the choice to not use it if so desired.

In our motoring section, we look at Volkswagen Arteon R-line. This is a car aimed at those who want a Volkswagen with class, poise and comfort with all the technology that comes with it.

The German sports saloon has all the bells and whistles a driver could ever want but could do with a few more horsepower under the bonnet to really stand out from the crowd.

Alistair Chambers gives his opinion.

Break in at Galway machinery garage
A number of items were stolen from Whelan's in Loughrea on Friday night, including chainsaws and strimmers.

Gardai are investigating a burglary at Whelan's garage in Loughrea, Co Galway. Whelan's is a main dealers for Massey Ferguson and has three locations across Clare and south Galway.

This is the second break-in at Whelan's in the last few weeks.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said that they are investigating the burglary on Station Rd., Loughrea.

It occurred "between 10.20pm on 13 July and 9am on 14 July 2018. A number of chainsaws, strimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and a generator were taken".

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Loughrea Garda station on 091-842 870.

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15 injured in collision between tractor and bus

15 injured in collision between tractor and bus
Police in Northern Ireland have appealed for witnesses after the crash in Co Down this Monday evening.

A crash this afternoon in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, involving a tractor trailer and a bus has left 15 people injured.

A PSNI spokesman told the Irish Farmers Journal that the collision occurred on the Belfast Road in Newtownards.

"It was reported that shortly before 4.10pm a tractor, towing a trailer, was involved in a collision with a bus close to the junction of Ballybarnes Road," they said. "Fifteen people who were travelling on the bus were treated at the scene, a number of them were taken to hospital for further treatment. None of their injuries are believed to be life threatening."

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said it was treating 11 people at its Ulster Hospital in Belfast on Monday night as a result of the crash, including one in a serious condition and one stable.

Pictures of the scene show extensive damage to the front of the bus, which was hit by the tanker trailer. An eyewitness decribing the accident on social media said that the trailer came off the tractor before hitting the bus.

Police are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the Belfast Road and who witnessed the collision to contact officers in Newtownards on 101 quoting reference 948 16/07/18.

The Belfast Road remained closed on Monday night while police continued their investigation.

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Motorcyclist killed in collision with tractor

Man (22) arrested following fatal tractor crash in Down