After a damp start to Balmoral show last week, the sun made a welcome appearance on Friday and Saturday for the second half of the four-day event. The 154th edition of the show took place at Balmoral Park show grounds near Lisburn from 10-13 May.

The mood among exhibitors and show-goers was largely positive, albeit helped by the long-awaited spell of good weather. Although yet to be confirmed, total attendance across the four days is estimated to be just over 100,000 – slightly lower than the 120,000 cited in 2022.

Below, we take a look at some of the machinery highlights from the event, a number of which are new to the Irish market.

Hogg silage trailer

Derry-based DA Forgie, dealers for Kubota, Kverneland and Hogg Engineering, gave showgoers a flavour of what’s to come from Hogg Engineering. The dealer presented a 16t (20ft) prototype silage trailer, the first unit built by Hogg, which certainly caught the eyes of many over the four-day event.

According to Forgie, a full range is expected to be developed after testing this season. So far, the manufacturer has plans to offer 14t (18ft), 16t (20ft) and 18t (22ft) models.

The trailer on display featured the same running gear and chassis as is fitted on the manufacturer’s 20t dump trailer. While the unit showcased didn’t feature a rear steering axle due to time constraints for completion ahead of last week’s show, it will be an optional feature in future.

In terms of running gear and build, the range will feature 10-stud high-speed commercial axles, 420mm x 180mm brake shoes and HS 100 10-leaf springs – as did the prototype model. Load-sensing air brakes will be offered in addition to hydraulic brakes. The floor is constructed using 5mm high-tensile steel, while the sides are made using 4mm steel.

A five-stage single-tipping ram and hydraulic up-and-over door is fitted as standard. Other features include a sprung drawbar, custom paint colours and LED lighting.

The prototype model displayed is expected to carry out a number of demos this season ahead of full production and delivery for 2024. Pricing for the range is expected to start at €27,600 (£24,000) plus VAT.

BedMaid electric cubicle bedder

Wilson Agri, based in Coleraine, Co Derry, supplier of cow comfort equipment including cubicles and cubicle mats, debuted its new BedMaid range of cubicle sweepers and bedders. Although still in its infancy, the range has been designed by Gareth and Andrew Wilson and manufactured in China to the required specification using European components and running gear.

The BedMaid range currently comprises three models, the ELV 4.7kW electric model, the EL10 10hp Yanmar diesel model and the EL20 20hp Honda petrol model.

Aside from the different methods of propulsion, all other aspects of the machine are standardised. Models come fully galvanised with a 500l self-loading front hopper.

Inside the hopper is an internal auger to mix and agitate contents, ie lime and sawdust. The quantity of bedding dispensed is controlled via shutter lever. According to Gareth Wilson, the hydraulically operated dispenser is compatible with lime, sawdust, wood shavings and chopped straw.

Providing the scraping is a 1,050mm wide hydraulically operated rubber scraper with following bristles, while a 750mm diameter brush takes care of cubicle stands.

Brush height is adjustable through three height settings or optionally unfixed, enabling the brush to naturally float to varying kerb heights.

The transmission is switchable from 3WD to 1WD for tighter turning circles. The ELV is fitted with a 4.7kW electric motor and 48V 160Ah lithium ion battery.

A run time of 1.5 hours is quoted, with charging time up to six hours. The ELV is priced at €18,000 (£15,800) plus VAT.

The BedMaid ELV cubicle bedder is fitted with a 4.7kW electric motor.

Klou vibrating post driver

McCord Machinery based near Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Irish distributor for Klou equipment, showcased the KPD1 vibrating post driver attachment. Located in southern England, Klou specialises in the manufacture of log grabs, stump grinders, cone splitters and post drivers.

The compact unit uses a maintenance-free hydraulically driven eccentric weight, which runs in heavy duty spherical roller bearings, mounted within a sealed oil-filled vibrator housing.

The vibratory unit itself is separated from the hitching bracket using a replaceable rubber mount so that vibration is not transferred to the host machine.

The unit can be operated on a range of host machines, including skid steers, tractor front loaders, telehandlers, articulated loaders and diggers.

The KPD1 post driver attachment is designed to drive a broad range of post diameters using the interchangeable cup heads available. The minimum hydraulic flow and pressure required is 25l/min and 160 bar.

The unit, excluding brackets and interchangeable cup heads, weighs 165kg. Optional accessories include an angle adjustment bracket and post clamp to hold the post in place while being driven. Complete with three cups and suitable mounting brackets, the unit is priced at €6,160 (£5,350) plus VAT.

The Klou vibrating post driver requires only 25l/min of hydraulic flow and is compatible for use on a range of machines.

Slurryquip in cab spread rate controller

Northern Irish slurry equipment manufacturer Slurryquip, based near Downpatrick, Co Down, presented its new in-cab spread rate calculator alongside a range of umbilical and tanker mounted LESS systems.

Designed in conjunction with a Northern Irish farmer, the in-cab spread rate controller is designed as an affordable solution for all farmers and contractors.

The 4in touchscreen unit sits inside the cab and requires a 12v power supply via a three-pin D-type plug. No flow meters or physical linking with the tanker are required.

The operator simply inputs the tanker size in gallons, applicator working width and the desired application rate. To calibrate, the operator presses go once spreading starts and similarly presses stop once empty. From this, the unit calculates the required forward speed in order to achieve the desired application rate.

Up to nine fields can be saved using the system’s internal memory, including the number of loads spread which is then totalled once the particular field is complete.

The device is said to be self-learning, in that it analyses the time taken to spread previous loads and from that it calculates the slurry volume/level remaining in the tanker, which the firm believes is accurate to 2-3%. The unit, complete with a mounting clamp, is priced at €225 (£195) plus VAT.

The in-cab spread rate controller from Slurryquip is designed to improve and aid the accuracy of slurry application.

Quad-X liquid fertiliser applicator

Blaney Agri, the Co Antrim-based manufacturer and owner of the well-known Quad-X and Blaney Motor Company brands showcased a range of machines and tractor and ATV attachments. The latest being the new Quad-X liquid fertiliser applicator, which caught the attention of many show-goers. According to the firm, the applicator has been developed in response to the increased demand for liquid fertiliser.

The trailed sprayer-like attachment sees a 240l tank as standard seated onto a galvanised frame. As standard, the unit is fitted with a 12v pump operated off the ATV/UTV battery.

However, a 5.5hp petrol engine version fitted with a 27l/min pump is optionally available. Two boom options, 3.5m (11ft) and 5m (16ft) are available, each fitted with dribble nozzles dedicated for use with liquid fertilisers.

The variable-height drawbar allows the applicator to be used with ATVs, 4x4s and compact tractors. A hand lance is also fitted as standard for spot spraying purposes.

Options include self-fill complete with suction filter, 20-8 R10 tyres, swan neck control box for easier access from a quad seat, 30m hose and reel for spot spraying, spread plate and basket filter.

The unit features a pressure gauge and agitation system to mix chemicals. According to the firm, a larger 340l tank option is on the way. Pricing starts at €2,012 (£1,676) plus VAT.

The Quad-X liquid fertiliser applicator is fitted with a 240l tank and offered with either a 3.5m or 5m boom option.

Weidemann T7042

Irish Weidemann distributors and dealers Wilsons of Rathkenny showcased the flagship T7042 side boom telehandler from Weidemann.

Although, better known for its pivot steer range and compact side boom telehandler, the T7042 currently sits in the German manufacturer’s portfolio as its flagship side-boom telehandler.

The T7042 boasts a lift capacity of 4,200kg to a maximum lift height of 7.65m and was originally introduced to sit above the T6027 (2.7t/ 6m) model.

The model on display featured a whole host of optional equipment, including the 136hp (122hp standard) four-pot Perkins engine.

This all-singing, all-dancing unit was equipped with a hydrostatic 40km/h transmission and a number of other optional features, including 180l/min hydraulic pump, Michelin Multi Bib tyres, LED light package, crab steer, air conditioning, air seat, pickup hitch complete with spool valve and soft-ride boom suspension.

The T7042 is rated to tow up to 16,000kg and is equipped with dual-line air brakes or hydraulic brakes. According to Weidemann, the Best View cabin features a panoramic rear window and excellent visibility regardless of boom position.

The front differential lock is manually engaged, which the manufacturer claims increases the efficiency of the engine and reduces tyre wear. Pricing starts at €110,000 (£95,600) plus VAT.

The Weidemann T7042 sits as the largest side boom telehandler in the manufacturers range.

Jar-Met trailed 4,000l sprayer

Among the number of machines displayed on the Whites of Portadown stand was a 4,000 litre 24m Jar-Met trailed sprayer, dubbed the first of its kind in Ireland.

Based in Craigavon, Co Armagh, Whites of Portadown is the main Irish importer of the Polish-built Jar-Met equipment range.

Aimed at the operators requiring a keenly priced, easily operated basic trailed sprayer with section control, the 4,000l model on display ticked all the right boxes for many tillage and large grassland farmers.

Some of the standard specification includes a galvanised chasis, Bravo 400H computer with seven-section control, Italian-built Udor Zeta 200 pump, full-size induction hopper, hand wash and clean water tanks, a seven-stage electronic control valve, work lighting, GPS, level sensors and section filters to name the major features.

Variable track width adjustment and air brakes are also standard. The model displayed was priced at €31,000 (£25,900) plus VAT.

The Jar-Met 4,000l trailed sprayer is galvanised and offers section control as standard.