Dirty water management system brings home the bacon!
Safe, efficient and compliant dirty water management clears the way for high quality pork production on Norfolk-based farm
John Nurse runs a pig finishing enterprise, some eight thousand head at a time. The pigs arrive at the Harleston, Norfolk-based farm around 7kg – normally three-to four weeks old – and finish out at around 20 weeks with typical finishing weights of between 100kg – 110kg. The animals are housed in large straw yards with scraper passages to maintain cleanliness, good health and ease of stock management. Every 8-10 weeks, each yard is thoroughly cleaned and washed down ready for the new interns. Naturally, there is considerable ‘dirty-water’ from the run-off and liquid waste that needs to be managed and handled efficiently.
John has an on-going contract to finish pigs for a major wholesaler and he has garnered a serious reputation for quality, cleanliness and environmental management. “With the size of operation here we are fully compliant with the Government’s strict IPCC regulation, or Integrated Pollution Prevention Control,” comments John. “It means we have to follow very specific guidelines to manage the effluent and dirty water that comes from a large number of animals. We collect all the liquid waste and surface run-off and recycle it to local farmland to help improve soil fertility. Our old tanker system was taking too much time and energy and so we had to look at how we could improve the efficiency of the system.”
John looked at several slurry and dirty water tankers on the market to evaluate what would work best for him and what would give him the best return on his investment. Durability and performance were important. But ABS braking, manoeuvrability, road stability and easy operation were critical. He was going to be on the road a lot, carrying heavy loads in and out of farm gates so a safe and efficient system was paramount.
“I discussed my needs with my local machinery dealer, Thurlow Nunn Standen (TNS), and they brought in a specialist from Major Equipment who manufacture high quality agricultural tankers,” continues John. “As I wanted to invest in something that would last me a long time, there were specifications that were going to be important for my business and I wanted to make sure I got it right from the start. The first thing that appealed to me with the MAJOR tanker was that it was galvanised inside and out. Also, the tank system was mounted on a separate chassis, which makes it more durable, particularly as it would be working in a somewhat caustic environment.”
Besides ABS braking, John was looking for a rear-steer axle, high-capacity, side marker lights, extra high-line lights, and marker tapes – very similar to what they use throughout Europe.
“My farmer customers are located at quite a distance, some thirty miles round trip,” commented John. “Road safety specifications are very important to me. Manoeuvrability is a big point also. I need to get in and out of small field gates so the rear steering axle was an absolute necessity. I also needed extra road lighting and ABS because safety is paramount. When I discussed it with my rep Ben Hockley from TNS and James Cox from Major, it was almost like they couldn’t do enough for me. Everything I wanted, James said he could do it and I felt very comfortable that here was a manufacturer who really knew what he was talking about. I even gave him a short deadline delivery date and he wasn’t phased by it. In fact I ordered a full specification, 4000 gallon, tandem axle tanker and it was delivered exactly when I wanted it, just before Christmas! I was impressed and I still am impressed!”
The old 2500 gallon tanker system used to take a week to clear the backlog of dirty water, the MAJOR 4000 Tandem Tanker takes just a day and a half. He uses a splash-plate application system on his customers’ fields. “I now feel that I have a very reliable and efficient dirty water management system,” said John. “I took my time to research the market and not everyone could supply the high-end specification that I needed. But I do think I have found the best value for my investment. The galvanised and very strong design of the Major tanker on a tandem, steerable axle gives me long-term reliability and a lot of flexibility with my customers. The ABS is icing on the cake. Because safety is my responsibility and is important, particularly with the amount of road we cover. I definitely made the right choice! I can now get down to what I am best at, producing high quality pork for my customers,” he concluded.