Grouseland Haylage, started in 2001 as a small scale diversification on an 800 acre mainly arable farm. It was not long before manager Nigel Hunt discovered a steady market in the South East for good quality horse haylage, along with hay and good bedding straw. The business grew from a few hundred bales in the first year to around 6000 annually by 2008. Nigel bought the haylage business in 2009 after the Trustees of the estate farm decide to sell. The business was incorporated in June 2012. " />
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Grouseland Haylage, started in 2001 as a small scale diversification on an 800 acre mainly arable farm. It was not long before manager Nigel Hunt discovered a steady market in the South East for good quality horse haylage, along with hay and good bedding straw. The business grew from a few hundred bales in the first year to around 6000 annually by 2008. Nigel bought the haylage business in 2009 after the Trustees of the estate farm decide to sell. The business was incorporated in June 2012.
The business runs 3 delivery vehicles, all based on standard Land Rover Defender High Capacity 110's modified for specific requirements and towing Ifor Williams 3500kg trailers with modified braking systems. All three vehicles have been fitted with Rover 4.6lt V8 engines converted to run solely on LPG (Autogas), which is bought in bulk for a purpose built 3800lt storage/distribution tank. All three Land Rovers are fitted with air operated trailer braking. Two of the Land Rovers have been extended to 150inch wheel base with the addition of a second rear axle,both rear axles have air suspension. Fully loaded the vehicles have a maximum gross weight of 7 tonnes. The Land Rovers each cover approximately 25-30,000 miles annually and are not only used for delivery of 90% of the product but are also used extensively at harvest time to transport the bales from field to storage. The business also runs a tractor, currently a JCB Fastrac 3200 and a JCB Telehandler. Other equipment is hired in as required during the busy harvest periods.
One of the main issues Nigel found with the Rover V8 engine was its tendency to suffer from movement of the liners, caused by the localised overheating of the aluminium core between the cylinders. This would result in the failure of the head gaskets to allow coolant ingress between the liners and the block, through to the crank case and result in engine failure. The engines have been fitted with modified liners which help prevent movement and Nigel uses Evans Waterless Engine Coolants to eliminate all the issues associated to water in engines such as boiling, freezing, overheating and corrosion.
‘We started using Evans about 5 years ago. Our Land Rovers work extremely hard and when we are busy harvesting the weather is hot and the Land Rovers are constantly shuttling from field to yard with at most 15 to 20 minutes to cool whilst loading/unloading and working a ten hour day. We have found a marked difference in the speed at which they cool down with Evans compared to using normal water/antifreeze coolant as the blocks contain less residual heat.
The key benefits to us are improved reliability, cooler engines, better fuel economy and when you consider the fact we only use LPG, which requires a heat exchanger to vapourise the gas, there is no possibility of the coolant freezing in the exchanger when the engines are started in cold weather!
An unexpected benefit was a recent incident involving a cracked oil cooler pipe, which would have caused a catastrophic engine failure, was spotted by the driver before any damage occurred. The driver noticed a pool of 'oil' forming under the vehicle just after he had started it one morning. The coolant was coming out of the reservoir as a result of the oil cooler pipe in the radiator header tank splitting, because there was no pressure cap the loss of oil was spotted before the sump was drained and the engine contaminated with coolant!
Our vehicles are often the cause of interest particularly from Land Rover enthusiasts. It's always fun to remove the coolant cap whilst talking! I have yet to find anyone who is not amazed at the fact that the cooling system can function without being pressurized.’ Said Nigel.