New device weighs in for work

A new load weighing device, from loading specialists Quicke, will help farmers accurately measure materials using a tractor mounted interface and a mobile app. Q Companion uses sensors mounted on the loader to accurately weigh the contents lifted by an implement. Each lift is displayed and can be recorded and aggregated on an easy to mount screen. This enables the operator to assess when the correct quantity has been loaded and keep a record for future reference or comparison.

The device can be retrofitted to most loaders and is priced at less than £1000. It also integrates with a readily downloadable app to offer users the option of saving and comparing jobs using just a mobile phone. “Q Companion is a really useful device for those who are doing a lot of loading and want to keep a track of the amounts they are lifting,” says Steve Hewitt, general manager, Quicke UK.

Early adopters of the technology, especially contractors, are already finding it useful to demonstrate accuracy when carrying out tasks for farmers. Alistair (Asty) Hynd, a Perthshire contractor and arable farmer, has been using the device for a few months to measure the weight of the turnips he grows and sells. “We have farmers come to collect turnips from us at Hillfoot Farm near Coupar Angus. I use Q Companion to show them the exact weight I have loaded. We don’t have a weighbridge nearby, so it saves me a lot of hassle and gives my customers confidence that they have the correct amount,” he says.

Concerns with overloading trailers and breaking regulations are another way that the device is helping its users. “It’s often difficult to know the weight of a bale, especially if very wet or dry. I used to think that I could only get fourteen bales on a trailer but using Q Companion I can weigh each bale, so later in the day when bales are drying out I can often get fifteen or sixteen on a trailer which saves me a journey,” explains Mr Hynd.

The device has a position monitor that shows the operator the implement height and angle reference. This negates the need to readjust the manual indicator rod when changing implements. It can also store up to thirty implements which can be calibrated for both weighing and position monitoring. “This device has countless applications and we are already receiving positive feedback from early adopters who are reporting innovative uses for it in every day farming tasks. We have profiled two users and there are videos on our website showing the ways they have applied Q Companion,” says Mr Hewitt.

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.