That was certainly the case for U.K.-based GT Bunning & Sons, whose 40 ton rated triple axle spreader built for the North American market was recently featured on the highly rated BBC auto show Top Gear — not spreading manure but shredding an entire automobile — minus the engine and transmission. But, nonetheless, as a way of demonstrating the strength and capabilities of the Lowlander Widebody 380HD, it was quite a coup.
The show’s lead presenter, U.S. actor Matt LeBlanc, first loaded a bunch of water melons into the spreader, which was hardly a challenge for the 88,000 pound, up to 1400 cubic foot capacity machine typically used by custom operators and feedlots. Nor was the garden shed that followed.
But even the scrapped Volvo sedan succumbed to the machine’s twin vertical rotors, coming apart piece-by-piece and ending up as a carpet of steel, rubber and plastic on the ground.
In a program broadcast by a number of TV stations worldwide, that is going to give the machine and its manufacturer a lot of positive exposure.
Greg Shepherd, Bunning joint managing director, says, “The spreader was built for a North American customer and wasn’t specially prepared for the stunt, other than fitting the optional cam clutch in place of the standard shear bolt protection. In the U.S. and Canada, where we sell most of these machines, they have to cope with rock-solid frozen muck and compost, as well as occasional lumps of concrete and stone.”
Nor were any repairs needed; some paint to touch up a few scratches, new tips for the slightly worn rotors and a new gearbox — just as a precaution to be fair to the buyer, says Shepherd.
As well as being a sales agent, Norward Sales manufactures four of the vertical beater Bunning Lowlander spreaders under license at its plant in Horace, N.D., and is due to start producing the Widebody 380HD later this year. Alpha Equipment, Craven, Sask. oversees all North American sales, service and distribution activities through dealers supplying the complete Bunning range, which starts at farm-size machines from 212 cubic feet capacity.