FW Inventions Competition 2023: Mick Thompson’s custom pumping trailer

Mick Thompson takes third place in the complex category of the 2023 Farmers Weekly Inventions Competition with his slurry-pumping trailer.

Mr Thompson of Lancashire outfit Thompson Brothers built a remote-controlled slurry pumping trailer to save the cost of dedicating a tractor to the job.

Within the 6m-long galvanised frame he managed to shoehorn a reel, compressor, engine, pump and suction pipes, with an extendable drawbar leaving space for a dribble bar and second reel to be mounted on the tractor’s linkage.

Power from a 210hp, 5.9-litre Cummins six-cylinder engine (£2,200), previously fitted to a DAF fuel tanker, runs straight to the impeller.

The pump is primed by a home-made venturi vacuum system, rigged up at a cost of just £30.

See also: Thompson Brothers’ bespoke umbilical slurry pumping trailer

The main slurry pipe splits once it leaves the pump, with one line dedicated to spreading and a second for “return to tower” recirculation.

The route the slurry takes is determined by 6in knife gates in each pipe, controlled by electronic actuators.

The most expensive single element of the build was the £10,000 Atlas Copco compressor and accompanying 3.3-litre, four-cylinder Kubota engine.

It’s permanently plumbed into the blow-out system and can be operated entirely from the tractor cab.

Local firm Glasson Electronics was roped in to wire up the gauges and controls, with the external box hardwired to each element and the one in the tractor cab plugged into an aerial with a typical range of six miles.

The total bill came to £43,000.