When the Dutch trike tractor company Vervaet decided to add a four-wheeled self-propelled slurry spreader to its portfolio, it didn’t take long to find an engine partner capable of delivering high torque without adding complexity to the design.

Injecting liquid manure directly into the soil, Vervaet’s distinctive three-wheeled self-propelled slurry spreaders have become a head-turning sight on fields across Europe and beyond, with its five-wheel variants having much the same effect on observers on more undulating terrain.

Ever since 1990, when the first trike was built at Vervaet’s facility in Biervliet, southern Holland, this unusual design to reduce ground compaction has been a big hit with farmers worldwide. But now a very different version has been developed in response to evolving customer needs.

“Historically, we’ve sold many three- and five-wheelers, but demand abroad is for four wheels, which is why we’ve built the Quad 550, our most powerful and technologically advanced slurry injector yet,” explains Robin Vervaet, co-owner and CEO of Frans Vervaet BV.

“Before producing a new machine, we always investigate the customer’s needs, look at what the competition is offering, and then see what we can do to improve on that. But our philosophy has always been to keep the machine as simple as possible, as that helps to keep the cost of maintenance low.”

With those parameters in mind, a call to sound out Volvo Penta as an engine partner for the new design was an obvious early step.

Producing 550 hp (405 kW), the company’s powerful yet compact inline six-cylinder, 12.78-liter TAD1385VE Stage V diesel engine clearly provided many of the key attributes required by a vehicle of this stature.

By delivering up to 2650 Nm from engine speeds as low as 1200 rpm all the way up to rated power, for instance, the Quad 550 offers maximum torque in the crucial 5-15 km/h speed range in which these machines typically operate.

In addition to enabling first-class fuel efficiency, this allows the onboard pump to apply fertiliser at an incredible rate of up to 13,500 litres per minute (more than half of the huge slurry tank’s capacity), while offering 9000 kg of lifting capacity at the rear of the machine.

None of these impressive statistics conflicted with Vervaet’s demands for simplicity, however.

“Working together with Volvo Penta we have developed a clever system in which all of the important components such as the engine, cooling and transmission are well coordinated,” adds Mr Vervaet. “Thanks to the matching of the engine and transmission in perfect harmony, the Quad delivers unbeatable torque.”