Combining a specially-designed attachment and a three-wheel battery-powered drive-unit, a new walk-behind machine takes the work out of moving heavy barrels of livestock feed.

The TeMax Barrel Transport attachment is made by SK Engineering, the exclusive U.S. distributor of the German-made TeMax drive unit.

The company developed the attachment at the request of a feed mill owner, who was looking for an easier, faster way to safely move re-useable plastic barrels filled with feed from a delivery truck to a customer's barn, even up a steep hill.

"The TeMax Barrel Transport is perfect for that application," says Steve Keyser, president of SK Engineering. "It's also ideal for use by farmers in horse stables, dairy barns and around smaller cattle feeding facilities. The environmentally-friendly machine offers tremendous maneuverability for working in tight spaces.

"It makes no noise, gives off no air pollution and is very versatile. You interchange the barrel attachment with other attachments without tools and use the machine in many different types of jobs. With a hauling capacity of 550 pounds, it can work all day long on a single battery charge."

The 300-pound TeMax drive unit, which measures just 30 inches wide at the two drive wheels, can be driven up a cargo ramp to easily fit into the back of a pickup truck or van for transport.

The barrel handling attachment is mounted by sliding its platform under the bottom of the barrel. A steel bail, which flips over the top of the barrel, and two pins secure it in place. The barrel is then tipped back to safely move it over almost any kind of terrain.

The TeMax, itself, is made of heavy-gauge steel and features two drive wheels and a rear caster wheel for turning. Powered by a 350-watt DC motor, it includes a 24-volt battery charger, with a converter, that plugs into a 110-volt AC outlet.

"The battery can be recharged overnight," Keyser says. "The TeMax will operate for about eight to ten hours on a fully charged battery at a cost of about 25 cents a day for electricity."

Equipped with a transaxle and continuously variable speed drive, the unit operates from a crawl to a brisk walking speed of 3.7 mph, he reports. A twist-grip throttle on the handlebar controls speed and a lever under the throttle controls forward and reverse direction.

The TeMax also features electronically-controlled regenerative braking. "If the machine is going down a grade, the microprocessor controller detects any change in load on the motor to maintain a pre-set speed," Keyser says. "At the same time, if you release the throttle or the motor loses power, the brakes will set automatically to safely stop the unit, even on a hill."

The electronic drive of the TeMax provides power on demand, without the need to stop and restart the engine. "This feature is very useful if you're going from stall to stall and doing a lot of stopping," he says.

"For example, one of our dairy customers uses it when feeding calves in pens. It allows him to walk alongside the TeMax and stop the machine, to scoop feed into a feed bin, and simply turn the throttle to move to the next bin."

The TeMax is available with a choice of narrow or wide tires with an aggressive lug tread for traction or a narrow tire with a neutral tread for minimizing damage on turf.

Other attachment and accessory choices include a 10.3-cubic foot dumping wheel barrow, a trailer hitch, a flat platform, a hand truck and a 3.4-cubic foot barrow.

"We work with Temove, GmbH. in Germany in making attachments to meet specific customer needs for moving all kinds of materials" Keyser says. "Among those currently under development are a riding attachment and an industrial pallet jack."

The price of the TeMax Barrel Transport, which includes the barrel transport attachment and the drive unit, is $4,200. Other attachment prices vary, depending on design. Free delivery is offered to customers within California.

Source: SK Engineering news release