TMR Mixer Guide
How to Choose the Right TMR Mixer
Selecting a TMR mixer that best fits your operation can be difficult. Kuhn North America manufactures a complete range of innovative, high-quality mixers designed to help producers create a quality TMR ration for their operations. Kuhn Knight-brand mixers are available in reel, horizontal-auger and vertical-auger designs to cover virtually every customer’s need or application. This article describes the capabilities of each type of mixer, as well as their advantages in various applications.
Reel mixers feature the reel and two side-augers mixing concept. This design provides superior mix quality in a short amount of time. This machine is the most gentle on feed and has minimal feed breakdown, as compared to the other types of mixers.
A Reel mixer works best with rations that use mostly short-cut forages and low percentages of dry hay. However, the Kuhn Knight Roughage Maxx System option (scalloped knives on the lower auger) allows the producer to incorporate up to 20 percent good-quality hay in the ration (refer to table below). The Roughage Maxx System works best with the Hay Maxx System, which is an optional hay pan that is mounted above the two side-mixing augers. It allows the hay to be processed in the upper auger before it enters the mixing chamber, where the final hay processing is done by the lower auger.
The Reel design also requires less horsepower compared to the 4-auger and vertical mixer designs. It is the mixer of choice when feeding high grain rations or flaked corn because it mixes thoroughly without causing excessive damage to the feed ingredients. The Reel is also the best mixer available to ensure ration quality if small batches need to be mixed. The limitation of this mixer design is the inability to handle round bales or large quantities of dry hay. Many customers choose this mixer when they are looking for superior mix quality and are feeding rations with lower percentages of dry hay.
The Kuhn Knight Reel mixer line includes the Reel Auggie and Commercial Reel. The Reel Auggie is available in sizes ranging from 147–420 cubic foot mixing capacities. The Commercial Reel is available in 500–950 cubic foot mixing capacities. Both the Reel Auggie and Commercial Reel are available in trailer, truck, or stationary models.
Another type of Kuhn Knight mixer design is the horizontal four-auger mixer, which features an innovative box and lower-auger configuration.
The strength of the four-auger design is its ability to produce a quality mix incorporating more hay in the ration. This mixer type will have more ration capacity per cubic foot compared to the Reel because it does not “fluff up” the feed, so in turn the ration density will be slightly higher. The four-auger mixer works best in rations that use less than 20 percent hay. However, the Roughage Maxx System option (scalloped knives on the lower augers) allows the producer to incorporate up to 50 percent good-quality hay in the ration (refer to table below). The Roughage Maxx System processes hay to the proper length and reduces torque and stress on the augers and drive train.
Kuhn Knight four-auger design also provides flexibility by offering the producer a choice of either a roughage-auger option or a grain-auger option. You choose the one that is most appropriate for your ration type. The roughage auger has hardened knives to help process long materials and the grain auger has no knives, which means gentle grain handling. By offering two types of augers, this mixer can easily be adapted to dairy or beef rations. When mixing up to 50 percent hay in the ration, this type of mixer requires less horsepower than a vertical mixer design. Kuhn Knight’s four-auger mixer can easily process and mix four by eight-foot square bales that are loaded directly into the mixing chamber.
The four-auger is the best mixer to use if you want flexibility to feed high or low hay content rations and do not use round bales on your operation.
Kuhn Knight four-auger mixers are called Botecs. Botec sizes range from 360–900 cubic foot mixing capacities and are available in trailer, truck, or stationary models.
The third and final type of mixer that Kuhn North America offers is the vertical mixer (in both single-auger and twin-auger models). Kuhn Knight-brand vertical mixers feature the vertical-auger mixing concept. The strength of the vertical design is its versatility to process and mix the widest variety of feedstuffs. This includes round bales, square bales, baleage, short-cut forages, small grains, concentrates and other difficult material. This machine has the most aggressive mixing activity of the three mixer types, and can process and mix up to 100 percent hay in a ration. A vertical mixer works best with rations that have higher forage content and higher percentages of dry hay (refer to table below).
The aggressive processing and mixing activity of this machine can be controlled with the position of the hay stops and the number of knives on the augers. Loading sequence is critical with this machine. Bulky materials, like large round or square bales, need to be loaded first so they can be processed before short-cut forages and concentrates are added to the mix. The Kuhn Knight vertical mixer design is very simple, dependable, and low maintenance. However, a major limitation of the vertical mixer design is that it requires more horsepower, as compared to the four-auger and reel mixer designs. Also, a vertical mixer would not be the mixer of choice when feeding high grain rations or flaked corn because it would cause excessive damage to the feed ingredients. Many customers choose the vertical mixer when they are looking for ration flexibility, especially when feeding higher percentages of dry hay or round bales.
The Kuhn Knight vertical mixer line includes the single- and twin-auger Vertical Maxx. The 5100 series single-auger Vertical Maxx is available in sizes from 270–480 cubic foot mixing capacities. The new single-auger, low-profile VSL 142 and 152 mixers are available in 420 and 550 cubic foot capacities, respectively. Twin-auger Vertical Maxx ranges from 320–1125 cubic foot mixing capacities. The twin-auger Vertical Maxx mixers are available in trailer, truck, or stationary models and the single-auger Vertical Maxx mixers are available as trailer models.
Kuhn North America’s high-quality Kuhn Knight-brand mixers will equip dairy and beef producers to feed an efficiently mixed, quality ration to their herds. Use this article as a first step in selecting the mixer that’s right for your operation. Then, contact your local dealer to learn more about our innovative range of mixers and how they can benefit your operation.