Time, as they say, is money, and that’s why an increasing number of farmers are turning to three-phase pressure washers that can get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Uckfield-based specialist Pressure Clean is seeing more and more farmers, particularly those who are running increasingly tight ships in terms of labour, investing in the more powerful machines.
“I’ve just delivered a new Karcher three-phase machine to a Kent farmer,” explained Gary Fielding, who runs the well-respected business with wife Donna. “He has had 240v pressure washers in the past, but he now has a smaller team on the farm and doesn’t want to spend four hours washing a combine.”
Three-phase machines give roughly double the water pressure of their 240v equivalents and the price difference is surprisingly small. “You are talking about a couple of hundred pounds’ difference in return for what can be a substantial saving in time,” Gary explained. “In fact, the three-phase Nilfisk MC 5M-180/840 cold water pressure washer is cheaper than its 240v equivalent.”
Pressure Clean, which has been supplying, servicing and repairing pressure washers and other cleaning equipment across the South East for more than 50 years, has built up a reputation for working closely with farmers to recommend them the right machine for the job in hand.
The company has recently expanded its workforce by taking on another mobile engineer, and the nine-strong team had a busy 2023 – so much so that Gary is looking to take on another sales executive to meet the increasing demand.
Much of the demand currently is for three-phase, cold water fill machines, with Karcher’s uprated ‘Super Class’ range proving particularly popular.
The manufacturer’s ‘Classic’ machines are stripped back, farm-friendly pressure washers that are robustly built with an all-metal frame to deliver Karcher reliability and power but without some of the ‘bells and whistles’ that most farmers can do without, and at a price point to match.
The HD 10/25-4S Classic is a good example of the range, delivering an impressive 1,000 litres per hour at 250 bar and boasting “an on/off button and not too much else”, according to Gary. Importantly, though, “it does the job and does it with complete reliability”.
Alongside its steel frame and large wheels for manoeuvrability, the HD 10/25-4S boasts a high performance, highly efficient crankshaft pump with a brass cylinder head and ceramic-sleeved pistons. “It’s a sturdy, no-frills machine that does the job and will keep on doing the job,” said Gary.
For those looking for a few more frills, the HD 9/20-4SXA is a ‘Super Class’ machine that, amongst other ‘bells and whistles’, boasts an automatic retractable hose, a useful addition which only features on Karcher machines.
“Again, the retractable hose speeds up the whole process as well as keeping thing tidy,” said Gary. “It’s a niche feature that only Karcher provides and is popular with many farmers as it saves time and hassle.”
Nilfisk also manufacture three-phase hot water cleaners, with the most popular being the MH 4M-210/1000 PAX, a user-friendly, machine that delivers twice the power of its 240v equivalent (210 bar compared with 100 bar) for a relatively small extra outlay. Nilfisk claims the range delivers “performance, a long lifetime and ergonomics”, an observation backed up by feedback from Pressure Clean customers.
For the ultimate cleaning challenge, Nilfisk offers the MH 8P-180-2000 FAX, which can deliver 2,000 litres of hot water per hour at 180 bar pressure, enough “to wash a tractor in no time”, as Gary remarked. The heavy duty machine is the biggest available outside specialist ranges.
As well as selling a broad range of equipment to satisfied agricultural customers across the South East, Gary and the team are also committed to keeping them running efficiently, offering annual planned maintenance contracts and a repair and service facility at the showroom on the Bell Brook Industrial Estate in Uckfield.
Pressure Clean will be displaying a range of cleaning equipment on its stand at this year’s Farm Expo event at the Kent Showground on Wednesday 6 March.