Robert Hadley

2021 Machinery of the Year winner

Chesterton Fields Farm,

Improving soil structure and keeping mud off roads were two reasons why Robert Handley from Warwickshire, decided to design his own chaser bin to run with the combine.

Running a mixed farming enterprise at Chesterton Fields Farm, near Leamington Spa, Robert grows 960 acres of cereals to include wheat, barley, beans and maize, and farms another 400 acres in a contract farming agreement.

The farm is also home to 70 pedigree South Devon cows and a small flock of 180 Texel cross Lleyn breeding ewes.

Having repeatedly searched to buy a chaser bin suited to his needs, Robert turned to Ivan Kendle, of engineering company North Norfolk Vehicle Solutions (NNVS), and jotted his idea on the back of a cigarette packet.

Two years on and the specially built chaser bin was ready for the 2020 maize harvest, providing Robert with an easy handled and easily accessible machine that could hold the capacity of a large combine tank while running on big tyres.

His aim was to keep tractors and trailers out of the fields, and have the chaser bin and combine going continuously during a harvest.

For him, this meant the combine is no longer running to a headland to unload maize and they can just keep cutting and the crop can be taken to the headland or gateway where an empty trailer is waiting.


As a result, he is now managing compaction on the soil better and it stops mud being trailed onto roads.

The chaser bin runs on a single-axle offering an 8t capacity and requires low power input from the tractor as Robert adds it is easily handled with just 170hp.

Fitted with 800/65 R32 flotation tyres, Robert made use of parts from old machines andcut up an old steel fuel tank, welded the plates to suit the auger outlet profile, then added a hinge so it could be folded up for road transport.

He has found other uses for it and can operate it all year round – with a set of narrow industrial tyres on farm he can use it for loading the drill and a second model is fitted with a blower pipe, allowing him to use it as mobile feed bin.

At a glance:  

  • Simple and basic single-axle machine with 300mm diameter unloading auger
  • Used as a buffer for the combine with 8t capacity
  • First model was around £6000 which equates to the price of Nokian flotation tyres needed for a grain trailer
  • Two models completed (one on hire) and a third one in the making

What the judges said: 

A definite potential in the marketplace thanks to a very good multi use product which is going to be suitable for a wide range of farmers. Robert impressed the judges after demonstrating a forward-thinking approach and has considered key areas such as its environmental impact, road safety potential and the impact of other road users. 

On winning, Robert said: 

“I usually have a lot to say but I am dumbstuck. I am overwhelmed and honoured to have been put forward for these industry awards.

“Our innovation was about taking something we already had and adapting it to make it work for us in a different way.

“I have never picked up a gong before and the atmosphere in the room was electric.”