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Stackyard News Jan 2012

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Patent Granted for Bryce Suma Post Driver Design

A unique combination of adjustments on Bryce Suma Profi post drivers has been granted patent protection for the way it enables fence posts to be driven in tight field corners and other awkward situations inaccessible to conventional machines.

Bryce Suma Profi post drivers have features designed to make them safe and easy to use in the hands of farmers and professional fencing contractors alike.

Bryce Suma Profi post driver

The new Quadshift feature moves the mast in an arc behind the tractor; in combination with sideways and backwards mast adjustments it gives the machine unique flexibility.

“It can be difficult positioning the mast just right in a narrow-angle field corner or where trees or other obstructions get in the way,” notes fencing contractor and manufacturer Jock Bryce. “With Quadshift, the operator can move the mast in an 1100mm arc, giving a lot more flexibility to get it just where you want the post to be.”

In common with most fence post drivers, the mast on a Suma Profi can be adjusted in two directions to get it perfectly upright, even when the tractor is standing on a steep slope.

Hydraulic sideshift and backshift can then be used to position the mast precisely without having to make small movements with the tractor. Quadshift adds a new dimension to these adjustments to help position the mast in awkward locations – as recognised by the Intellectual Property Office in granting a patent on the three-way combination.

“I’m really pleased with this latest patent because it acknowledges the innovative features of the Suma post drivers and emphasises my ownership of the design, both legally and morally,” says Jock Bryce. “I hope anyone tempted to copy the unique combination of features covered by this patent will respect the intellectual property rights it confers.”

The newly-granted patent (GB2474758) is the latest in a series of successful applications recognising the innovative features that Mr Bryce builds into the Suma Profi heavy-duty post drivers to make them more productive and easier to use.

Seen from above, the newly-patented Quadshift system, which moves the mast in an arc as well as backwards and to one side, gives the Bryce Suma Magnum, Max and Supreme unique versatility when driving posts in awkward locations.

Bryce Suma Magnum Quadshift
The new Quadshift feature is standard equipment on the top-spec Suma Magnum post driver and an option on the Profi Max and Profi Supreme. These machines, which generate an impact force of up to 81 tonnes, come with a half-tonne hammer on a patented, fully-automatic telescopic mast with a hitting height under the post cap of 3.6m.

“The telescopic design with its twin rope pulley arrangement allows the operator to shorten the mast to reduce the impact force if necessary,” says Mr Bryce. “It also reduces overall height to avoid overhead cables or branches when working amongst trees and during transport.”

Other unique features for which patent applications have been submitted include the rock spike transfer and mast lubrication systems.

A steel rock spike is used to create a pilot hole in very hard or stony ground, or through concrete if necessary. On all other post drivers, this heavy steel rod is attached to the mast, adding to the one-sided weight of the machine.

On Bryce Suma drivers, the spike is stowed opposite the mast, where it adds to the counter-weight effect, in a swing-round cradle that the operator can easily move to the working position with no heavy manual lifting involved.

“Carrying the spike in this way means it is always there when you need it because it’s permanently attached to the machine, not forgotten back at the yard,” Mr Bryce points out. “Also, it takes weight off the mast kingpin and sideshift assembly to reduce wear and tear, and leaves the machine properly balanced when moving on-site and between jobs.”

The mast greasing arrangement is another convenience and safety feature – it allows both sides of the mast to be lubricated without the operator having to clamber on to the machine’s frame.

“I design and build post drivers from the perspective of someone who’s spent 35 years erecting agricultural fences across difficult hill country in Scotland,” Mr Bryce explains. “I set out to make them easy to use, highly productive, durable and safe to operate, with parts and service back-up that will keep a machine in good working order for many years.”

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