Review of Agrex PXL300 Pendulum Spreader
About a year ago I bought an Agrex (Italian) PXL300 Pendulum spreader for ag lime, fertilizer, gypsum, cover crop seed, etc. in my vineyard. I paid about $1650 for it. I thought I'd post a review after using it for almost a year and also in light of something that happened last weekend.
First and foremost, I bought it to spread ag lime. Spin type spreaders don't work well for ag lime, but pendulum spreaders do, and this one does. It spreads roughly 25' wide with the regular pendulum end. I've also used it for gypsum and rape seed. I think it would also work well for sand and salt in the winter but have not needed to do that yet. All of the metal parts that contact the material are made of stainless steel. It also has a row crop pendulum end which limits the spreading width to about 6'. It has an adjustable gate to set the feed rate. The manual has a chart for setting target distribution based on material type and driving speed. but it is in metric. I converted it to mph and lbs/acre, contact me if you buy one and want a copy. Overall, I have been pretty happy with the spreader.
I used it last weekend to spread some lime and it broke - the pendulum stopped swinging. Total hours on it is maybe 5 - 6 hours so I was rather p*&*%*% off. The plate bracket that attaches the pendulum to the gearbox shaft broke at the shaft. It's hard to describe, but if you look at part #20 in the diagram it will be a little clearer. Basically, the bracket was made of 1/4" plate steel that had been bent in a U shape to double it's contact area at the shaft (the right end of the bracket in the diagram). This is where the metal just simply fatigued and cracked. Looking at the manual I was surprised to remember that it said it had a 24 month warranty. I called the dealer, they said they thought it was 90 days, so I faxed them the manual page. They called me back and said they talked to their Agrex wholesaler and it would be covered under warranty, and the part was in stock. The distributor is only 45 minutes away so I got it a few days later. When I picked it up, I discovered that the bracket was redesigned. The connection at the shaft is now a 3/4" thick solid block of steel - MUCH heavier and stronger. Clearly they realized they had a problem. I don't know when this was changed in production, but if you are buying a new one, or a used one, check to see if the bracket is U bent vs. solid steel.