We bought the Wessex Dung Beetle (self powered version) and coupled it with a Honda Foreman TRX 520 for sweeping a few acres of paddocks (We deal with 30-40 horses on one livery we manage) Here is a straight forward, no rubbish view of how it works and what we think of it!

To not be too biased we’ll start with the pros of the machine:

  1. Once setup properly it is effective at picking up most horse manure in short grass
  2. That’s all the pros…


Towing and maneuverability

Because The Wessex Dung beetle has swivel rear casters and fixed front wheels it is unfortunately impossible to tow at a speed of greater than 5 miles per hour which makes the machine virtually impossible to move around any livery or farm safely. We ended up having to tow it with our Ford Wildtrack and even then, the fish tailing was so bad you could feel it dragging the 3 ton vehicle from side to side. When one of our staff used it with the quad to go from one of our paddocks to another it almost ripped her off the quad. How this was let through the design phase is an unknown to us. It should only have ever had fixed front wheels like the paddock sweeper from Chapman has. In our opinion, these should be recalled and redesigned immediately based on this issue alone. I am very surprised someone hasn’t been killed towing one of these yet.

Engine (They keep blowing up!)

Firstly, the engine is woefully underpowered for the job in hand. Within 45 minutes to an hour of use it is smoking and insanely hot. Secondly, and this is definitely far more of an issue is because of the placement of the engine, the choice to use an air cooled one, and the final nail in the coffin; the choice to have an unobscured, large gap between the hopper and the body. This means the engine can become clogged with grass in less than 20 minutes. This requires the engine to be stripped down to clean the cooling fan and cooling fins of densely packed grass approximately every hour of use. If you don’t do this, the engine will get so hot detonation occurs and shortly after that you will blow your head gasket, or worse, part of your engine will leave the crankcase at high speed. Of course another worry with this is the grass sets on fire because of the heat and ignites the fuel tank. If the tank is low in petrol it would explode not too dissimilar from a small bomb a mere couple of feet away from you. There is always also the chance of some grass shouldering and igniting petrol fumes as the tank is filled up. All in all, highly dangerous.

As you can see from the above photos and this video (This is after less than 60 minutes in a flat paddock (which has not been topped or mowed ) the engine is dangerously clogged with grass which has been thrown over it from the gap in the top of the machine. If this is left it could catch fire, and/or cause the machine to blow up. This could happen within another hour of running this machine if not cleared out.


As for bodywork, the pictures above largely show you all you need to know about the design of this. The top of the adjustment bar has cracked and will require welding. The pulley system mount for emptying the machine has bent to the side and will likely crack in the near future. Whilst damage and wear and tear is expected of any agricultural machine, after a mere 20 hours of work on largely flat paddocks and towed by a small quad one would not expect damage to this extent

Our rating of this machine, yes it picks up manure, but, it won’t last you more than 10 hours so we wouldn’t advise that you buy it

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