FARM EQUIPMENT REVIEW
November 13, 2007 By Peter Darbishire
Over the last year, dozens of new models and designs of farm machinery have
been introduced by manufacturers. Many of you will have seen these introductions
at farm shows and in various industry announcements – but, can you remember
the details? This feature provides a reference for you.
Peter Darbishire, Editor
While Top Crop Manager editors make every effort to be objective
when reporting on new products, they cannot be held responsible for claims made
by companies. Readers are encouraged to contact the companies for more details.
User friendly and precise
The New Commander 4400, 6600, 9000 pull type sprayers represent four years of
engineering investment and effort. Construction and design of the chassis, tank
and liquid system are totally new. Focus has been placed in four key areas for
the end user: capacity, user friendliness, precision and safety.
With a bold new look, the 1200, 1850 and 2400 gallon tanks have been designed
to reduce excessive internal movement of the spray liquid. The sloping sides
and deep sump with bottom suction ensure the tank can be emptied, even on hillsides.
With the new innovative safe track chassis steering system, crop damage can
be kept to a minimum. The rear sprayer chassis pivots to match sprayer wheels
to tractor tracks. A tight turning radius can also be achieved without compromising
A full range of booms also complement the New Commander. The well proven Eagle
boom is available in widths of 80 to 100 feet. The Force boom, in widths of
80 to 132 feet, is the perfect choice for the producer with a need for large
capacity. A new high capacity chemical filler, a new filtering system and revolutionary
fluid system are also new.
The New HC 5500 rate controller allows the user access to vital spraying information
at the touch of a finger. With the 'look ahead' feature, fast and precise application
is a given. The large display makes operation easy. Other optional equipment
available includes: axle suspension, dual wheel system, wheel mudguards, chemical
locker, external cleaning kit, night spraying lights and foam marker systems.
Sprayer has auto boom leveller
John Deere has introduced a new high capacity self-propelled sprayer, the 4930,
to help growers and applicators get more done in less time. Horsepower on the
4930 sprayer has been increased to 325 horsepower and it is now outfitted with
a 1200 gallon high flow solution system. The sprayer is designed to maintain
spray speeds in soft or hilly terrain.
Swath Control Pro is a new solution available from John Deere Ag Management
Solutions (AMS). With the GreenStar 2 (GS2) display, the boom sections automatically
turn on and off at end rows, waterways and other obstacles, helping the 4930
sprayer save time and eliminate waste. The new system controls individual boom
sections that automatically turn on or shut off nozzles, based on a global positioning
system (GPS) coverage map that is created as the sprayer goes through the field.
Boom Trac Pro is a boom levelling system which maintains the boom at a constant
height over the crop. Sensors constantly monitor the distance from the boom
to the ground and adjust the boom automatically, eliminating the guesswork involved
with manual control. This boom levelling system assists consistent chemical
application and greatly reduces boom to soil interaction through constantly
changing field conditions.
Suspended boom or wheeled boom
New Holland's new SF210 and SF216 field sprayers feature heavy-duty construction
to ensure dependable and accurate performance even across bumpy, varied field
conditions. The SF210 has a 1000 gallon capacity and the SF216 has a 1600 gallon
capacity. Both sprayers are available in suspended-boom or wheeled-boom configurations.
The suspended-boom models are available in 80, 90, 100, 120 and 134 foot widths.
They feature an innovative, high clearance suspension with parallel tank designed
for stability and accuracy. A joystick provides in-cab control of the boom lift,
tilt, transport fold and optional foam marker. An outer breakaway boom impact
release helps protect the sprayer. The spray boom on suspended-boom models is
available in steel or polypropylene.
Wheeled-boom models range in widths from 80 to 134 feet and feature an auto-fold
which allows the operator to change from a field to a narrow transport position
from the cab. Large bore, automotive style shock absorbers on the boom wheels
ensure a smooth ride. A boom breakaway system provides impact protection. Stainless
steel, PVC or dry booms are available for wheeled-boom models.
A choice of FlexControl or SP655 electronic auto-rate control allows the operator
to make simple application rate changes while driving and provides on-the-go
control and monitoring of speed, rate, area covered and volume of spray applied.
An induction tank mounted at ground level makes adding and mixing chemicals
safer and easier. For operator convenience, the valve tree simplifies control
of plumbing and makes drainage easier and a large sight gauge allows the operator
to instantly see tank levels at a glance.
Both the SF210 and the SF216 come with an optional windscreen that reduces
drift by 86 percent over open-boom sprayers. A perforated design offers excellent
protection from the wind, yet allows enough airflow to reduce turbulence.
Full GPS lightbar and swath manager
CenterLine 220 is a versatile and simple GPS guidance system for any field operation
from Midwest Technologies. It is a compact, economical solution for growers
interested in lightbar guidance. It features two modes of operation: straight
line (parallel) and curved AB. The unit's large graphical display clearly shows
off-track direction and distance along with swath number, ground speed, selected
guidance mode and whether a return point has been stored. An alternate map page
shows a bird's eye view of the vehicle position and heading in relation to the
In addition, CenterLine 220 is compact and designed for easy portability from
vehicle to vehicle. Operational as soon as it is connected to a power source,
CenterLine 220 is easy to use. Set-up is accomplished in just a few seconds,
says the company.
The CenterLine 220 features a high quality internal WAAS compatible GPS receiver,
with 5Hz position update, in a durable housing with a sealed rubber keypad.
A small external GPS antenna connects to the unit and is mounted on the vehicle
roof. Additionally, the unit provides a GPS derived vehicle speed as a Radar
compatible ground speed signal for use with other control systems.
The new Swath Manager 5 from Midwest Technologies enables automatic on-off
control of sprayer boom sections based on GPS positions. An accessory to the
CenterLine lightbar, this model can improve the efficiency of product application
by decreasing overlaps (see illustration).
Additional features of the Swath Manager 5 include easy manual override, compatibility
with most sprayers equipped with up to five individual solenoid or ball type
section control valves and its ability to work with most spray controllers.
The company has also introduced several new spray tips: the Turbo TwinJet (TTJ)
has dual front and back flat spray patterns with a 60 degree spray angle. It
is designed for use with fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. A new Turbo
TeeJet 025 is for 0.25gpm at 40psi, especially good for fungicides; the Turbo
TeeJet Duo (TTDuo) has a dual flat fan spray pattern for operating pressures
of 15psi to 90psi and 60, 90 or 120 degree included angle between spray patterns.
Two model launch
Equipment Technologies has launched two new self-propelled sprayers to its line-up,
the AS710 and AS1010. The AS710 is a 750 gallon unit that features a 42 inch
crop clearance, a 120 inch fixed axle, a six cylinder 115 horsepower John Deere
engine and the robust four speed JCB powershift transmission. The AS1010 is
sold with either an 850 or 100 gallon tank, the option of 36, 42 or 48 inch
crop clearance, an adjustable 120 to 144 inch axle, a six cylinder 205 horsepower
Cummins engine and a six speed JCB powershift transmission.
New on all four models – AS510, AS710, AS1010 and AS1210 – is a redesigned
operator's console for improved comfort and ease of operation. Other new enhancements
include: adjusted angle on the brake pedal and steering column to reduce driver
fatigue; improved braking for a 25 percent reduction in the stopping effort;
a single piece, urethane sound deadening floor mat to reduce in-cab noise; external
battery posts; angled quick-fill attachments; external product pump switch;
new inductor latching mechanism for operator ease; additional grab handle for
easier cab access; two more knockouts in the cab for accessory wiring.