FARM EQUIPMENT REVIEW:March 2005
By Top Crop Manager
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. -30-
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.
Front-rear balance improves performance
The new Case IH SPX3310 Patriot sprayer uses the configuration with the engine
shifted to the rear and the product tank in the middle, which provides superior
weight distribution, as well as advantages in operator comfort and available
power. It is a smaller model than the SPX4260 with a 1000 gallon stainless steel
product tank and 5.9 litre, 200 horsepower engine.
When the product tank is full and the booms are fully extended, the sprayer's
weight is distributed between the front and rear axles with 47 percent of the
weight forward and 53 percent in the rear. Case IH says this allows the sprayer
to get into wet field conditions sooner than sprayers with smaller product tanks
because its weight is better balanced for a more even footprint across the field.
This means fewer ruts and less compaction.
Better weight distribution also reduce rolling resistance, which results in
more efficient use of horsepower. The SPX3310 is able to match the performance
of higher horsepower machines with more traditional designs. A new 120 gallon
fuel tank allows the operator to stay in the field longer, with more than 10
hours of running time. By moving a major heat source away from the cab, the
air conditioning system is also more efficient. In addition, with the engine
separated from the cab, noise levels are markedly reduced. The cab is also iso-mounted
on rubber to protect it from frame vibrations and it contains soundproofing
material. All this brings sound levels in the cab to 70dB(A).
Adjustable 60/80 foot or 60/90 foot booms are available in five or six section
configurations. Standard, low rate and high rate plumbing options are available.
Any of these configurations can be equipped with the optional AIM Command spray
system which manages the droplet size of the product by varying pressure independent
of the speed or flow. Pulse-width modulation allows better drift management
and a more consistent application across the field, delivering as little as
two gallons per acre at 10 miles per hour using half the boom.
The new Case IH SCS 4600 controller allows the operator to monitor more information
on its larger, monochrome screen. It works in concert with the boom section
controls, allowing the operator to have a visual confirmation of up to 10 active
sections. The boom and sparge pressure gauges have also been integrated into
the monitor. Available as an upgrade to the SCS 4600, the Case IH Viper combines
the functionality of a rate controller with the added features of a task computer.
The task computer functionality, with the appropriate software, sets the stage
for variable rate applications, DGPS guidance and expansion from 'as applied'
recording and mapping to the use of controlling maps for rates. -30-
High road speed
Spray-Air Technologies of Carseland, Alberta, has introduced the model SP2010
Predator series self-propelled sprayer. This mechanical drive chassis by GVM
features a Cummins 5.9 litre 185 horsepower diesel engine, Allison five speed
automatic transmission with torque lock-up in second to fifth gear, JCB differential,
air bag suspension, air-over-hydraulic disc brakes and 50 inch clearance with
Fairfield all-gear drop boxes. The buddy seat style cab with air conditioning,
full instrumentation, auto lock hand throttle, air ride seat, power steering
and high power flood lights offers a commanding view and outstanding operator
The SP2010 comes standard with a 1000 gallon primary tank and 80 gallon rinse
tank. Boom options include the Trident boom system with Spray-Air's Shear Guard
Plus with Dial-A-Drop technology, as well as Spray-Air's Advantage conventional
boom system: solid steel, powder painted, with Hydra Glide suspension. Boom
width options include an 80 to 103 foot range with the Trident air boom and
80 to 110 foot range with the Advantage conventional boom system.
Other notable features include the standard Raven SCS4000 CAN BUS Auto Rate
control system and the chassis' ability to travel at road speeds up to 40 miles
per hour to get the operator from one field to the next in record time! The
sprayer console is both GPS and Chem Injection Ready, and the chassis is equipped
to install Raven's SmarTrax auto steer system which is available as a factory
System to reduce drift
Spraying Systems has added a state-of-the-art analyzer to assist with measurement
of drop size, distribution and spray droplet velocity. The Particle Droplet
Image Analysis (PDIA) system, manufactured by Oxford Lasers, will be used to
document the performance of TeeJet spray nozzles and assist in new product research
The new laser analyzer characterizes sprays from initial formation in the nozzle
through deposit on the target. The instrument also provides accurate measurement
of non- spherical drops and detects air bubbles within drops, information particularly
important in determining the performance of air induction spray nozzles.
"Precise drop size data is critical in determining spray drift,"
notes Dave Smith of Spraying Systems' Mobile Systems division. "There are
many techniques being used today to measure drop size and drift and some are
less accurate than others. Our new analyzer utilizes the most advanced technology
available and is the same instrument being used by international agricultural
certification agencies like BBA. In addition to being a logical addition to
our already well-equipped labs, the new analyzer will help reinforce our position
as the leading source for drop size, drift and coverage data." -30-