Hoping to reduce costs by improving application accuracy, Amazone has updated a number of spreader and sprayer models. Richard Bradley reports.
Celebrating 100 years since it first introduced a horse-drawn fertiliser spreader, family-owned crop production specialist Amazone showed a number of new features for its disc-spreader line-up.
At the top of its spreader portfolio, Amazone has overhauled its ZG-TS trailed spreader, now available in 7.5 and 10 tonne capacities. The newly designed spreader features an upward sloping hopper allowing more room at the rear to fit a steering axle, with spreading carried out via two hydraulically driven discs capable of working widths up to 54m.
Along with its new design, Amazone claims it is the first on the market to offer on the go weighing on a trailed spreader, which operates via the use of four load cells between the spreader’s hopper and chassis. Advantages of this system are similar to that of a mounted spreader, whereby calibration of application rates can be done automatically rather than having to manually tray test, says the manufacturer. Along with this, the spreader can indicate the total area which can be covered by the material remaining in the hopper, or can indicate the required amount of material to complete the remaining area.
To maintain effective weight distribution between the drawbar and spreader’s axle, the weigh-cells can indicate where fertiliser should be filled into the hopper. This also helps to prevent exceeding the tractor’s drawbar weight limit, and the weigh cells allow more electronic-controlled load-sensing braking systems to be fitted.
Developed for use on both its latest trailed sprayers and spreaders, a new steering axle provides up to 28 degrees steering angle. Amazone says this allows the spreader to better follow the tractor’s wheels in tramlines to minimise crop damage, and can also be set to automatically crab uphill on slopes.
To suit newer and older tractors alike, two drive options are available; conventional load-sensing takes drive for the hopper’s transfer belt, disc drive and for steering axle from the tractor, or a hybrid pto system sees two-thirds of the oil supply taken from the tractor, with the remaining supply made up by a pto-driven pump on the spreader.
For those looking to extend their spreading window, Amazone now offers WindControl, which automatically adjusts spread pattern to compensate for windy conditions.
First seen in prototype form at Agritechnica 2011, the system uses an anemometer to monitor wind speed and direction, and a number of Radar sensors to observe spreading pattern. Effective spreading is maintained by clever compensating software which adjusts shutter position and disc speeds individually. In addition, the system will alert the driver when conditions are too strong to continue spreading.
With a new UF2002 model, the German firm has boosted its mounted sprayer range up to 2,000 litres. Amazone says the sprayer has been designed to keep weight as close to the tractor as possible, and to be more operator friendly.
All filling, induction and settings can be done in one location, with a new seven-position handle to control all sprayer vales which only opens valves once the handle is locked into position, reducing the chance of accidental operation.
A larger 60l induction hopper is fitted, with new nozzles for better canister cleaning and a greater suction capacity of 150l/min to empty the hopper as quickly as possible. Either 250 or 300l/min piston diaphragm pumps are available, both of which use a larger piston with a shorter stroke to reduce strain on the diaphragm.
Automatic agitation, filling and cleaning cycles are also featured, controlled through the IsoBus terminal or sprayer operator station. For easier coupling and uncoupling, integrated park stands and a quick coupling system are featured, which allows top link and all hydraulic and pto connections to be made without having to squeeze between the tractor’s wheels and spray tank.
If higher capacity is required, the firms FT1001 front tank can be added, giving spray capacities up to 3,000 litres. This system sees both tanks working as one, with an additional 150l/min pump used to circulate liquid between the UF and FT tanks.
Amazone’s UX trailed line-up has also been updated, featuring new styling and upgraded operator station options, along with more advanced boom control systems.
Underneath the sprayer’s new side panels is a similar induction and control setup as featured to the new UF02 sprayer series, albeit with more conveniently folding induction hopper lid and higher suction capacity of 200l/min. The seven-way control valve can also be upgraded to a touch-screen system which allows the user to select which function is required, such as work or filling, and the sprayer’s control system operates the necessary valves and pumps. Amazone says the touch screen can be used with chemical-resistant gloves. As with UF machines, automatic filling, agitation and cleaning are featured to reduce input required from the operator.
Reducing spray drift by using 25cm nozzle spacing and running the boom closer to the crop canopy has also driven Amazone to enhance its boom control systems for roll and yaw. By fitting six ultrasound sensors across the boom’s width, the active ContourControl system allows either boom to be pivoted up or down from the centre to better follow ground undulations. The firm says this system uses hydraulic accumulators to allow quicker response times, which should allow you to maintain forward speed without worrying of stuffing the boom into the ground or obstacles.
To prevent unwanted lateral yaw movements of the boom, machines featuring ContourControl can also be fitted with the firm’s SwingStop system. Using accelerometers in the outermost boom sections to measure fore and aft movements, two hydraulic cylinders are featured to effectively dampen and compensate for the movements and reduce under and over application.
The next step in this system, SwingStop Pro uses pulse width frequency modulation to regulate the amount of spray being applied out of each individual nozzle along the boom by adjusting the rate each nozzle is open and closed.
With an operating frequency of up to 50 times per minute, the system comes into its own when applying spray around bends, where the inside boom section travels much slower, so would be over applying, and vice versa for the outside section which is traveling much faster. In this case, the nozzles on the inside sections will close for longer periods, whereas the outside nozzles will remain open for longer to maintain application rates right across the boom’s width.
Developed to offer farmers a more flexible cultivator, the firm’s Ceus TX machine features shallow discs and deep working tines, both of which can be raised out of work independently to provide discing, loosening or both combined.
Comprising four models from 4-7m working widths, Amazone says the trailed machine is ideally suited to applications which require incorporating a lot of residue such as maize stubble or cover crops.
Upfront, two rows of 510mm discs are able to work to depths of 140mm, while deep loosening tines taken from its Cenius cultivator can work to depths of about 300mm. Levelling is taken care of by discs or tines, and consolidation can be taken care of by one of 11 roller options, including Amazone’s new 600mm double-disc option for medium-heavy soils.
Amazone says new lighter weight Cataya Special in combination with KE power harrow is suitable for tractors up to 140hp.
Following the launch of its high-tech Cataya box-drill at Sima earlier this year, the manufacturer showcased its lighter weight Cataya Special.
Weight has been reduced by using a new lighter KE rotary power harrow and smaller 650 and 850-litre hopper capacities. The firm’s tried and tested Rotec coulters are also used instead of the newly developed double-disc coulters.
Retaining its tech appeal, the Cataya Special still features IsoBus control with electrically driven Precis seed metering, with simple peg switching between large and fine seed wheels. Again similar to the Cataya Super, a similar SmartCenter concept for drill setup and calibration in one location is featured.