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New spraying innovations demonstrated at CropTec 2014

Now in its second year, CropTec has become the place to be for sprayer operators to test drive and compare the latest machines. James Rickard looks at some of the crowd pullers.
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Sprayers lined up and ready for test driving in the Croptec 2014 demonstration area.
Sprayers lined up and ready for test driving in the Croptec 2014 demonstration area.

John Deere R4040i

John Deere R4040i

Making its public debut at the event was John Deere’s latest self-propelled machine, the R4040i.


Replacing its 5430 self-propelled sprayer for 2015, it has been redesigned from the ground up, featuring a chassis which is now 450mm (1ft 6in) longer, giving increased traction and better weight distribution, says the manufacturer.


It also gets dual-strut independent wheel suspension for a smoother and faster ride, and hydraulic track width adjustment as standard.

Hydrostatic final drives and planetary gears provide constant four-wheel traction in both transport and spraying modes, at up to 40kph (25mph) and 20kph (12mph) respectively, and have the ability to tow a 16-tonne bowser.


Standard equipment includes John Deere GreenStar 3 2630 touch-screen display with full spray documentation, IsoBus compatibility and auto-guidance ready. Also standard is Solution Command electronic sprayer control for automatic filling, mixing, spraying and rinsing.


A pendulum boom suspension system includes polyurethane dampers for stability and automatic boom levelling.


As an option, independent boom levelling can be specified providing improved contour-following in uneven terrain.


Powered by the firm’s own 6.8-litre PowerTech PSS engine, the sprayer produces 235hp which rises to 255hp with power management.

Kellands Agribuggy A280

On its indoor stand, Kellands showed off its latest 2015-spec Agribuggy.


With lightness in mind, the A280 uses a small but punchy 2.8-litre, 148hp Cummins engine - weighing in at only 4.5 tonnes when empty.


Designed in-house, the Agribuggy makes use of the firm’s latest Generation 3 cab which, subject to certification, meets stage four filtration and pressurisation requirements.


Curved glass provides 360-degree visibility, while a new command arm puts controls more ergonomically to hand.


Taking care of all spraying functions is TeeJet’s Aeros 9040 touch-screen terminal, with a separate TFT screen looking after machine management. A joystick provides one-handed control of multiple control functions.


A mechanical transmission providing eight speeds in two ranges gets power to the ground, with the firm claiming this type of transmission can use up to two-thirds less fuel compared with hydrostatic drive.


Spray tank capacity is 2,700 litres and a boom width of 24 metres. Air shut-off of nozzles provides seven controllable sections.


Other features include full flow sprayline recirculation/priming and pumping along with sprayline rinsing.


Fully specced, the A280 costs about £115,000.

South Cave Tractors S-Trac 500

South Cave Tractors S-Trac 500

Just showing the capabilities of what Unimog running gear can do was South Cave tractors with its S-Trac 500 demountable sprayer.


Like Kellands, South Cave also sees a lot of benefits of mechanical drive over hydrostatic, saying a mechanical drive applies power to the ground much more evenly, rather than ‘shuffling’ the power round as hydros tend to do.


Transmission comprises 16 gears in two ranges, with power transfer from the engine via a torque converter which also features an automatic lock up feature for full 100 per cent transfer of power. Gears are shifted through sequentially, much like a powershift.


In addition to mechanical drive, it also features other soil-friendly characteristics, such as on-the-go tyre pressure adjustment, whereby the operator can adjust pressures to suit changing conditions. A common use is changing the pressures for field and road.


Using a Unimog U500 chassis and running gear, the sprayer is capable of 60kph (37mph) road speeds and features ABS braking and mechanical, spring coil suspension.


In this guise, it featured a 5,000-litre, centrally-mounted spray tank for 50:50 weight distribution, and a 36-metre boom courtesy of Landquip. It was also fully rigged for suspended fertiliser and spray application.

Chafer Sentry 5000

Chafer Sentry 5000

On the trailed sprayer front, Chafer brought along its Sentry 5000 for people to demo.


As the model number suggests, it features a 5,000-litre spray tank and is equipped with a 36-metre dual line boom.


It was also fitted with Chafer Contour, the firm’s independent boom control system, all operated automatically via sensors mounted on the boom. A system which the manufacturer says is very popular on machines with booms larger than 30m.


A headland mode also allows both wings to lift at the headland, triggered either via the master switch being knocked off or when the last section is turned off.


Spraying functions can be controlled by the firm’s own controllers, or if compatible, which the company is seeing more of, by a tractor’s IsoBus terminal.


Air suspension and a tracking axle also feature. Depending on specification, the Sentry 5000 costs about £65,000.

Agrifac Condor 3

Agrifac Condor 3

Getting plenty of attention at the event was Agrifac’s Condor 3 self-propelled sprayer, equipped with 36m boom and 5,000-litre spray tank.


Available from £190,000 depending on spec, the model gets a 285hp FPT engine along with hydrostatic drive to all four wheels.


Condors are now Trimble ready and feature the EcoTronic Plus control box for automatic GPS section control. Automatic boom levelling is also a feature.


In addition, the company exhibited its new HydroFillPlus system, fitted to the Condor, which allows for a faster tank fill. It also gets a self-priming pump with a capacity of 800 litres per minute.


As seen at the last Agritechnica show, the manufacturer’s Endurance model is now fully available, offering a spray tank capacity of 8,000 litres.

Househam Spirit

Househam Spirit

For those wanting to upgrade to a self-propelled sprayer, but without all the complexities of a high-specification machine, Househam showed its Spirit machine.


Designed as an entry level machine, it is aimed at small to medium farms wanting small, lightweight ‘buggy’ type machines, says the firm.

Weighing in at less than 6,000kg dry weight, it features a fully air-conditioned cab, a 3,000-litre GRP tank, a 24-metre boom, a continuously variable transmission and a 140hp Cat power pack engine.


The open power pack engine allows it and the pumping system to be mounted towards the rear of the machine for near 50:50 weight distribution and sound levels in the cab are much quieter.


At the rear, instead of using a mast, a parallelogram linkage takes care of boom height.

Lite Trac SS2400 multifunctional tool carrier

Strutting its stuff in the demonstration area was Lite Trac with its multifunctional tool carrier, the SS2400.


Equipped here with a 4,500-litre spray tank and a boom width of 36m, the SS2400 rides on two axles and achieves a 50:50 weight distribution whether full or empty.


Engine and gearbox are also mounted centrally for increased stability, capable of 50kph (31mph) road speeds.


Other features include single switch automatic boom folding and levelling, height adjustable air suspension and full GPS automatic steering and section control via TopCon or Trimble. A 1,380-litre per minute capacity spray pump allows working speeds of 20kph (12mph).


As an option, 800 section Michelin Axio-Bib tyres can be fitted.

CropTec 2014 event details

CropTec 2014 event details
  • When: Wednesday, November 19 and Thursday, November 20, 8am-5.30pm both days
  • Where: East of England Showground, Peterborough PE2 6XE
  • Opening times: 8.00am-5.30pm
  • Tickets: Available online at www.croptecshow.com Tickets are priced £12 per person if purchased before November 19 and £15 on the day. Tickets are valid for one day only. Visitors are advised to register their details before the event to avoid queues.
  • BASIS and NRoSO: All visitors to CropTec will be able to claim eight BASIS points and three NRoSO points.
  • Competition: To celebrate their global re-brand from MAUK to Adama, CropTec principal sponsor Adama is offering a fantastic triple supercar experience for two when you purchase a ticket to CropTec. You will automatically be entered into a free prize draw, which will be drawn on each day of the show. Two runners-up will also win a double supercar experience.
  • Accommodation: BGC Events is specialised in accommodation and event services agency, offering discounted rates at a range of hotels of various standards within a wide radius of the showground. Tel: 01572 770 352
  • More information and ticketswww.croptecshow.com


If you’re looking for farm machinery or equipment check out our partner LammaXchange’s website. With thousands of pieces of kit you’re sure to find what you’re looking for www.LammaXchange.com

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