Low ground pressure sprayer specialist Alanco says farmers concerned about the impact of repeated spraying passes on the depth of tramlines and wanting to put tramlines back in the same place are driving increased interest in light weight sprayers.
The growing number of farmers seeking to make full use of GPS repeatability and keep their tramlines down season after season is leading many to question the weight of self-propelled sprayers, particularly as the number of arable field passes being made with crop protection products and fertilisers is on the increase,suggests Alancos Keith Wood.
We are fielding a lot of enquiries from those keeping tramlines in the same place who are often having difficulty preventing them from becoming deep ruts by the end of the season, especially if using conventional self-propelled machines, even of only3,000 litres, he suggests.
But farmers who are putting down new tramlines and ripping them up each year are also concerned, particularly as keeping soils in good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC) is a requirement of the Basic Payment Scheme, and heavy tramline traffic can reduce water ingress into the soil and increase run-off.
The rise in demand is being largely driven by the fact that farmers are looking more closely at the weights of comparable 3,000-litre/24m sprayers, believes MrWood. In full specification, the latest version of the Sprayranger, which has a capacity of 3,000 litres and a maximum boom size of 24m, weighs only 4,560kg unladen, which the company says makes it the lightest machine with this tank size and boom width on the market.
This is despite the Sprayranger now being equipped with a larger five-cylinder Ford engine producing 173hp at 3,500rpm and 474Nm maximum torque at 1,500rpm. Meanwhile,all models are now fitted with a cruise control feature, activated via a button adjacent to the sprayer control switches. It allows the operator to maintain forward speed at any fixed point from 10-35km/hr, and is deactivated either by depressing the switch or touching the footbrake.
Sprayranger’s specified with 24m booms can now be had with the option of independent lift for either boom side, offering 0.75m of lift at the boom ends. When ordered as such, these units benefit from a beefed-up centre-frame, upgraded inner boom sections deepened by 100mm (4in), and higher gauge steel throughout for greater strength. Twin hydraulic pumps drive the spray pump separately from the boom lift and tilt functions, to avoid delay to the latter operations when the pump is running.