Business News

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
  • Posted:

Spring Spraying

High-tech trailed and mounted sprayers

Vicon has overhauled its sprayer range, to include an all-new series of trailed sprayers called the iXtrack T. Farmers Guide took a look at the updates to the range. 

What started initially with the T3 has since evolved into a full range refresh, which now includes new T4 and T6 versions, giving the maker a spread of tank capacities from 2,600-litres up to 7,400-litres. And sharp-eyed readers may have already noticed the change in tank colour, from yellow to red, complimenting Vicon’s contemporary, high-tech approach.

Where the iXtrack T3 offers tank capacities of 2,600-litres and 3,200-litres, the larger iXtrack T4 comes in with 3,400-litres, 4,000-litres and 4,600-litre tank sizes. At the top of the line-up is an all-new range-topper for those seeking big capacities. Called the iXtrack T6, this flagship trailed sprayer was announced at last November’s Agritechnica show and boasts models with 6,400-litre and 7,400-litre capacities.

Vicon’s iXtrack T series represents the first of an all-new generation of high-tech trailed sprayers. Its design is one that has been engineered to deliver a low, short and highly manoeuvrable trailed sprayer, and is based on a single-spine chassis.

Key to the design is having the central frame produced from high strength, low alloyed heavy-duty steel. This affords a low centre of gravity with higher flexibility and durability than previous designs, making it more suited to the rigours of field work, in addition to high-speed road transport.

Specification includes a suspended parallelogram rear frame to carry a variety of boom types. The rear frame also remains active on the road, offering a high degree of cushioning for booms when folded, and is particularly suited to tractors with higher transport speeds. In the field, this innovative design combines stability with soft boom balancing to minimise spray height deviation above the crop canopy. The result of the rear frame cushioning is improved application accuracy and greater boom stability.

While boom performance comes primarily from the new sprayer’s suspended parallelogram rear frame, its working height is managed by the dual, ultrasonic sensor-controlled Boom Guide Comfort. Buyers can choose from a more advanced three-sensor Boom Guide Pro version, offering positive and negative lateral movement on each side of the boom.

A further development is Boom Guide ProActive, which gains two additional levelling sensors on wider booms, allowing faster reaction to changes in ground terrain via the central slope correction cylinder.

Typically, Boom Guide ProActive sees the installation of five ultrasonic sensors on a 36m boom. It uses the two outer sensors at the wider working width, switching to the two inner sensors when operating at 24m.

A revised tank design, new chassis and rear frame all combine to deliver an overall width of 2.55m, and an overall height of 3.2m for the iXtrack T3 and 3.3m for the T4. The range-topping T6 is also 2.55m wide, with overall height kept at 3.5m with a 36m boom.

Across the range, a steering axle provides adjustable track width in 5cm increments from 1.5–2.25m, and tyre choices have improved too, reaching a diameter of 1.9m, giving a longer footprint for reduced compaction and a lower rolling resistance that makes the sprayers easier to pull.

Developed with operator friendliness in mind, iXtrack range is fully Isobus compatible and with new iXspray hardware and software, operators can take advantage of an intuitive touchscreen with smart electronics.

Vicon’s Mechatronics division has also created the IsoMatch Grip – a multi-function joystick with 11 buttons, and four levels of colour-coded functionality. This provides up to 44 fully customisable functions. ErgoDrive headland management is also part of the standard specification, which allows spraying to start/stop, the boom to raise/lower and axle steering to be locked/unlocked, all with a single button press.

Nozzle control includes pneumatic or electric operation, suiting those using GPS for automatic section control and auto start/stop at headlands. The introduction of iXspray software enables the standard seven section control to be extended to 15 sections in combination with Vicon’s iXflow air circulation system.

Individual nozzle control is also available for those choosing iXflow E. This also includes a mobile phone App for the remote control of nozzles when outside the cab. Such functionality simplifies nozzle flow checks and pattern testing, for example.

Liquid management is simplified with the tank outlet close to the pump and valve panel, resulting in short hoses to minimise rest liquid. Filling and cleaning are further enhanced with iXclean Comfort for semi-automatic control, or iXclean Pro fully automatic valve management system.

Boom options for the iXtrack T3 include the HSS steel boom from 18–30m, and the HSA aluminium boom from 21–24m. The iXtrack T4 is available with HSS steel boom from 21–40m, and the HSA aluminium boom from 21–33m, while the iXtrack T6 can be equipped with 18–40m steel or 24–33m aluminium booms. On all models, boom folding has been achieved to maintain a low centre of gravity and to keep nozzles away from the cab.

Low-ground pressure sprayer excels after wet conditions

Following some of the wettest autumn and winter conditions on record, the thought of having a lightweight sprayer that can get on the ground sooner than anything else becomes a very appealing option. This is where the Agribuggy excels, according to manufacturer McConnel.   

Designed from the ground up to be the ultimate low-ground pressure sprayer, the Agribuggy offers the highest power-to-weight ratio and lowest fuel consumption in its class, McConnel says. Average fuel consumption is around 70-litre/day compared to 150–200-litre/day for large hydrostatic sprayers.

Positive mechanical drivelines further enhance the machine’s ability by improving traction and safety when working on steep slopes – allowing it to reach places other machines can’t. It delivers great torque and grip, less wheel-spin and power transfer up to 25 per cent more efficient than a hydrostatic machine, the company says.

Other key features include a low centre of gravity and perfect 50/50 weight distribution for maximum stability and traction. Aluminium booms come as standard for
strength and longevity, while maintaining lightness and stability. Booms are available in 12 and 24m working widths.

The Agribuggy also offers a Unique Comfort cab with 360-degree visibility, premium high back seat and greater space to ensure improved comfort, visibility and safety.

Since it was introduced to the McConnel product range in 2017, the Agribuggy now comes with several extra benefits including a two-year warranty as standard and local dealer support. Extended warranty can cover up to five years and 5,000 hours have been added to the option list.

New crop sprayer proves popular at LAMMA ’20

The new GM-R GX-Trail crop sprayer from GM-R Sprayers, which launched at Lamma ’20, was well received during the show, according to the company.

It comes with a tank capacity of 3,600 litres and electronic and dry sight gauge as standard. The three-fold 24m boom is carried on pantograph suspension and is very close to the axle for correct balance of the whole sprayer in operation. When folded, it is very compact and has a transport width of around 2.45m.

Auto boom levelling is an option, although the company says it was found to be unnecessary on its 24m boom, but came into its own on wider booms available to 36m.

It uses the latest Muller touchscreen 800 series controller, coupled with joy stick control of all hydraulic functions and six section boom control. GPS guidance is standard, including 12 auto boom section controls.

The steering axle gives very good stability over the old drawbar steering, especially for larger tanks up to 6,000-litre and wide booms. Steering axles are on Air-Ride suspension for a smoother ride, with auto-steer by Muller Gyro sensing, dual air and hydraulic braking. 

It is supplied with 420/80/R 46 (16.9 x R-46) wheels as standard, but other sizes and various track width options are available on request. The company offers high and low drawbar hitch to customer choice with pumps of 280–440-litre/m, depending on boom width.

The chemical hopper – in stainless steel for easy cleaning – is carried on pantograph for safe working height and easy storage.

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
  • Posted:
Prev Story:Fertilisers & SpreadersNext Story:Sugar Beet