Manufacturers take different paths

Smaller, self-propelled sprayers  |  Two companies add sprayers, while another ends a 50-year run

TULARE, Calif./KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Europe has more than 30 brands of high clearance, self propelled sprayers. In North America there are about 10.

However, one of those brands won’t be counted anymore.

Agco has decided to stop building its 50-year-old SpraCoupe brand of smaller and mid-sized self propelled sprayers in May.

Mark Scharitz, head of application equipment for the company, said lower sales volumes, larger farms and the expense of making the machines’ engines EPA Tier 4 compliant all played a role in stopping production of the units. The larger Rogator and Terragator will remain Agco products.

However, at the same time North America is also getting new brands and models. The Case IH 2240 is the latest, smallest and tallest of the company’s Patriot line and was launched in Kansas City recently.

As well, Hardi from Denmark released its entry into the North American self propelled market with a pair of machines.

For Case IH and Hardi, their new sprayers are aimed at producers moving up from pull-types or looking for a small to midsize self-propelled sprayer that has all the features of the biggest machines.

Hardi has had self-propelled machines in Europe since the mid-1980s and planned for a North American version. However, poor commodity prices after the turn of the century kept it from developing “the right machines for the market.”

Doak McDaniel said the company feels its new Saritor and Presidio units, designed and built for the North American market, will meet the needs of large-capacity pull-type owners looking to move into a self-propelled rig.

“We couldn’t offer those producers, loyal Hardi users, a place to go and stay with our brand. Now we can,” he said.

Hardi, which is known for its pull-type units and nozzles in North America, has merged with spray company Excel. It owned the European self-propelled sprayer brands Berthoud and Matrot, among others, so the company has a strong track record.

While the company considered exporting European machines to North America, it eventually decided to build a unit with a larger cab and the features that North American farmers were used to having.

The results were the larger Saritor with a 1,100 or 1,300 U.S. gallon tank and 90 to 132 foot booms and the smaller Presidio with a 700 gallon capacity and 80 or 90 foot booms.

The bigger machine gets a Cummins QSB 6.7 litre engine putting out 275 horsepower. The Presidio sports a 173 h.p. Deutz pushing oil through a three speed-range Rexroth transmission and wheel motors.

The Saritor relies on a Sauer Danfoss hydrostatic transmission feeding four Sauer Danfoss wheel motors. Wet discs slow the machine from its 33 m.p.h. top speed.

Forward motion, reverse and braking are all controlled by pushing a joystick forward or pulling it back. A cruise control feature allows for a target spraying speed. Engine speed can also be selected as a goal.

Engine speed during spraying is balanced against load to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the targeted spraying speed.

Both machines use the latest Ace 650, wet seal, run dry pumps.

“The system looks at what is happening at the nozzles 20 times a second and balances flow, pressure and pump speed with ground speed to ensure ideal droplet and pattern,” McDaniel said in an interview at the Agconnect show in Kansas City, Missouri, earlier this month.

“The system can tell what nozzle is on the boom and how it’s doing too,” he said about the 12 section boom on the Saritor.

The smaller unit has six, eight or nine section Hardi Eagle booms.

Both machines have remote fill stations with chemical inductors and remote machine throttle controls for agitation control from the ground.

The bigger machine has electrically controlled valves for routing fluid during loading and resetting for operations. The Presidio has remote manual valves at the loading point.

The big machine uses an HC9500 virtual terminal to communicate spraying control and steering information. The Presidio has the 9500 as an option and has steering assist rather than full auto-guidance as on the Saritor.

“Next year, the 2014 model, will have full autosteer,” McDaniel said.

The Terraforce boom on the Saritor has active roll and boom height based on readings by four sensors. The angle is adjusted through the centre pendulum.

The machine also has the company’s Dynamic Fluid Four, which keeps constant pressure on the booms, even when sections are turning on and off for overlap or headlands.

The Presidio clears the ground by 53 inches when riding on 380/80 38s, but can rise up to 58 inches when wearing optional 380/90 46s. Its big brother has 48 inches of clearance on standard 380/90 46s and can be as high as 54 inches on 480/80 R50s.

If the cab looks familiar to North American producers, that’s because it is the same one found on many New Holland tractors.

“It is good and large and has plenty of room for its training seat,” McDaniel said.

The Presidio cab is smaller, but it has all the other creature comforts including Bluetooth compatibility on the stereo system and electric mirrors.

The Saritor has no mirrors.

“You couldn’t see anything if we put them on, and we tried. So it uses cameras to look backwards,” said McDaniel.

The machines fold up to 132 and 138 inches.

The few machines that have been assembled in Davenport, Iowa, have all been sold to U.S. buyers in advance of their release.

Case IH sprayer specialist Adam Nelson said during World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, that the market needs machines that bridge the gap between large pull types and self-propelled.

“The engineers were looking for a more nimble machine, smaller, with enough ground clearance for even treating later season corn. But putting fungicide on durum is a good example of where our prairie growers have needs to be out in tall crops,” Nelson said.

“And for sclerotinia in canola. The need was there and there are still lots of producers that aren’t too concerned about needing 1,200 gallons of capacity and 325 h.p. to haul it around.”

The new 2240 uses the 6.7 litre Case IH Fiat Power Train engine and carries 660 gallons of product.

“You can get it in an 80 or 90 foot boom and order the optional AIM Command spray system that gives constant application rate and spray pressure no matter how fast you are running,” he said.

“I think we’ll see a lot of them sold with AIM Command on them.”

There are three controller options: the Case IH AFS Pro 700, the Raven Viper Pro and the Case IH SCS 5000.

Like the other Patriots, the 2240’s cab is stuck well out front and the engine is in the rear, balancing the weight 50-50 across the wheels.

The trailing link suspension keeps the machine rolling smoothly.

The 165 h.p. is fed into a three speed hydrostatic drive line pushing four Souer Danfoss wheel motors. The small front hood hides fuel and DEF tanks and slides forward.

It has a transport speed of 30 m.p.h. and booms can run from 27 to 90 inches.

“It is very compact when folded,” Nelson said about the 126 inch transport width.

For more information, contact McDaniel at 563-386-1730 or dwm@hardi-us.com and contact Nelson at 406-697-1454 or adam.nelson@caseih.com.