Large aluminum boom light, accurate, smooth

Flexible design reduces bounce | The 132 foot span is made from one piece of extruded aluminum, allowing it to bend without cracking

FARGO, N.D. — The new 132 foot aluminum spray boom from Hagie was one of the biggest attractions at this year’s Big Iron Show in Fargo.

Farmers who drove the early production model STS16 on the demonstration field said it was smooth with little boom bounce.

Hagie service rep Nick Bredeson said boom bounce is not the issue one would expect, considering the giant 132 foot span. He attributes this to the relatively light weight of the aluminum boom.

Until this fall, the biggest boom from Hagie was 120 feet. It had been a steel boom until this year, when the company changed the design and began fabricating it of aluminum.

“When the 120 foot went from steel to aluminum, it shed 225 pounds,” said Bredeson.

“That may not sound like much of a weight loss, but it’s a matter of leverage. When the weight extends all the way out to 60 feet in both directions from the centre of the chassis, boom control becomes an issue. A lighter boom means less bounce and better spray accuracy. Plus we get a better balanced machine.

“The 90 foot steel boom gives us perfect 50-50 front to rear weight balance. The 120 foot steel boom made the front just a little too heavy. When the 120 foot lost that 225 lb. going to aluminum, it went back to perfect weight balance like the 90 foot steel boom.”

Bredeson said Hagie never tried to build a 132 foot steel boom, but making the 132 out of aluminum shaves at least 500 lb. off the front of the machine, compared to what it would have weighed if made of steel.

Aluminum doesn’t bend easily. It’s notorious for cracking, which is why other aluminum booms on the market are designed to be structurally rigid. If they flex, they break.

“But this new boom bends without breaking. That’s hard to do with aluminum. We use extruded aluminum and a very unique design in the casting process,” Bredeson said.

“From the outside, the lead edge looks like it’s part of a square box tube. But the tail edge looks like it’s part of a round cylindrical tube. Look closely and you see there are no welds along the length of the tube. It’s all extruded in a single piece of aluminum.

“The cylinder and the square are merged together in the casting process. Then, channels are cut into the inner wall to create even greater strength because there’s more surface area.”

The new mounting system eliminates the complex parallel linkage and instead uses a simple swinging pendulum design with two pivot points.

The pendulum rocks left and right to compensate for the vertical movement as the boom moves up and down with the roll of the land, but it remains parallel with the ground.

The 132 foot boom is available only on the STS16. Except for the new boom option, this sprayer remains basically unchanged, with a 1,600 gallon tank and 365 horsepower engine.

Bredeson said the front boom design with the engine at the back and the tank in the middle offers farmers the kind of weight balance that keeps the sprayer moving instead of sinking. Weight distribution remains the same loaded or light.

In terms of compaction, the loaded STS16 puts 34.9 p.s.i. on the ground, compared to competitors’ 1,200 and 1,300 gallon sprayers that put 37.3 to 44.5 p.s.i. on the ground.

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