Dual-function implement makes economic case

Take one telehandler, two helpers and 42 minutes out of your busy schedule to change the 1,400-gallon liquid tank over to the 330 cubic foot granular tank on your liquid/dry applicator.

It’s all in the playbook for the Trident 5550 liquid and dry, single chassis combination applicator, according to Case IH. The company says the Trident, which was engineered from the ground up and introduced a year ago, is the industry’s fastest converting combination applicator on a dedicated chassis.

The engine and drive train constitute the most expensive part of any self-propelled farm implement, which is why single chassis combo applicators are gaining grower’s attention. The financial investment is spread out if all liquid and dry applications from early spring through late fall can be handled by the same power unit. The fact that the switch can be completed so quickly reduces the risk that field operations might suffer from time delays.

While some dual-duty applicators are basically dry units with liquid added, or liquid units with dry added, the news release says, “number one on the priority list for Case IH was to design a true combination applicator from the ground up. Other so-called combination applicators simply are adaptations of an existing spray rig or other application equipment. The Trident 5550 gives producers and commercial applicators a single piece of equipment to meet the demands of fertilizer and crop protection applications.

“Since the new chassis can carry liquid or dry application systems, it requires a suspension package capable of carrying high-capacity loads and applying those loads over a wide range of speeds. The new load-compensating suspension features a pneumatic cylinder at each suspension joint to help maintain ride quality and load levelling. An engine-powered air compressor supplies air to the cylinders, which automatically adjust according to operating mode and load weight.”

The Trident 5550 is powered by a 390 horsepower, 8.7 litre engine that puts out 415 h.p. peak at 2000 r.p.m. Fuel capacity is 150 U.S. gallons with 21 gallons of diesel exhaust fluid. The Trident has hydrostatic four-wheel-drive with an in-cab speed control knob that lets the operator infinitely adjust speed. It maintains correct load and speed ratios in all conditions. When introduced, Trident was the industry’s first applicator with factory-available duals in row crop tire sizes. The new design lets the operator adjust track width setting in half-inch increments from the cab, without stopping.

All technology available on other Case liquid and dry applicators is available on the Trident 5550, including the most advanced Case IH Advanced Farming Systems AccuBoom automatic boom section control, AutoBoom automatic boom height control and AccuGuide autoguidance.

Trident features AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology. This technology delivers precise product flow and spray pressure to eliminate over-application and under-application. It also features turn compensation for accurate application across the boom, around corners and on contours. An automated rinse is available as an option.

Producers can order the optional New Leader NL4500T G4 Edge variable rate dry nutrient applicator, which provides a high level of precision dry-product application with precision spinner technology. New Leader spreads dry product faster, wider and more consistently. The Case release says its MultiApplier option allows application of two dry products simultaneously or independently at straight or variable rates in one pass. The MultiBin option gives the farmer four products in a single pass.

To accomplish the big switch, engineers developed an aerial frame with lifting points to help lift each applicator evenly, whether it’s the Liquid System with a 90 or 120 foot boom or the variable rate dry nutrient applicator. Each applicator has a different weight balance, requiring some adjustment to the aerial lift device to ensure it can squarely lift either applicator.

When removing the dry applicator, the first step is to remove all mechanical fasteners. You must remove the four spring-loaded eye bolts plus four stretch bolts on each side at the rear of the chassis. Keep the eye bolts, but discard the stretch bolts. Case supplies a special slide hammer to remove the pucks between the metal plates at the rear of the chassis. The dry applicator is now mechanically unhooked from the chassis.

For both applicators, there’s a common centralized location for all hydraulic lines and electrical fittings beneath the bed at the midway point of the chassis. These are all quick-couplers, so no tools are necessary to disconnect them. The applicator is now ready to come off the chassis. The dry applicator has eyelet connections to connect to aerial lift chains. An overhead hoist, telehandler, shop crane or anything capable of lifting up to 12,000 pounds can be used for the lift.

When the dry applicator has been safely set on the ground, the lifting point of the aerial device must be readjusted to accommodate the liquid system. This involves sliding the metal collar with a turnbuckle either fore or aft, depending on which applicator needs to be lifted.

At this point in the process, the liquid applicator can be chained to the aerial lift device and placed onto the Trident chassis. The same pucks removed from the dry system are installed, along with new stretch bolts, which are available in a changeover kit from a local Case IH dealer. The kit contains all hardware needed for the next step. Attach the four spring-loaded eye bolts to the liquid system, check and torque the new stretch bolts. The liquid system is now mechanically fastened.

Connecting hydraulic lines is the next step. Identical sized hoses are used, but couplers for liquid and dry attachments have female and male electrical connections so they cannot be hooked up incorrectly. Finally, if the liquid unit has a front-fill option, the hose will need to be connected with the plumbing underneath the tank.

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