IT was all about time for Marchagee farmer Clinton Hunt when it came to replacing his self-propelled boomsprayer.
Specifically he wanted more time spraying and less time driving back for refills.
That led to his decision to buy a HARDI RUBICON 9000 SP, from RedMac machinery group, Three Springs.
But what tipped the scales was the option to fit the RUBICON with an ultra-precise Hawkeye Nozzle Control System from Raven with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
“Our previous sprayer had Raven nozzle controls,” Mr Hunt said.
“So I was pretty familiar with that system, it works really well and I wouldn’t buy a machine without PWM.”
The Raven PWM technology precisely switches the nozzles on and off to improve pressure control and nozzle reaction times across the full span of the boom.
It allows Mr Hunt to set accurate flow rates and control droplet size with pressure, regardless of flow rate or ground speed, so he can achieve consistent spray patterns and reduce drift under a wide range of conditions.
That extra accuracy saves time.
“If I have 70 hectares left in a paddock for example, I can spray out the amount in the tank exactly and I don’t have to stop and change the nozzles,” he said.
The Hawkeye system also offers automatic nozzle-by-nozzle turn compensation, so spray is delivered evenly regardless of where each nozzle sits on the turn radius.
The Hawkeye HD software can even switch individual nozzles on and off to eliminate wasteful skips or overlaps.
Additionally, the boom can be programmed up to 16 virtual sections for precise control without a single hardware change.
Every Hawkeye component has been shock, vibration, impact and weather-tested to ensure the system is up to Australia’s terrain and high temperatures.
In Marchagee, that all adds up for Mr Hunt.
With more than 5000ha of mixed crops to spray, he can’t afford to waste a drop or wait for calm weather.
‘I was doing about 1000 hours with the old sprayer,’ he said.
“But the RUBICON has allowed me to double the amount I can carry with each refill, while the Hawkeye Nozzle Control System makes every drop count.”
It’s often a long way from where Mr Hunt is spraying back to the tank fill-up.
“That can be pretty painful and slow,” he said.
Now Mr hunt can comfortably spray 400ha a day at 45 litres a hectare on just two tank-loads.
“It’s pretty handy,” he said.
“I only need to fill up twice and I will be done for the day.”