HARDI named its big RUBICON SP sprayer after Julius Caesar’s famous point of no return. And now a growing number of WA growers are making their own decisive move to the game-changing self-propelled machine.
At Meckering, Anthony Snooke is yet another Wheatbelt farmer who has ‘crossed the Rubicon’ on the 3439 hectare property he owns with his brother and father.
The RUBICON’s combination of a 9000 litre stainless tank, 60L induction hopper, 630L rinse tank and 48.5 metre boom, all add up to saving time and money.
If Mr Snooke sprayed at 30 kilometres an hour, he could comfortably cover 146ha an hour - 35 per cent more than a 36m boom and with fewer refill breaks.
Not that he’s had to put in that kind of effort so early in the season.
“I’ve done nearly 500 hectares in a day, but I haven’t really pushed it yet,” Mr Snooke said.
Growing grains alongside livestock means the Snooke family can’t afford to take risks with spray drift - and Mr Snooke is quick to praise his 48.5m HARDI Paragon AL boom’s accurate ride.
He calls it “absolutely fantastic”.
The weight savings of aluminium help reduce inertial movement, while a combination of paralift suspension with auto-height and stability control enables lower boom heights for more precise spray application.
“I haven’t been able to make it hit the deck at all,” Mr Snooke said.
“I’ve tried pretty hard, but it hasn’t happened yet.”
Mr Snooke said the RUBICON measured up on safety, comfort and reliability - and he’s become a fan of the electronic filling control panel too.
He said it was daunting at first but is now far superior to any trailed machine.
For all that Mr Snooke knows a big self-propelled sprayer can only be as efficient as the support network behind it.
That’s a critical point for all farmers but, because the RUBICON is conceived and manufactured here in Australia, HARDI’s willingness to customise and support their machine has been unparalleled.
“The people at HARDI have a lot of experience,” he said.
“Most of them have been there a long time.
“So if there’s a problem, it gets sorted.
“Whether I’ve needed help from HARDI’s experts in Adelaide or the local guys here in WA, they’ve always been ready to go the extra mile.
“They’ve been really incredible.”