IT’S an issue of timing and weather conditions.
That’s the feedback AgWest Machinery Esperance sales manager Athol Kennedy is getting from farmers interested in buying the new Croplands RoGator 1300C self-propelled boomsprayer with optional 48 metre boom.
“You don’t get too many good spraying days along the South Coast, so there’s always a push to maximise optimum spraying windows,” Mr Kennedy said.
“A 48m boom width provides a good solution, particularly with a 6300 litre tank.
“We’re getting inquiry for the option as opposed to the standard 36m boom.
“The other feature is the 48m model is a Pommier aluminium boom, with Norac auto boom height control.”
Mr Kennedy is planning a demonstration program of the 1300C with the 48m boom throughout the Esperance districts and is taking names of farmers interested in hosting a demonstration.
Such is the interest in this new model, it has prompted industry pundits to declare the 1300C model is arguably only steps away from becoming an autonomous vehicle.
When you assess its features, the obvious conclusion is that it is ‘smart’ and ‘logical’.
And Croplands is making a big marketing play on those two features.
Take its trade-marked SmartDrive system, which links the tractor management system and drive functions, so no operator input is needed.
The tractor management system controls engine RPM and hydrostatic drives and operators who have tractor management systems know how efficient they are at providing the greatest torque curves at the lowest RPM.
Croplands said SmartDrive added to this with even better fuel economy because the operator could match RPM to operating speed.
In fact Croplands claim the 1300C provides 15 per cent more fuel saving than its B Series predecessor.
SmartDrive also features two-speed cruise control – one for ‘in-paddock’ and the other for ‘end-row turn’ – from its all-wheel traction control with a single-hydrostatic, four-wheel drive system.
Shuttle shift makes changing direction fast and easy.
Croplands believe this is an industry first that provides power to the wheels with no slip.
If the system senses a wheel slipping, it diverts power to the wheels that still have grip to keep the sprayer moving.
Another big feature is a fully pressurised circulating boom with three circuits, providing even pressure across the boom to within plus or minus 1psi.
Called FlowLogic, this re-circulation plumbing keeps product moving through the boom, plumbing and filters to reduce chemical build-up and help eliminate blocked nozzles.
An optional Capstan PinPoint system uses blended pulse width modulation technology to achieve complete individual nozzle control.
In conjunction with the self-priming boom, it means instantaneous and constant spray pattern to eliminate over and under-spraying.
There’s also a new anti-lock braking system.
Then there’s the LiquidLogic system, which will help operators simplify their jobs, reduce potential for off-target application, make clean-out faster, easier and more thorough and reduce product waste.
Other key features of the LiquidLogic system include a “hold at minimum” pressure setting across the boom that helps ensure a consistent spray pattern to keep product on target at low speed and the ability to maintain a +/- one psi variation across the boom.
Section control for either 35 sections with 25 centimetre spacings or 36 sections with 50cm spacings, are standard with the AgControl rate controller.
Finally, variable displacement control of the product pump manages and limits speed to 5000rpm to help prevent pump failure.
ClearFlow recovery is how Croplands describes the industry’s first full-recovery system.
Air is used to force product from the boom back into the tank, leaving less than 10 litres in the system while a self-priming boom enables product flow through the entire boom once the product pump and recirculation are turned on.
In the cab, a 26cm touch-screen AccuTerminal allows intuitive, easy-to-learn control and monitoring of machine functions, such as the new cruise control and shuttle shift speed along with drive sensitivities, headland control and tractor management system (TMS).
The AccuTerminal can be used to access functions within the re-designed AgControl rate and section control system as well as spray functions such as pressures, auto agitation, boom clean-out, product rinse and recovery.
Automatic guidance and AGCO’s full suite of Fuse precision application, documentation and machine tracking tools are all controlled through this single operating terminal.
Dual-band cellular plus world-wide satellite connections allow machine tracking and performance through Fuse Connected Services via AgCommand.