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Trailed sprayers with self-propelled features

At the Cereals event this year, Agrifac displayed new Milan trailed sprayers for the first time. Boasting a specification to rival many self-propelled models, David Williams has been finding out why the new sprayers are causing such a stir among potential users. “The Milan is based on our Condor self-propelled machines,” explained Agrifac product sales support specialist Julian Arrowsmith. “It uses the same pump, same plumbing and control screen so performance is almost identical.” There are four tank sizes; 3,500, 4,200, 5,400 and 6,800 litres with booms up to 48m. All have a 550-litre clean water tank and 20-litre handwash supply. A long chassis ensures weight is distributed effectively between the sprayer wheels which are behind the main tank, and the tractor rears for maximum traction. The tank shape gives a low centre of gravity and provides space for boom folding above, without excessive transport height. The 550-litre fresh water tank is at the front of the sprayer, ensuring that even when the main tank is empty, weight priority remains on the tractor wheels, important when operating on slopes. Another advantage of the long chassis is excellent rear visibility, improving safety on the road.

High performance booms Booms are aluminium and lighter than the steel booms of the Condor self-propelled with compact folding for transport. Boom suspension is by single centre strut with a large base spring, isolating the boom carriage from the chassis and a smaller

explained that Isobus compatibility is not offered as Agrifac’s dedicated sprayer control screen has greater functionality and ease of use than a tractor-based system while most operators prefer having autosteer and field maps through their tractor screen anyway. “Configurations are limited by the scope of Isobus which would compromise operation but using our dedicated display there is no restriction in terms of features we can include,” he said.

spring above the boom supports the A-frame mounting system. Spring and shock absorber assemblies on each side reduce yaw. The boom locks in position when unfolded, providing a rigid assembly but either or both sides can be tilted up or down to compensate for slopes. The third sections can be individually folded making it easy to negotiate obstructions.

A large base spring helps isolate the boom frame from the chassis.

Simple, reliable operation Agrifac’s GreenFlowPlus plumbing is standard with continuous liquid circulation. The booms are supplied from the centre and ends, ensuring liquid of correct dilution is available as soon as spraying commences. All nozzles have pneumatic control with air supplied from the tractor if air brakes are fitted or from an onboard compressor driven from the main spray pump. Section control is standard and available from 3m down to single nozzle. Nozzles are fully protected within the boom frame and liquid fertiliser application is supported through nozzles or dribble bars.

Condor functionality Agrifac’s EcoTronicPlus control and monitoring is standard and compatible with all tractor GPS systems. The sprayer electrics are powered from the tractor’s Isobus socket when possible, but Julian

The Milan’s wheels precisely follow tractor wheels even through tight headland turns with up to 54-degree steering angle available.

Control is through Agrifac’s EcoTronicPlus and a dedicated joystick. Using a dedicated sprayer control screen with guidance and field maps through the tractor display makes operation easier with more functions available to improve performance explains the company.

Simple but handy features include colour coding of customisable functions and touching the relevant function symbol brings up the previous four settings used, for quick re-selection. Although the controls are almost identical to those of the Condor, there is one big difference. The Condor’s main joystick, which combines transmission control with the main sprayer functions is missing, and replaced by a smaller dedicated sprayer control joystick which can be positioned to suit the user. Operating features similar to those of the Condor include a headland button which is pressed once to commence a sequence of stopping spraying, lifting the boom and activating axle steering. Touching the button again after the turn locks the steering, lowers the boom and re-commences spraying. Joystick-mounted rate control buttons allow application rates to be ‘nudged’ up or down by 5–10 per cent with each press; handy for targeting weed patches in fields or

for variable crop density. Boom lift and tilt buttons are arranged logically with angle control buttons available when Norac boom levelling isn’t fitted. Tilt can be applied to the whole boom using the centre button, or to left or right sides only. Manual sprayer axle steering control is also available through the joystick; handy for reversing the sprayer into tight spaces for storage. Automatic functions include filling and cleaning programs and automatic fill control is available through a small secondary display by the operator station. The induction bowl is new and designed to mix and suck from the bottom for rapid chemical throughput and is claimed to be especially effective for powders. A 20-litre handwash tank is standard. The main pump is hydraulic or PTO-driven and delivers up to 500 litres/min.

A 550-litre clean water tank is right at the front, above the pump to ensure great weight distribution whether full or empty. The operator station is excellent and includes a 20-litre handwash tank, a storage locker and a fold-down induction bowl.

Flexibility Brakes are hydraulic or air, and axle width is manually adjustable from 170–200cm. A wide axle option extends the range available from 195–225cm. Rear axle steering is hydraulic and up to 54 degrees

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