Arable Farming October 2017

Page 40

FEATURE SPRAYERS AND NOZZLES Househam Sprayers took the wraps off a new self-propelled machine at this year’s Cereals event. Called the Predator, this new flagship model moves the British maker towards the top end of the sprayer market. Geoff Ashcroft reports.

Stability and manoeuvrability in a big machine

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s part of the Predator’s development, Househam Sprayers went back to the drawing board to produce an all-new chassis which is capable of taking advantage of the latest in tyre technology. This allows the new flagship sprayer to travel on 380/90 R46 row crop tyres without compromising manoeuvrability or stability, says Househam. This larger wheel and tyre combination offers a longer contact patch and a higher 1.1-metre ground clearance than the Merlin, the firm’s previous largest sprayer. Importantly, the new chassis means it does not need vast areas of space in which to make a headland turn. Househam says it has been losing sales to its competitors offering larger capacity machines on larger wheel and tyre equipment. And in such scenarios, the firm’s Merlin no longer measures up. Raising the bar in the Househam range, the Predator is available with stainless steel tanks with capacities of 4,000, 5,000 or 6,000 litres, and each can be accompanied with a range of twin-fold and tri-fold steel booms extending from 24-36m.

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Data sheet rModel: Househam Predator rEngine: MTU 4R 1000, 230hp rSpray tanks: 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 litres

While booms and tank sizes currently shadow those of the Merlin, the newer platform has the capability to go bigger. At the rear, the boom is now carried on a pantograph linkage in place of a mast. Househam says this has reduced weight and complexity, and eliminates the need for up to 20 support rollers, which it uses on a tri-fold boom mast. Wish list And with a standardised level of specification, buyers will only need to choose tank size and boom width – everything else on a sprayer operator’s wish list will be part of the Predator’s standard specification. Such spec extends to a host of kit including Househam’s auto-nozzle select for individual nozzle control using Altek’s multi-nozzle bodies. You can also expect to find the Predator equipped with a full illumination package with nozzle pattern

rBoom options: 24-36 metres, steel rMax speed: 50kph rUnladen weight: 10 tonnes rPrice: Starting from less than £200,000

lighting, 3in fast-fill, Norac boom levelling, adjustable track width from 72-84in and multi-mode steering. In addition, Predator offers a 50kph transmission, DAB audio system, dual rear-view cameras, in-cab cool box, 900 litres/ minute centrifugal pump, load-sensing hydraulics and a hydraulic trailer hitch with a three-tonne capacity for those looking to tow a chemical trailer. Turn compensation for nozzle flow and auto wash cycles will also follow, says the British maker. Househam product manager Toby Corsan says: “We have developed the Predator with a high level of specification as standard and a price tag starting below £200,000 for a 4,000litre/24m model. “This simplifies the buying process and streamlines production. If we’re not building bespoke models with individual specifications, we can shorten build times and speed up delivery.”

Mr Corsan adds the design of the Predator affords a lightweight focus when compared to its competitors. “We’ve developed a highcapacity sprayer which weighs about 10 tonnes unladen. And on Michelin SprayBib tyres, this offers a good reduction in ground pressure for a sprayer of this size and capacity.” Keeping with the premiumspec format, only Michelin tyres will be offered from the factory. This first 5,000-litre, 36m model is shod on 650/60 R38 Michelin Xeobib tyres. Predator follows the same component layout as the firm’s smaller Spirit. The engine sits at the back, allowing the spray tank to be positioned further forward, helping weight distribution. However, the engine is a 230hp four-cylinder MTU power unit. This 5.1-litre engine has already been extensively trialled in a customer’s Merlin and its performance and fuel efficiency are said to be a considerable improvement over the Caterpillar C6 unit used in Househam’s Merlin range. “We’ve mounted the engine in a transverse position to help with weight distribution and packaging, and this meant a six-cylinder was ruled out for its length,” he says.

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