Todd and Brooke Orrock bought their first RoGator self-propelled sprayer after an accident that involved an insurance company and the need for a quick changeover.
When the family bought their second RoGator, it was no accident.
In February they bought a RoGator 1300C for their 2400-ha (5930-ac) cropping farm near Murray Town SA.
It is a family farm owned by Todd, his mum, Karen, and his wife, Brooke. While Todd and Brooke’s children, Sophie and Mitchell, also work in the business.
They grow wheat, barley, canola, beans, export hay and some lentils.
This season is looking better.
The past three years have been tough with drought and late season frost, but even so they have managed to get crops.
Todd says the things he liked about the first RoGator are still there, but the RoGator 1300C had enough new technology that it was worth updating.
There are many things he likes about RoGators.
“I like the simplicity of the drive system and the stability of the booms. RoGators carry the boom really close to the axle, so they don’t get a waggle up.
Stability also matters for accuracy.
The Orrocks farm in undulating country, and keeping the nozzles at the right height mitigates the risk of drift.
Stability also minimises stress on the machine and the operator. The boom wings go back and reset during cornering, controlled by a ram that works as a big shock absorber.
Todd has to work in small paddocks, and the ability to spray folded up at 18m (60ft) is another advantage.
The boom is divided into 35 sections. Every four nozzles have their own section. The nozzles are 250 mm apart.
Then there is the continuous boom recirculation.
“I am in love with it and it should be standard on every boom sprayer, especially for contractors changing brews every day.”
He used to either park in a corner and prime up the boom, or else he did laps.
“It took 300 litres of product to ensure it was primed. Now I can prime on my way to the paddock and start as soon as I am in the gate. It cuts down the boom sprayer’s hours.”
Another advantage of boom recirculation is that left-over product goes back into the tank. It keeps the boom clean with water, which minimises contamination and makes decontamination easy.
Todd describes the RoGator’s suspension as like driving a big bean bag.
“It has air suspension on the cab and boom. I have had major back surgery with discs removed. At the end of a day spraying, I get out and I am still walking. Comfort is good.”
The RoGator 1300C has a 6300-litre tank with automatic agitation. Agitation reduces as it empties to limit foaming.
Todd does not want to cart a trailer, so he uses the RoGator as its own batching plant and gets water where he is working.
He says his RoGator 1300C is more fuel-efficient than his previous one. Traction is also better with power to all four wheels.
“It has a smarter drive that doesn’t have to run at full revs all day. It matches the engine speed to the load.”
“We had a wet block this year and the old one would have spun a hole. This one moved the drive between wheels and drove through it.”
Easy operation is another benefit of the RoGator. Todd often sprays at night when the temperature has dropped, so this is a huge advantage.
“Maintenance is also easy. There are only two filters on the spraying side, so cleaning out is a breeze.”
“It is working very well. Product recovery and boom recirculation are amazing features.” Todd concluded. Take a look and see how the Croplands’ RoGator 1300C could fit into your operation at: https://www.croplands.com.au/Products/Self-Propelled-Sprayers/RoGator/RoGator-1300C