Hardi’s range of Navigator trailed sprayers are built on a platform that offers growers a simple and reliable spray solution as it is also a series known for ease of use.
With 3000, 4000, 5000 or 6000 litre main tank options, plus valuable extras from airbag suspension to ISOBUS connectivity, the Navigator has proven to be a top-selling sprayer around the world.
Geoff Davidson farms at Keith SA and recently upgraded to a Hardi Navigator 6000 as it was ideal for his Merino sheep operation where he crops canola, wheat, oats, barley, beans and lucerne.
Geoff says the Hardi Navigator 6000 includes ActivAir and a 24m TR4 alloy boom, so it has a lot of improvements over the Hardi 4024 he previously ran.
ActivAir is a recent innovation added to the Navigator range, it uses an on-board compressor to open and close nozzles instantly and without dripping.
Each nozzle valve is held closed by a spring that the pressurised air acts against. This rapid air activation is managed by electrically operated solenoids along the boom.
This allows ActivAir to provide constant boom recirculation, which keeps the boom primed at the correct pressure to deliver the correct rate as soon as the nozzles are opened.
Geoff said he had found the system to be excellent, delivering instant chemical mix right from the start, with instant pressure.
Geoff is also impressed by the system’s effective valve shut off with instant response.
This feature is particularly useful on his farm, he says, where he has a lot of trees to navigate around and between, that requires folding the boom ends.
Good valve shut off is also crucial when making turns at the end of spraying runs.
Geoff is also a fan of his lighter, stronger 24m alloy boom, that is an upgrade from the steel boom on his Hardi 4024.
It’s less likely to rust, he says and because he needs to fold the boom ends regularly, it’s increased strength and lighter weight are obvious advantages.
Hardi also offers a range of boom control technologies on the Navigator 6000 and while he is not running auto height control, Geoff says the boom tilt control is invaluable.
The ability to lift the boom end over a fence at the end of a run to complete a smooth turn for the next run is something he rates very highly.
“A lot of toys you get on machines you often don’t use,” he said, “but the tilt is very handy.”
Other functions of his Navigator 6000 Geoff particularly likes is the bigger tank, carrying 2000 litres more than his previous machine.
And its DynamicFluid4 system that provides the automatic ability to quickly adjust spray rates to speed changes.
With the trees on his property, Geoff says it’s not practical to go for a wider boom but the 6000-litre tank means he can still cover a lot of country without re-filling.
Similarly, DynamicFluid4 instantly deals with the fact he may need to slow down to navigate around or between trees.
Section control is also an important part of Geoff’s operation of the Navigator and he is impressed by the seamless ISOBUS hook up with his Fendt 918 tractor.
“You’ve just got to get your section control settings right and it will save you a lot of chemical and time,” Geoff said.
On the tractor in-cab display he has half the screen dedicated to sprayer functions to keep an eye on sections, pump performance and flow rate, a quarter to GPS navigation and a quarter to tractor functions.
“The Navigator 6000 does everything I wanted and probably better than I expected,” Geoff said.
“We have generally been fairly basic with the machines we have bought but this one is a little more optioned up and we’re glad we went that way.” Geoff concluded.
The Davidson farm has been running Hardi machines for 35 years and Geoff said this continuity was due both to their familiarity with the way Hardi does things and the great service they get from their local dealer, Farmers Centre.