This HARDI RUBICON 9000 self-propelled sprayer operating in the Mallee region Vic covers an enormous amount of ground with its 54m (177ft) boom and H-SELECT nozzle control technology
Back in mid-2018, the Sanford family of Beulah Vic took delivery of a new HARDI RUBICON 9000 self-propelled sprayer with a 54m (177ft) boom and H-SELECT nozzle control technology.
Now, with more than a complete cropping cycle and over 800 hours of spraying behind them, the Sanfords are well positioned to review the big sprayer’s productivity and performance.
“It’s an extra 3,000 litres compared to the CASE Patriot we used to have,” says Tim Sanford, who does most of the spraying on the farm, “…the machine’s just 50% bigger all around.”
With some 5,260 ha (13,000 acres) of their Victorian Mallee farm in wheat, barley and lentils, the sprayer’s high-productivity configuration meant getting through the season didn’t require any marathon spraying sessions.
Keeping ahead of the seeders did involve some 12-hour days during sowing, but even then Tim was able to spray over 800ha (1977-acres) a day and still have plenty of time to keep on top of other jobs around the farm.
“It’s nice and quick to fill up,” he smiles, “so it gets around the paddocks quickly.”
While the RUBICON’s capacity was a big advantage, the sprayer’s boom set-up also made all the difference.
The 54m (177ft) coverage delivered a 150% productivity increase over the 36m (118ft) boom the Sanfords owned previously, and Tim found it just as easy to handle.
“The HARDI boom ride is just fantastic,” he reports.
“We usually spray at around 20kph and everything we used to go over with the 36m (118ft) boom we can cover at that same speed with our 54m (177ft) unit.”
However, it was the installation of HARDI H-SELECT nozzle control technology that really set the big boom’s performance apart.
The computerised and air-activated H-SELECT system manages up to four nozzles per nozzle body, to deliver consistent spray dosage and droplet size regardless of speed variations.
“You always have those corners you wish weren’t getting quite so much chemical,” says Tim, “and the outsides of corners you wish got a bit more.”
With H-SELECT compensating for turns automatically, the Sanfords have been free to focus on weather conditions and water rates.
That’s because H-SELECT’s multi-tier configuration allows them to adjust the droplet size from the cab, while on the move, to better control how and where the spray is deposited.
“Drift is a major concern with chemical use now,” Tim points out. “With H-SELECT we’re able to change our nozzles during spraying to better suit the wind conditions.
“If you’re just going along and you can see it’s picking up a bit breezier, we can coarsen up those droplet sizes and it seems to help with our results there.”
“I’d recommend H-SELECT to other farmers just because it does offer a lot more versatility,” Tim Sanford says. “You can speed up, slow down, and your droplet size remains the same.”
As they head into a second summer fallow with their RUBICON, Tim Sanford is more than confident the big HARDI’s combination of capacity, boom size and H-SELECT technology has given them a winner.
“It really comes down to capacity and being able to go that bit further, that bit longer each day.”
“The capacity is great. You can get the spraying done, and the H-SELECT helps with that immensely,” he concludes.
Contact your local HARDI dealer on 1300 042 734, or go to www.hardi.com.au