Pearce: New front-boom sprayers offer several benefits

Until now, there are those in the sprayer business who’d say the industry can be something of a pain in the neck. But that notion is set to change with the launch of the Guardian self-propelled front boom sprayer from New Holland.

Technicians, specialists and sales staff from the Great Lakes New Holland dealerships at St. Thomas, St. Marys, Tavistock and Mitchell hosted a launch of the 2012 design at the Canada Outdoor Farm Show site near Woodstock, Ont. About 50 farmers and advisers were on hand for the morning presentation and walk-around.

In all, there are three front-boom sprayer models: the SP.240F, the SP.275F and the SP.365F. The “SP” denotes that it’s a self-propelled unit, the numeric reference pertains to its horsepower rating, and the “F” designation identifies it as a front-boom configuration.

The Guardian unit also comes in SP.240R and SP.275R models with rear-mounted booms. The SP.240FXP comes with a 275-hp engine for some added power, but is otherwise virtually identical to the SP.240F.

As for boom size, the SP.240F and SP.240FXP offer 90- or 100-foot spans while the SP.275F and SP.365F come in 90-, 100- or 120-foot lengths. The same respective lengths apply to the rear-mount sprayers: 90- or 100-foot spans with the SP.240R or 90-, 100- or 120-foot lengths for the SP.275R.

Tyler Roberts, a sprayer specialist with New Holland at Brandon, Man., made an extensive presentation to the gathering, and offered his Top 10 list of reasons why the Guardian model is going to be popular.

They included a superior viewport, high clearance (six feet), cab comfort and a rear engine placement that provides a quieter ride. But the front-mount is also said to be a huge plus in the fight against driver fatigue; operators don’t have to turn around to visually monitor the sprayer’s progress. Instead, everything on a front mount literally happens right in front of the driver.

When asked why a front-mounted boom may be a better approach, Roberts replies that spray from a front-mount configuration is delivered into the crop before dust from the tires can neutralize it. There is better drift control because the boom can run closer to the ground, with easier navigation around oncoming obstacles. The pin-solid design also means the boom stays rigid, meaning no waving. The nozzle placement behind the boom also means better visibility and protection.

All of the front-mounted Guardian sprayers come with four-wheel hydrostatic drive, with a mid-mounted tank, wheel spacing of 120 to 160 inches, 20-inch suspension capability (10 inches up and 10 inches down), and a Cummins Tier III, turbo-charged diesel engine (the SP.240F, SP240FXP and SP.275 are all 6.7 litre while the SP.365F is an 8.9 litre). All models also have the same side-by-side, single-pass cooling package, where the modules are positioned beside each other, instead of in separate layers from front to back.

Product tank options also include 1,000-, 1,200-, 1,400- and 1,600-gallon stainless steel, and 1,000- and 1,200-gallon poly options. The two rear-boom units run on a two-wheel mechanical drive.

According to Roberts, Guardian sprayers, which are manufactured by Miller-St. Nazianz, will have Tier IV engines installed by 2015 (Miller’s smaller company size compared to other manufacturers means the switch to the Tier IV designation has not been as urgent as with the other larger manufacturers).

There are plenty of other standard features and options worth seeing with this new sprayer model, including its turning radius, in-cab monitoring and control of the flush and rinse systems, as well as its two-year, Canada-wide warranty.

— Ralph Pearce is a field editor for Country Guide at St. Marys, Ont.

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