In North America, the self-propelled sprayer has certainly come to dominate the market. For the most part, pull-type models have faded from use over the years. But that is hardly true in Europe, and one European brand, Amazone, thinks it’s time for the pull-type model to make a comeback here in Canada.
With several high-end features to offer and an advantage when it comes to tank capacity, one of two western Canadian Amazone distributors, Fokko Buurma, who operates Mid-Plains Implements in Carberry and Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, had the largest pull-type model, the UX11200, on display at the Ag in Motion farm show near Saskatoon in July.
“We are the importers for Manitoba and (part of) Saskatchewan,” he explained. “We are looking at setting up a dealer network. But at the moment they (farmers) have to buy from us.”
Currently a second distributor is handling sales in Alberta and the western part of Saskatchewan. So far, most of the interest in Amazone sprayers has come from expatriate Europeans who’ve immigrated to Canada to start farming here.
“That’s the majority, yes,” Buurma says. “They are familiar with the brand.”
But with a main tank capacity of 12,000 litres and another 500 onboard for rinsing, he thinks others will also see the efficiency gains the big Amazone sprayer offers broad-acre farmers, as well as the purchase price incentive.
“This is the flagship of the UX model line,” he said. “The way it sits here, ballpark, $275,000 to $300,000 Canadian. That’s about half the price of a self-propelled sprayer, and it has a lot more volume, tank capacity.”
The UX11200 uses a total of three hydraulically driven pumps.
“There is a high-volume pump that can do 700 litres per minute,” Buurma continued. “Depending on the speed you’re travelling and the nozzle size you’re using for the product, it might be that there is not enough volume coming out the nozzle at a certain speed, then the second pump automatically kicks in. The other one, all it does is agitate.”
Cleaning the sprayer at the end of a job is an easy process with the Amazone.
“There is a button on the monitor,” he said. “When you are travelling home from the field, it has an internal pressure washer that sprays the tank and agitates it through the whole system. All your lines and everything is flushed.”
The side-mounted induction tank includes a rinse feature that will clean herbicide containers. When the tank lid is closed, it rinses itself out.
“So there is no touching or handling of chemical at all,” he said. “You can hook up a tote to it. It can suck (product) directly out of that. You can hook up a suction or high-pressure line for water.
“It’s really operator friendly, so it doesn’t take a whole of training to operate it. It’s pretty foolproof.”
In order keep crop damage to a minimum, the tandem axles the UX11200 rides on are designed to self-steer and follow in the path of the rear tractor tires.
The UX11200 is available with boom widths up to 130 feet.