Bourgault’s marketing specialist, Rob Fagnou, had no shortage of new products to talk about this year. The brand has made one of its largest ever single-year new product announcements, including the introduction of new air seeder tanks.
“It wasn’t done intentionally,” he says, of the large number of new product designs coming to the market all at once. “It just sort of all culminated together.”
Because COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of farm shows across Canada, the brand has been holding limited attendance field events on its own to introduce dealers and their customers to the new product lines.
“We’re just finishing up our tours,” he says. “We set up an invitational for dealers to bring in customers here in St. Brieux and stay within COVID restrictions. It’s been quite successful. It’s been good getting feedback from the producers on the new features.”
Some of that feedback has been about the new air seeder tanks, and Fagnou says he’s heard lots of positive comments about them.
Range of new options
The new tanks are being teamed up with the updated air drills the company has also debuted this year. Essentially, the previous 6000 and 7000 series air seeder tank models have now become the 8000 and 9000 series. And models in both series get a range of new options, including new tire choices.
“The biggest change you see with the 9000, is it has individual tank compartments, and we have load sensors under each compartment,” Fagnou says. “So, farmers now, through the (Topcon) X35, have the ability to monitor their actual product rates on the go. As they go down the field, the system is constantly monitoring the weight and calculating the actual rate that’s being applied. It will (alert) the operator if there is a difference between the actual and the calibrated. If there is a difference, it will give the operator a suggested calibration factor to get his targeted rate.”
With the load sensors on each tank compartment accurately keeping tabs on product levels, the brand has decided to abandon the in-tank camera system it had previously offered, because there is no longer any real need for it. The only cameras available now show the rear view behind the tank and one can be mounted inside the saddle tank.
And all models in the 8000 and 9000 lines will stick with steel construction.
“We investigated poly quite a while ago,” says Fagnou. “But with the issues that come with poly, we decided that at this time, anyway, there’s no consideration of going to a plastic tank.”
Overall tank capacities on the tow-behind 9000 models will remain unchanged, but the individual compartment sizes have been revamped.
“(Overall sizes) are pretty much the same,” he says. “We have the 1,300 trailing, the 950 trailing and then the 650. We offered those sizes before. We did change the ratios of the compartments a bit. We put a bit more work into investigating the nutrient prescriptions farmers use. I spoke to a couple of cooperators who used it this spring, and they said they just love it. One guy told me he was able to get 10 more acres of durum (out of each fill), just the way the tanks balanced out.”
The tow-between, or leading, models in the 9000 series, however, will see an increase in total capacity.
Fagnou continues, “We have two leading models, the 9950, that’s a little bit bigger than our previous leading model and then the 9650. We’ve gone up in size a bit for the tow-between tanks.”
The leading 9950 will use a 23/11/18/49 (per cent) tank split configuration, while the 9650 will use a 30/20/20/30 arrangement.
“We’ve also been able to design conveyors now for our tow-betweens,” he adds. “Prior to that, we had to stay with augers, because the conveyors would get so long you couldn’t turn the tractor without wiping out the hopper on a conveyor. But this year, we’ve designed a folding conveyor. We have conveyors on both those units.”
And to better work with drills equipped with the new PLD twin-knife opener, 9000 series tanks will be available with a triple shoot option called TriMax, allowing for seed, starter fertilizer and main fertilizer blends to be delivered separated.
The 9000 series carts will see a 10 per cent increase in the saddle tank capacity, growing from 40 to 44 bushels, and they’ll get a safer handrail structure on the catwalk up top.
The 8000 series tanks are available in 350-, 450- and 550-bushel sizes in both leading and tow-behind configurations. All three leading models as well as the 8550 tow-behind version are now available with the Dual ASC auto sectional control.
The 8000 series air seeder tanks can be controlled either through the Topcon Apollo X35 monitor or an ISO virtual terminal.
EXTRA: Bourgault re-engineers the XR series harrow bar
In June, Bourgault announced it was making a significant design change to its long-running series of XR harrow bars. The XR771 and XR751 will now be built with rigid wing supports.
On the previous versions, wings were supported by cables. While there are things many growers like about that, the design has some disadvantages, such as allowing wings to move ahead of the main frame on downhill grades.
“We went from a cable draw to a solid draw boom,” explains Rob Fagnou, Bourgault’s marketing specialist. “People were really happy with the XR series. It’s just sometimes when stopping, the wings will try to go ahead, or if they were trying to fold up when not on level ground, they’d run into problems trying to get it to fold properly. We did some tests with solid booms and after evaluations thought it was best to move to solid booms.”