In 2009 Versatile unveiled its first-ever, self-propelled sprayer, the SX275, at a dealer convention in Las Vegas.
At the time, Versatile had recently acquired the U.S. sprayer manufacturer Redball, and the SX275 was a modified version of the design that company had manufactured. The basic rear-wheel drive concept with a mechanical driveline configuration made it a perfect fit for Versatile’s simple and efficient design philosophy. And, of course, there was a Cummins under the hood, Versatile’s traditional engine of choice.
In February of this year the brand used the Commodity Classic farm show in San Antonio, Texas, as the venue to introduce the public to two new successors that will replace the SX275, the SX240 and SX280. In a press release, Versatile says the two new models “represent an evolution on the current sprayer design.”
Now with five years of field experience under its belt in SP sprayer production, the company says it has accumulated and a lot of customer feedback and integrated it into the updated design used on the SX240 and SX280. The first thing you notice with these machines is there are some styling changes to the body and a completely new cab entrance, with the steps relocated to the machine’s front.
Climbing those steps gets you into what Versatile claims is the largest cab in the SP sprayer industry. The “HQ cab” has over 140 cubic feet of interior space wrapped with 77 square feet of glass. Interior design also takes a giant step forward with all controls now mounted on a large armrest.
Up front is a 6.7 litre Cummins putting out 240 or 280 horses, depending on which model you choose. Both engine versions use a variable geometry turbocharger, diesel particulate filter and EGR to meet emissions standards, so they don’t require additional DEF fluid. The new sprayers stick to the same mechanical driveline concept used on the SX275. So the Cummins engines are mated to an Allison five-speed automatic transmission capable of 57 km/h on the road.
Behind the cab, the SX240 gets a 1,000 gallon (3,785 litre) poly main tank with a 100 gallon rinse tank. The SX280 is available with that same-sized poly tank or a 1,200 gallon (4,540 litre), stainless steel option, which gets a 150 gallon rinse tank.
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Boom widths stretch to 90 or 100 feet (27.4 and 30.5 metres) in either model. The chassis rides on an air bag suspension with auto height adjust and sway control, along with four-wheel disc brakes. The axle track width can be adjusted manually or hydraulically from 120 to 152 inches (3.04 to 3.86 metres).
To make things simpler for the operator, the new machines use a redesigned fill station. Control valves are oriented so that all handles are in the “up” position when the machine is ready for the field, which serves as a quick-glance indicator for the operator. The company adds that the overall plumbing on the machine is designed to be easy to service.
Both the SX240 and SX280 have already gone into production at Versatile’s assembly plant in Willmar, Minnesota, and are available in limited quantities for the 2014 season.
Base price for the SX240 is $291,168 and the SX280 starts at $304,863.