HARDI HAS launched a new trailed sprayer – the Commander.

Hardi, which experienced a strong financial year in 2004 – generating over 60m profit (42m) – anticipates that the launch of the sprayer will help to strengthen its position for 2005.

“The percentage of the UK market currently held by trailed models stands somewhere between 30% and 40%. The Commander will allow us to capture a greater share of this key market,” says Sten Kjelstrup, Hardi executive vice-president.

“The future of the trailed sprayer market lies in increased capacity, simple push-and-go automated functions and improved reliability.

” The Commander features an innovative steering system. Dubbed SafeTrack, the rear axle is articulated, a pivot point and linkage angling the wheels.

The steering system involves some clever input from the sprayer”s onboard computer. A drawbar-mounted sensor measures the angle between the tractor axle and the sprayer. Actuators on the steering rams prompt the wheels to follow the tractor wheelings; therefore, no crop is run over on headland turns. Other sensors measure sprayer speed to ensure that if the machine is travelling too fast when cornering in the field, the angle the sprayer wheels are allowed to turn is reduced. This should cut the risk of an overturn, says Hardi.

Although the SafeTrack steering system is available as an option – buyers can expect to pay an extra 3500 – Hardi claims that 75% of models ordered so far have been specified in articulated format.

The capacity of the suction filter has been increased by 100%. It is capable of filling at a rate of up to 800 litres/min and is self-priming.

The Commander is available with booms from 18m to 36m and Hardi”s Twin Force air-blast system, which is designed to reduce spray drift and improve crop penetration.

Available in two sizes – 3200-litre and 4400-litre machines – the base price for the CM3200 is 25,000. A 6600-litre machine will be available in late 2005.