9 February 1996

GEM offers traction control sprayer kit

TRACTION control, a gadget more commonly associated with high performance cars, is now an option on a Lincs-built self-propelled sprayer.

GEM Sprayers admits the £2400 kit, the Electronic Anti-Skid (EAS), may be too costly for many buyers of its hydrostatic-drive Sapphire self-propelleds. But the firm reckons EAS can be justified by some growers.

"The Sapphire has loads of power but on very steep slopes or in slippery going it can lose traction," explains Mike Would, GEMs managing director. "One solution is more aggressive tyres but that may increase crop/ ground damage. EAS, which also increases traction, is an alternative."

The Sapphires Poclain EAS system employs the same "ABS-in-reverse" principle as that used in traction control kits fitted to mechanical transmissions. Only here oil- as opposed to shaft-drive is redirected.

As soon as one wheel starts to slip, sensors in the wheel motor operate electro-hydraulic shuttle valves. These divert oil away from the spinning wheel to the other three, thus maintaining traction. &#42

Peas from a pod? Not quite. On the right is the latest addition to Gems self-propelled sprayer line-up, the 2000-litre Sapphire 11/20. Alongside is its big brother, the 2500-litre 12/25, fitted with new traction control option. The 12/25 has a 2.5t capacity/6m wide Roger drill on its back.