14 June 2002

How electronic aids can avoid errors in

your valve settings

ELECTRONIC controls that go beyond a simple on-off switch for the spray boom do more than make life easier for operators.

They can help avoid errors by making the different valve settings needed for different functions foolproof. And because the valves can be tucked away as close as possible to the pump and boom, pipe work can be shorter, making the system more responsive while holding less fluid for disposal at the end of a spraying operation.

Househams latest self-propelled machines, which will be launched at Sprays & Sprayers with smooth-riding air suspension, present the operator with a simple three-way switch for selecting "spray", "fill" and "recirculate".

The five manual control valves used before are replaced by two electrically operated versions, with failsafe connections ensuring the system cannot be used incorrectly.

Aside from simplifying matters, the new arrangement cuts pipe volume by almost 60% from 42 to just 17.5 litres.

Electronic controls will also feature on the first self-propelled sprayer to be built entirely by Knight; previously, the company has installed its own spray kit on other chassis.

The all-new base unit for the Knight 1530 has hydrostatic four-wheel drive powered by a 157hp Perkins engine, and front-end self-levelling suspension. It is a 3000-litre machine with low-profile glass-fibre tank and heavy duty booms up to 40m.

Its electronic system is "intelligent" in as much as one control action can perform related tasks. For example, when the spraying system is turned off, the plumbing automatically selects settings needed for a fill-up, including circulation of water through the induction hopper.

Sands Agricultural Machinery will unveil its most sophisticated sprayer to date in the shape of the SAM SL Class. This builds on the M Class model introduced two years ago by adding active hydraulic axle suspension front and rear, and the latest electronically controlled anti-wheelslip four-wheel drive system.

Changes to the spray pack are largely limited to a degree of tidying, plus a change from multiple valves to a pair of manually-operated five-way valves located, as before, near the back of the machine to minimise pipe lengths. All pipes entering the low-line tank, however, now do so more neatly through a single manifold.

Kellands and Alanco will present revised versions of their small self-propelled sprayers at the event. Roomier cabs feature on both machines, while the Alanco Sprayranger gets a revised back frame and reduction axles giving 76cm (30in) of ground clearance.

The spray pack also has a spray line recirculation system, something that is also optional on the Kellands Agribuggy, which features a new tank for improved weight distribution and better visibility to the rear of the machine.

Fans of Continental-style self-propelled sprayers will find the shapely Matrot Maestria making an appearance, along with a range of Delvano sprayers from Belgium, now being imported by Niagri Engineering. &#42