Latin flair uses air to open spraying window
The UKs self-propelled sprayer market has another
high capacity model on offer – the Mac 4000S from
Gambetti-Barre. Andy Moore spoke to one of its
first users in Ireland to see how it performed
THIS weeks Sprays and Sprayers event saw a new self-propelled machine roll in from Italian manufacturer Gambetti-Barre.
Marketed by Gambetti-Barre UK, the Mac 4000S heads the companys existing 2500 litre and 3000 litre models which came onto the market four years ago.
"The Mac 4000S is designed for the high acreage cereal, root or salad crop grower demanding optimum spraying efficacy," says Chris Kelland, of Gambetti UK.
"The machine inherits the same mid-mounted cab from the smaller models which provides a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles."
The Mac 4000S is powered by a 170hp or 190hp Iveco six cylinder engine, with the transmission comprising four Poclain wheel motors delivering infinitely variable speeds up to 40kph.
Service brakes are fitted inside the housing of each motor and there is an oil-operated parking disc brake mounted on the rear axle.
Unlike some sprayer manufacturers, Gambetti-Barre makes its own steel booms in 18m to 32m working widths.
Suspended on gas accumulators and a parallel lift frame, the boom is operated electro-hydraulically from a cab sourced from Barigelli by a single joystick and a nine-switch control box.
While steel booms are supplied as standard, Gambetti-Barre also offer air-assisted Air Sleeve booms.
Ireland importer Farmec, based in Co Meath, has already sold two 4000 litre machines fitted with 24m Air Sleeve booms.
Tim Bergin, who grows 142ha (350 acres) of potatoes in Ballyboughal, near Dublin, says he opted for the Air Sleeve boom to help boost the efficacy of sprays he uses to protect against blight.
"Because the Air Sleeve can be operated in windier conditions than a conventional boom, we have been able to spray at optimum times to help control this disease."
Delivering an air volume of 60,000cu m/hour, he believes the boom is also more effective at ensuring that the whole of the crop canopy is treated.
As a result, Mr Bergin claims that in the first year of operation, his chemical bill fell from £16,000 to £5000 by applying five doses of contact sprays rather than three doses of the more expensive systemic sprays.
And because the boom can be used in damp and breezy conditions – the two big bugbears of Irish weather – Mr Bergin says his spraying window has been extended considerably.
"The only snag with the air boom is that it absorbs about 25hp which can cost an extra £1/acre in diesel compared with our previous tractor trailed machine."
Extra air power can be achieved by equipping the sprayer with two fans and by specifying the 190hp Iveco engine option.
"We prefer to spray at about 5-6mph rather than 9-12mph because of our smaller fields which restrict forward speeds," says Mr Bergin. "The sprayer can cover about 230 acres/day of spuds and is very manoeuvrable thanks to its compact dimensions and 5.2m turning radius."
Pumping power is provided by a 280 litres/min diaphragm piston unit, while an optional 370 litres/min version can be had for those wanting to apply higher volumes.
Gambetti says the pump is self-priming and able to fill the 4000 litre tank at a rate of 500 litres/min.
Water intake is from a manual or hydraulically operated hose reel, while flow rate is monitored by a Pony Flow meter fitted next to the chemical inductor.
Designed to handle liquid or powder chemicals, the inductor offers a pre-mixing facility with a bottle washing system.
The Mac 4000S with a basic steel 24m boom has a price tag of £60,000, while a 24m Air Sleeve boom commands a premium of £15,000. *
• A full Sprays and Sprayers report will appear in next weeks Machinery section.
Engine 170hp/190hp Iveco.
Transmission Four-speed Poclain motors.
Boom 18m-32m steel (optional Air Sleeve).
Pump 280 litres/min 370 litres/min.