Will redesign increase sprayers popularity?
Latest version of the Super Sprint has a redesignedcab plus a long list of
detail modifications.Michael Williams gave it a trial run to see if the changes add up to an easier life for the operator
HOUSEHAMS Super Sprint spraying vehicle is made at Leadenham, Lincolnshire, but it also appears under a confusingly long list of other names.
The Super Sprint is also used in the UK by Knight, Ferrag and Chafer as the basis for some of their self-propelled sprayer models. Rau, in Germany, builds a sprayer on the Super Sprint, and it is also the choice of sprayer manufacturers in Holland, Denmark, France and Japan who sell it under their own brand names.
Househam started making self-propelled sprayers 11 years ago, and the large numbers sold to other sprayer companies makes them the UKs biggest manufacturer of self-propelled power units, the company claims.
That so many other sprayer companies now choose the Super Sprint as their power unit suggests the design is basically sound – and the reason why there are no mechanical changes on the new version.
The new Super Sprint was completed just in time to be launched at the Cereals event. Biggest development is an improved cab for the driver, but making routine maintenance checks easier should make the new version easier to look after.
"Most of the improvements were prompted by comments and criticisms from owners and drivers of earlier Super Sprints," says Househam managing director, Robert Willey.
"Feedback comes from the Househam service staff who keep close contact with customers, and they are encouraged to report any comments they hear, either good or bad, in case design changes are required," he adds.
Changes to cab design include a major attack on noise. There is more sound insulation, the windscreen is now curved instead of flat – which is said to deflect more of the external noise, and sound absorbing fibreglass has replaced some of the metal units to soak up even more.
Fibreglass cladding also hides what were previously bare metal surfaces in the cab, providing a smarter interior as well as helping to beat the noise problem.
Although there are no official test figures for internal noise level, the cab is certainly less noisy than some of the Super Sprints rivals, and talking to a passenger does not involve raised voices.
Carrying a passenger is also easier in the new cab. The large general purpose container on the left of the drivers seat now has a padded top to provide a little more comfort when used as a seat, and the extra 15cm (6in) added to the internal width of the cab allows the passenger to keep his or her distance more effectively.
To improve the view from the drivers seat the window area has been increased by 10%. Forward view is particularly good, but there is also a better view to the rear, making it easier to see more of the boom.
Some of the controls have been repositioned to make them easier to use and there is now an overhead panel built into the roof lining which carries controls for the air-conditioning, the screen wiper and the radio-cassette player – plus a cigarette lighter. There is also a built-in clock, but its positioning made it difficult to actually see it.
No criticism, however, of the neat push-button control which operates the parking brake and also automatically raises or lowers the cab steps.
Self-parking screen wiper
Detail improvements to the cab include a self-parking screen wiper instead of the previous trial-and-error version, and changing the cab door hinge positions from the rear to the front makes it easier to go from the cab to the access walkway leading to the tank.
Saving time on the routine maintenance and service checks is important in a busy spraying season and the job is made easier on the improved Super Sprint.
The battery has been moved away from the engine to a more accessible position, where it is also further from the heat of the engine, and this also gives easier access to the engine. Filler pipe for the fuel tank has an increased diameter for faster filling, and there is now a remote sight gauge to show the liquid level inside the spray tank.
Price of the Super Sprint remains unchanged, but there were hints of an increase in autumn.
Househams Super Sprint forms the basis of many sprayer firms self-propelled machines — latest 97 spec machine has non-mechanical improvements aimed at making routine maintenance checks easier.
New cab design on the Super Sprint centres on noise reduction. A curved front screen offers 10% more vision than previous model, while additional sound insulation and 150cm wider internal dimensions add to the comfort zone.
HOUSEHAM SUPER SPRINT
• Engine: Iveco engines with power outputs ranging from 85hp to 195hp.
• Transmission: Three-ratio hydrostatic four-wheel drive using Poclain wheel motors.
• Steering: selectable four-wheel steer.
• Ground clearance: 1m(39in) standard but additional clearance available on special versions.
• Price: £55,000 complete with a 12/24m boom Househam sprayer.