An extra-large tank, wide booms and effective suspension allowing fast working speeds enable Hardi to bill its new Rubicon 9000 as the highest capacity sprayer available.
Recently made available in the United States following an initial launch in Australia where there is also a 6500 model, the machine was developed in co-operation with Matrot, a French company with a long experience of high capacity, front boom sprayers that is now part of the Hardi group.
The Rubicon uses Hardi control technology, including the HC 9600 display, which can show up to 5 precision farming functions simultaneously in a choice of layouts and interface designs.
The capacitive touch screen is protected for durability by a pane of glass. ISOBUS functions include Tractor-ECU to use and display data from the vehicle powertrain in addition to sprayer control functions, such as section control.
Electric valves are configured for suction, pressure and clean water supply from the cab or using the Tank Control unit located at the filling station, where water intake couplings and the chemical hopper are mounted on an arm lowered hydraulically into the working position.
A 680-litre/min (180gpm) ACE centrifugal pump is controlled by a hydraulic pulse width modulation valve to adjust the output, and there is an 82-litre/min (21gpm) diaphragm pump delivering clean water to the main tank rinse nozzles and hand lance, and to prime the centrifugal pump.
Liquid circulation through the sprayline ensures the nozzles are ready to spray without delay and are then regulated according to a flowmeter for consistent application rate, unless flow to the boom is very low, in which case pressure monitoring is used.
Nozzle on-off control is by Hardi ActivAir, which powers the section solenoid valves and each nozzle’s non-drip valve.
A wide centre frame on parallel lift arms provides decent visibility from the front-mounted cab, and with independent stiffness control on the springs and hydraulic cylinders either side, the 36-48m (120-160ft) Pommier aluminium booms are said to ride smoothly at high speeds.
Power is provided by a tail-mounted 380hp Cummins engine and hydrostatic drive wheel motors on drop axles with OverRide air bag and hydraulic damper suspension.