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Sprayer Built Out Of Swather Turns On A Dime
Building a row crop sprayer out of a swather gives you a rig that turns on a dime, says Monte Martin, a Fabens, Texas, cotton grower and custom-applicator.
"The average field in this part of the country is 30 acres with rows 800 to 1,800 ft. long so you do a lot of turning around which is why it's necessary to be able to turn short and easily," Martin explains. "The hydrostatic drive is exceptionally well suited for this type of use since you can keep your spray pump turning fast enough to keep pressure in the sprayer built up so there are no skips in application every time you slow down to turn around."
He bought a 375 IH swather with worn out header from a neighbor for $2,600. He cut the frame down 8 in. per side so drive wheels are spaced 80 in. apart, center to center, to run in 40-in. cotton rows.
He removed the original single spindle and rear steering wheels and replaced them with a heavy-duty steering unit and 24-in. tires off a 622 IH cotton picker. That raised the rear of the sprayer 28 in. so it's level with the front drive wheels, which are narrow 900 by 42-in. tires and rims off an old vegetable tractor. Martin bolted spokes into the center of the rims so the tires would bolt to the hubs.
He equipped his sprayer with a store-bought rear-mounted 500-gal. tank and a front-mounted shop-built 60-ft. boom to cover 16 rows. Height of the boom, which is built out of 1 in. sq. tubing, is adjustable from 15 to 72 in. off the ground with two hydraulic cylinders and the same control valve that was used to raise and lower the header.
"I equipped the boom with two small hydraulic cylinders to fold the wings back-ward for turns around posts or fences," he says.
Finally, Martin enclosed the cab with 16 ga. sheet metal and mounted an air conditioning unit out of an old truck on top of the cab.
He uses the sprayer to apply insecticides at about 5 mph at least three of four times a season to 400 acres of cotton he raises as well as custom applying for other growers. Top speed of the rig is 12 mph, he says.
Martin built the sprayer last winter for a total cost of about $5,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Monte Martin, Box 993, Fabens, Texas 79838 (ph 915 764-2707 or 3950).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6