1990 - Volume #14, Issue #1, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Self Propelled 3 Wheel Swather Crop Sprayer
Luthi built the 64-ft. wide sprayer from junked-out machinery. It's equipped with two large 12.4 by 38 front tires and a single 12.4 by 24 rear tire. The boom raises and lowers hydraulically from 15 to 40 in. high and the wings fold back for transport. A 540-gal. polyethylene tank is mounted between the front wheels. The entire sprayer rides on an air bag suspension system.
To build the sprayer Luthi salvaged the cab from a 4-WD Case tractor, the frame from an Owatonna self-propelled swather, the final drive from an International Harvester cotton picker, the power steering and front yoke from a Deere 4020 tractor, the 125 hp engine, automatic transmission and transfer case from a 1975 Chevrolet pickup, and front wheel rims from an Oliver tractor.
"This sprayer is actually a modified version of a 4-WD pickup sprayer that I built two years ago," says Luthi. "It worked, but had a poor suspension system, poor visibility, and only 1 ft. of crop clearance. It straddled only two rows and was unstable on side hills. I used that sprayer's engine and front tires to build my new sprayer. It straddles four rows for greater stability, and I can use it for banding, broadcast, or overthe-top spraying. The 40 in. of clearance allows me to use drop nozzles in corn to control grasshoppers.
"I spent about $20,000 to build the sprayer. Comparable commercial sprayers cost $30,000 to $35,000 and most of them have smaller tires which makes for a bumpy ride over center pivot irrigation tracks. My sprayer's large rear tires soften the ride. I bought the boom from Blumhardt Co. and painted the sprayer frame to match the boom's blue color. A belt-driven pump in front of the engine operates the sprayer pump and raises and lowers the boom. The conventional nozzles are spaced 30 in. apart and drop nozzles are spaced 15 in. apart. Another benefit is that this sprayer has a 540-gal. fuel tank whereas most commercial self-propelled sprayers have only a 200-gal. tank. The high-low range transfer case allows me to spray at 12 mph and go 25 to 30 mph on the road."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Aldean Luthi, RR 1, Box 132, Hancock, Minn. 56244 (ph 612 392-5864).
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