1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4, Page #36[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Sprayer Built From Deere 4440"It has more capacity than most commercial high clearance sprayers on the market," says Iowa farmer Gene Keller, who built a self-propelled sprayer out of a Deere 4440 diesel tractor.
The one-of-a-kind, 3-wheeled rig is equipped with a 108-ft. wide, 3-pt. mounted boom and 1,040-gal. belly-mounted spray tank. It's elevated 6 ft. off the ground.
Keller, who farms near Williams, uses his "tractor-sprayer" for all his crop spraying, including postemergence herbicides in tall corn.
"It lets me get spraying done fast, giving us time to do other jobs that take longer," says Keller, who along with his father Joe built the tractor-sprayer 12 years ago. They used a brand new 4440. "Traveling at about 14 mph, I can cover 160 acres in an hour or about 1,600 acres on a good day. The spray boom covers 36 rows of corn at a time. We extended the rear axle so the wheels can straddle four rows."
The tractor sprayer's 18.4 by 46 rear wheels are chain-driven by sprockets bolted to the extensions on the tractor's rear axle. A 50-gal. extra fuel tank mounts ahead of the tractor. The single 18.4 by 42 front wheel is mounted on a yoke positioned about 3 ft. ahead of the front of the tractor. The 3-section boom is mounted on parallel linkage and equipped with drop tubes that are 3 ft. apart. Maximum boom height is 8 ft. and minimum height is 2 ft.
"We didn't have to modify the transmission at all because the drive sprockets on the tractor are the same size as the sprockets mounted on the rear drive wheels.
"One big advantage is that the driver sits about 9 ft. above the ground in a clean environment above most of the spray drift. He also has a great view. We use the tractor for only a few weeks each year so it gets very little wear. The tractor could be converted back to normal use - or to trade in on a new tractor - by unbolting it from the sprayer frame."
Keller used 4 by 6 and 6 by 6-in. steel tubing to build the sprayer's frame. He built his own spindle for the front wheel. A steel guard in front of the tire pushes stalks to the side in tall corn. "The guard really helps when we spray corn for broadleaf weeds late in the season," notes Keller.
The big spray tank was custom-built from 10 gauge steel. A hydraulic spray pump mounted behind the tank pumps liquid to the boom which Keller built from 1 1/2 by 2-in. square tubing. Parallel linkage keeps the boom level as it's raised and lowered. A big lift-assist spring behind the tractor helps raise and lower the boom. Spring-loaded, 4-ft. wings at each end of the boom flex backward if they hit an obstacle. The boom's main sections also have spring-loaded hinge joints. "The outer ends of a boom this wide are moving 30 to 40 mph on turns so breakaway protection is important," notes Keller."
For transport, a pair of hydraulic cylinders are used to fold the boom forward onto brackets welded alongside the tractor.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gene Keller, 2946 Hwy. 69, Blairsburg, Iowa 50034.
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