Crop Sprayer Modified To Fight Fires

About 4 years ago a fire broke out on a field Clark Oberholtzer was harvesting. He and his hired man got the fire out, with help from the local fire department, but he realized he needed to have a good fire-fighting rig standing by when harvesting dry fields.

“My high clearance sprayer was built to travel through tall, dry crops and it can carry a big water supply,” says Oberholtzer, who got the idea after looking at fire-fighting rigs that cost as much as $14,000.

What he came up with was the Fire Tamer, a front turret nozzle that can blast water up to 100 ft. at 85 gpm using the sprayer’s existing pump and tank. It has 180° of horizontal travel and nearly 70° vertical travel. It can direct a straight stream at a blaze or adjust it to a fog for dousing hot spots or a smoldering fire line. Wireless and hardwired remotes control turret movement and water flow.

“With the Fire Tamer, one person can engage and direct the water from the safety of a cab,” says Oberholtzer. “Most high- clearance sprayers are 4-WD and can operate over open terrain with better visibility than from conventional equipment.”

Best of all, he is able to price it at $6,995 (Canadian).

The Fire Tamer can be installed on other vehicles with water tanks and a pump. However, Oberholtzer points out that fire fighting equipment closer to the ground can get crop material buildup in engine compartments or around the exhaust systems and actually create their own fire hazards.

The Fire Tamer kit consists of everything needed, except the hoses from tank to turret. Hoses can be purchased locally, and hose length will vary by sprayer.

The kit includes the turret, nozzle and controls, 2 receiver hitch style mounts, and 2-in. camlock plumbing fixtures to intercept the sprayer water supply. The turret is direct drive with linear actuators and meshed gears. All parts are made in North America, and electrical components are controlled with limit switches and thermal load protection.

A manual ball valve at the intercept prevents accidental discharge. Once it is open, a remotely-controlled ball valve releases water to the turret.

“We have mounts for most popular John Deere and Case IH high-clearance sprayers,” says Oberholtzer. “The kit is available without the mounts if the customer wants to install it on another type of sprayer and build his own mounts.

“Initial installation takes about an hour. Once installed, it can be removed in about 5 min.”

“I spent a lot of time thinking about the design and how it could be made very robust,” says Oberholtzer. “It was designed with safety, simplicity and redundancy in mind.”

Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Clark Oberholtzer, Box 147, Arrowwood, Alta. Canada T0L 0B0 (ph 403 485-8198;