Chafer – a manufacturer based in Lincolnshire, England – has launched a new self-propelled sprayer.
The launch marks a return to the self-propelled sector for the company; it was tied up with AGCO for a period (on the Rogator sprayer project) and, prior to that, manufactured its own distinctive machines. In fact, the firm was building self-propelled sprayers in the UK as far back as the 1970s.
The Interceptor, as it’s called, is reportedly new from the ground up. It mates a 215hp, 6.1L Deutz engine and a Bosch Rexroth hydrostatic transmission – with apparent CVT-type functionality and features.
Chafer says that, unlike ‘normal’ hydraulically-controlled wheel motors, the Rexroth GFT gearboxes that it uses are individually-controlled, depending on the torque required. When operating in normal conditions, engine revs are automatically lowered to a minimum. If there’s a need for more muscle to tackle an incline, the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) automatically increases the revs.
The initial prototype unit, which has already been out and about the UK, is fitted with the same cab that’s on Fendt’s Katana self-propelled foragers. It has been reported that production-spec units might get a different driver’s perch – possibly the CNH cab that is currently fitted to New Holland’s FR Series foragers.
What about its other vital statistics? The Interceptor’s wheelbase spans 3.6m. When empty, the entry-level version tips the scales at 9.5t.
Available boom widths are from 24m to 36m. Their steel frames, says Chafer, sit low over the tank and chassis, improving stability and keeping the boom away from low-hanging trees during road travel. This lower height has been achieved by moving the boom to a triple-folding configuration – when widths greater than 24m are involved. In the unfolded position, all booms feature independent tilt (variable geometry).
Tanks capacity is 4,000L or 5,000L, depending on the variant chosen. Fill-rate is 600L/min.
The tank is constructed from stainless steel. According to Chafer, this non-porous material facilitates “quick and easy cleaning” between tank mixes and “minimises the risk of cross contamination”. The tank’s “wide profile” is said to result in a low centre of gravity; internal tank baffles help to prevent liquid surge on the move.
For growers who embrace all things high-tech, Chafer’s electric ‘ePlumbing‘ system is said to “optimise plumbing operations across the sprayer, improve productivity and reduce downtime”. It’s controlled via a 7in colour ‘eTerminal‘ at the filling station and inside the cab.
Alas, the market for self-propelled sprayers here in Ireland is severely limited. Companies such as Bargam and Bateman battle for what few spoils there are to be had. Could we yet see an Interceptor land here at some point or other?