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Ride Along New Holland Self Propelled Sprayer

Tags :  new-holland  |  self-propelled  |  sprayer  | 

 

Ride Along New Holland Self Propelled Sprayer

Neil: 

What are we putting down today? 

 

Steve: 

Putting liquid nitrogen down on wheat. 

  

Neil: 

Okay. The machine that we're driving is a New Holland soft propelled sprayer. How big is the boom on this? 

  

Steve: 

A hundred foot. 

  

Neil: 

We're out putting down a hundred foot spray a time. The thing that I appreciate about this equipment is, to me a so propelled sprayer is the very definition of how misunderstood agriculture is. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah, right. 

  

Neil: 

The amount of technology that's in this thing is mind numbing. As you're driving back and forth here, tell me a little bit about what you're paying attention to. 

  

Steve: 

Paying attention to make sure the gallons are right, and where I'm going. The machine does a lot of it itself. This thing's pretty phenomenal. It's very easy to operate. 

  

Neil: 

Give us in context the ease to operate. To the lay person here that looks at all the buttons, and the lights, and the switches and stuff in here, this can't possibly be easy to operate. 

  

Steve: 

It took a little bit to learn it, but now once you got it, understand it, it's really simple to operate. It's very easy to operate. One thing we're doing here is when we're on the go, we have individual nozzle shutoffs that it shuts off automatically, every nozzle, as you're coming up on point rows or the end rows. Another thing that this machine has on it is variable rate on each nozzle. If I'm swinging, the one side will put the right amount on, the other side will pulse and hold back so we're not overlying, even on a turn. 

  

Neil: 

When we came back through that end down there, you could see the nozzles shutting off as it was coming across the boom. And right here, if we're watching the display, the ends are turned off right now because we've already covered that area. As we're going back here, you're using GPS, basically, to define in the field what we've done. 

  

Steve: 

Correct. 

  

Neil: 

Because this is such a small field, we literally covered that in what, two passes. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah, probable three or four minutes. 

  

Neil: 

There's no need for auto steer or anything like that in this garden patch. 

  

Steve: 

That's the unfortunate part about this place, the fields are small. 

  

Neil: 

But this is farming in Pennsylvania. 

  

Steve: 

That's right. Another thing that's really awesome on these sprayers is the front boom. Being able to pull right up into the corners, see what you're doing, see all your nozzles. I would not go back to a rear boom. They moved these booms on the new model here front a little bit, so it opened up your visibility to look out there instead of your boom being back there. [crosstalk 00:03:30] 

  

Neil: 

Yeah, I see what you're talking about. 

  

Steve: 

This new machine too, it goes 35 mile an hour instead of 29 before. 

  

Neil: 

When you've got cars behind you, that little bit helps. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah, if you're doing a lot of roading, five, six mile an hour makes a big difference at the end of the day. If I don't have to put it on a truck, I'm much better off, even if it takes me a little longer to get there, but too, I'd get a chained down and whatever all that got to do, I'll be there. 

  

Neil: 

Oh yeah, it takes hours. 

  

Neil: 

To what degree is this your mobile office? 

  

Steve: 

I spray about 8,000 acres a year. This is where I live from mid-March to August. 

  

Neil: 

You don't even think about driving at this point, for the most part. Like you said, the machine takes care of the rates and stuff. Are you spending your time in the cab here taking care of other things? 

  

Steve: 

Oh yeah. I'm on the phone all the time. 

  

Neil: 

There's a degree of this that's relaxing. 

  

Steve: 

It is kind of, once you got it all set up and going. The first week it wasn't relaxing. Ask Brent, I was on the phone with him, "now, what do I have to do next? What do I have to do?" I just programmed this whole farm down here before you jumped up in. I had a hard time learning how to put the fields in and everything, but now I got that figured out. We have all the farms in desktop software. They bring it out and download it into here. 

  

Neil: 

You say putting the fields in, so you're defining this area in the sprayer's computer so that when you get back to the office, you can see what you've done. Right. You're, you're still driving, right? This machine would drive itself. 

  

Steve: 

It would. I'm going out around. Once you get out around done, like here I can strike my line and follow it this time. So I'll hit my A and then my B when I'm done. I'll set my B, and now it's in. Now it's going to map it, or put your pass in. Then we'll hit B when we get to the end, and then it'll follow it the next pass around. Last time I couldn't get the thing to work. Brenton was saying, that's because you didn't do this or that. I might have to call him because I haven't run it since he was telling me what I did wrong. 

  

Neil: 

Keep the guys on speed dial. The thing that we always try to sell to the future generation of technicians is, this. The perception of what is farm machinery is somebody who's looking to get into this business is so wrong. The amount of computers and technology, and wires. And sensors, and servos and stuff, that's in this thing is mind blowing. 

  

Steve: 

That's exactly right. It is mind blowing. 

  

Neil: 

Crazy, there's radar on that boom that has it set its height? 

  

Steve: 

Yeah. Now, I brought that one up. 

  

Neil: 

In the absence of that, how on Earth would you [crosstalk 00:06:50] 

  

Steve: 

Well, you can't watch both sides at the same time. 

  

Neil: 

There's this big berm on the side. I do think it's kind of neat that the technology can also tell you when the machine's having a problem. We talk about having to have the service tech on speed dial, but you're getting information off the machine here as you go of a mechanical problem that ... 

  

Steve: 

Right, that's one thing, nice. The mechanic doesn't always have to come out. A lot of times, by what the machine's telling me, he can tell me what's going on. 

  

Neil: 

Hands off. 

  

Steve: 

We are hands off and it's on.it's on. We're not doing a straight pass here. 

  

Neil: 

It's going to follow the contour. 

  

Steve: 

It's going to follow the contour keep us right on track. 

  

Neil: 

When you're dealing with a hundred foot boom, without this, there's no way you wouldn't have some of 

  

Steve: 

[crosstalk 00:07:43] You would stick over a little bit. With my automatic shutoffs, you want to overlap, but you're not utilizing the hundred foot boom. 

  

Neil: 

The price of all of this stuff is through the roof. 

  

Steve: 

Plus I also have in here some herbicide for weeds and a fungicide. The herbicide, you don't want to over apply. You could burn the crop. 

  

Neil: 

You have an 1100, 1500 gallon tank in this? 

  

Steve: 

1200. 

  

Neil: 

1200 gallon tank. Round numbers, what does it cost to fill that 1200 gallon tank with what you're putting down? 

  

Steve: 

Probably close to $4,000. It's big money. 

  

Neil: 

That's why overlap matters. You talk to the people that see chemicals with a nozzle coming out of it and worry about what you're putting down on this field. But my goodness, you want to put as little down on this field as possible. 

  

Steve: 

Exactly. It's minute actually. What you're putting down is so little. Now the booms are shutting off automatically again. It didn't matter how we hit it, they come for new direction. Here you can set your perimeters of your speed. I have it set. I don't want to go over 11 mile an hour, so I can go slower by just pulling back on the joystick. I have it toggled up to about 11 mile an hour, because that's what holds my rate. If I go over 11, then I'll be under applying. 

  

Neil: 

Look how they climbed over that. 

  

Steve: 

You don't even feel them. When I bought this, I wanted the upgraded cab, which it sounds like you guys do all the upgraded cabs now. I'm not beat up at the end of the day in here, even with my pinched nerve in my back. It's a pleasure. This has the heated and cooled seats, air conditioned like our vehicles do. Oh, it's really nice. 

  

Neil: 

Fine place to spend the day. 

  

Steve: 

It is. 

  

Neil: 

Tell me about the tires that you have on here, because they are wider than the fenders. That's a ... 

  

Steve: 

Floater tire. The wide tires are the floaters. Then I have the other ones to put on. I'm do doing that for less compaction right now because we are carrying nitrogen instead of water. We'll do that till the corns up. Then we'll switch over to the skinny tires to go between rows to side dress or second spray for weeds. 

  

Neil: 

That auto fold is kind of awesome. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah, that's phenomenal 

  

Neil: 

For as much in and out of the field as you are. Obviously I don't have tons of experience with this, but my limited knowledge of folding out that last section and having to time it just right to get it to flip over. 

  

Steve: 

Oh, so you did it already. And it raises itself up so it don't hit the ground. It's just phenomenal how they got that figured out. I couldn't believe when I first brought it out. Just hit that button, they'll unfold. I'm like, okay, it unfolds. 

  

Neil: 

As we're driving here and you hear that beeping sound, what keeps popping up on the monitor is one of the nozzles is sticking a little bit. 

  

Steve: 

If you see it's brown coming out the nozzles. I'm running a sticker in for the nitrogen. So it don't volatize off or leach out. That brown is, I think, causing a little bit of a problem with the eye. Once I'm not running that product, that'll clean itself up. At the end of the day, I run something through to flush it out so it doesn't cause a problem. Everything's working okay. It's saying one of the things are stuck, but it's just not reading quite right. It is putting the right exact amount that it's supposed to. 

  

Steve: 

I really have no other farms that are this bad and small. 

  

Neil: 

This is tough. 

  

Steve: 

This is Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve. They cater to the geese here a lot. There's deer here also, obviously Turkey. They do cater to the Canadian Geese. This is a place where all the people from all over the country come when the Snow Geese come in the spring. Now they're out of here, but the Snow Geese come in here in droves. They land over on that side a lot. 

  

Neil: 

Do you farm this on their behalf and then this is still their ground over here? 

  

Steve: 

This is their ground. 

  

Neil: 

Do they dictate to you the crops to go in here? 

  

Steve: 

They do we have to have so much of certain things. 

  

Neil: 

In order to support the wildlife, basically? 

  

Steve: 

It actually yields pretty good. I didn't know how much damage we would have. Some years we get hammered a little bit more on the geese than others, the small grain, so much corn, corn's fine. 

  

Neil: 

They come through and they pick the crops off. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah. You saw up there in that [inaudible 00:12:31], that's why it's not quite as tall. 

  

Neil: 

A couple up there. 

  

Neil: 

How long did it take for you to get comfortable driving down a steep hill? 

  

Steve: 

Oh, not very long in this. I'm a little weird. My Uncle Bob wouldn't have liked that. 

  

Neil: 

Well, the ease that you run this thing around is cool. Driving back and forth, poppin off the sides of the road. Your comfort level in the seat is obvious. 

  

Steve: 

This is my ninth year running one of these. No, I had a Miller before that. My one I just traded in, I had eight years in that, and had a Miller about two, three years before that. I'm probably doing this 12, 13 years. 

  

Neil: 

We're looking at driving around in an investment like this. You do a lot of work with this machine in the course of the year in order to help pay the bills on an investment like this. 

  

Steve: 

Exactly. We do some custom spraying. I have my commercial license for doing custom spraying. 

  

Neil: 

Taking care of your home farm and then really reaching out to anybody else in the area in order to help. Obviously, not too many farms can have an investment like this parked under their garage. You really got to put some acreage down in order to make it work. 

  

Steve: 

A lot of times, if I go do custom work for a guy and he's showing me the fields or something, he's like, you're going to hit it out there. I said, no, I'll clear. You know, if I'm going past the telephone pole. I just have that perception that I've been doing it so long, that I'm so used to where my boom needs to be. 

  

Neil: 

No substitute for being a good operator, right. 

  

Steve: 

With all the technology you can lower your rates. Of course, when I'm trying to get a certain amount of fertilizer on the crop, I want to run 30 gallons to have a hundred units of nitrogen, so I can't drop the rate there. When I'm spraying for weeds, I'll be able to drop the rate down. I'll have the same amount of acres I got out of a tank before. 

  

Neil: 

Out of less gallons. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah, just less gallons because of the way the technology is on the nozzles and everything is so much advanced. Before, it was nine nozzles. If you didn't have your auto steer on and you're doing a small field like that, you were over spraying a little. This really makes it nice. Now, if I look at my paperwork and say, "oh, this is a four acre field", before, I might of spraying, with the corn planter, you have every row unit shutting off. He might have four acres. I would have like 4.1 or 4.2, because I'd have that overlap a little bit. Now with everyone, I see my acreages are coming down on my spraying. 

  

Neil: 

You're saving money in terms of not putting unneeded spray down, that's obvious. If you did put that spray down, can you tell the areas where that happened? 

  

Steve: 

It would depend on certain crops and certain situations. You could see it, yeah. It's just, there's no need for it. You're not really benefiting anything. Brenton makes up those nozzle guards. See that pipe above the nozzle? That protects your nozzles so you don't knock him off. Since he put them on my old sprayer, I hardly ever replace the nozzle. That's not good for you. You can't sell me parts then. 

  

Neil: 

It's alright, we'd rather you stay in the field than sell you $15 nozzle body. 

  

Steve: 

It sure makes a difference. That's a Messick's deal there. I don't know of anybody else that does that. 

  

Neil: 

Well, you can't like undervalue people like Brenton who lives this kind of stuff. Right? 

  

Steve: 

Definitely got a lot of great service people. 

  

Neil: 

Yeah. That's what it takes. You get people out here like me that can take your check, but you need people like Brenton who can be the ones that are there once this thing is out and running and know the things like, Hey, we add a piece of pipe here, we'll save your nozzle bodies. 

  

Steve: 

Yeah. People say, you're the boss or you're the owner. I say I'm just one of the guys. Without everybody, I'm nobody. That's exactly what you were saying. It's the exact same thing. If those guys don't want to put the time and everything else, it ain't going to matter what we want to do. We can only do a small part of it. 

  

Neil: 

For the people watching us here, you mentioned there's wheat in these fields. That would be winter wheat that you would've sowed when? 

  

Steve: 

September, October. 

  

Neil: 

After prior crop came off. 

  

Steve: 

After corn. 

  

Neil: 

Corn comes off, wheat afterwards. 

  

Steve: 

Corn or soybeans, yeah. 

  

Neil: 

It's not atypical for us here in Pennsylvania to get multiple crops off of a field in a course of a year. 

  

Steve: 

After the wheat, then we will plant soybeans. That'll be in July. What we call double crop soybeans. 

  

Neil: 

When we started here, we had 1200 gallons in the tank. We now have ... 

  

Steve: 

32 gallons left. 

  

Neil: 

You were telling me tomorrow, you're going to be an hour plus away from home with this. How do you manage? 

  

Steve: 

I have a nurse truck that follows me. I'll go down there and he'll nurse me at those fields. 

  

Neil: 

He's getting water. You would have the concentrated chemicals and stuff on the truck, and then you're getting water somewhere else. 

  

Steve: 

Right, or nitrogen. He'll be filling up nitrogen down there. I have tanks down there and then he'll keep up with me. 

  

Neil: 

This thing rides, holy cow. 

  

Steve: 

Oh, it's unbelievable. We're going through the field here at 20 mile an hour and you don't even know you're going. 

  

Neil: 

The suspension's unreal. 

  

Steve: 

They really did a lot for the suspension. The booms aren't even moving. They're just staying straight where they're at. 

  

Neil: 

Would you ever spray this fast? 

  

Steve: 

No, I maybe 13. 

  

Neil: 

The rates can't keep up? 

  

Steve: 

If you're doing low rate. The only way I'd go that fast is, cause you get a little blow. You want to get it to the ground. If there's a thunderstorm coming over the mountain, I might kick it up if I want to get the field done. 

  

Neil: 

Thank you, Steve. Appreciate it. 

  

Steve: 

Thank you. 

  

Neil: 

Thanks for showing us around. The one thing that I never get over when I'm out doing this is how easy you have made this. This is an incredibly complicated piece of equipment, but my goodness, years of work and the time that you spent in the cab, it's obvious the skill that you've developed. 

  

Steve: 

Thank you, and thank you for coming out. 

  

Neil: 

Absolutely appreciate it. If you're shopping for a piece of equipment and we can help, or if you have parts of service needs for a machine you've already got, give us a call at Messick's. If you got custom spraying, that needs to be done we'll leave the information for Wen-Crest down here in the description of the video as well. I'm sure these guys would be glad to help you out. We're available on 800-222-2273, or online at messicks.com. 

 

 

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