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In early June Bruce and Hamish took the opportunity to visit our suppliers in Europe. Firstly was a quick stop at Househam in the UK to look at both the Spirit and Merlin, Househam’s new self propelled sprayer models. With a tour of both production facilities and a meet and greet with staff concluded it was time to let the boys loose in these new machines. We were provided with a large open field, which we used to test the operational features, comfort and driveability of these sprayers.
Onto Denmark and first stop was Heva in Nykobing Mors. Again the company has two locations close together. Product training was taken over two days and tours we conducted of both factories. We also meet some local farms and studied the way European farmers are growing Oil Seed Rape.
Finally to Bredal in Vejle Ost. Bredal currently operate from three locations with the biggest being their new production facility housing a new powder coating plant. Again product training was conducted over two days. We also visited the Test Hall operated by the University of Aarhus where we tested various fertiliser spreader configurations.
Househam has unveiled the fully new Merlin range as well as new models in its entry-level Spirit range.
Merlin sprayers are a next generation that features a new boom design and layout, better tractor design and ergonomic layout, new wheel motor design and features, a bigger wider cab, higher clearance and smooth underbody, and totally new, simpler plumbing design.
Models in the Merlin ranges are available in 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 litre tank sizes with standard booms from 24m to 40.
EuroAgri general manager James McCloy says Merlin sprayers feature a 170hp CAT Tier III engine or optional 225hp unit.
“High speed bent axis wheel motors distribute power through the four gear boxes for maximum power, maximum traction and minimum power loss.
“The standard option is a smooth-shift transmission but a stepless ‘smart transmission’ is available as an option,” James McCloy says.
For safe braking on the road, Merlin sprayers have on-board dynamic brakes as well as hydrostatic braking.
The chassis design includes Rubboflex mounted axles that isolate transmission vibration and have fewer lubrication and maintenance points. The axles are telescopic with twin pinch bolt configuration and the extended wheel base gives more stability and near 50:50 weight distribution.
Boom options include twin-fold model with working widths of 13m to 24m and triple-fold models in working widths up to 40m.
“The booms are flat fold to give a lower centre of gravity during road transport. The centre frame of the boom gives the operator total control either manually or with the Househam boom levelling system. If you operate on rough terrain you might want to consider full geometry boom control, which has a ‘return to level’ option,” James McCloy says.
“The plumbing system has been redesigned to minimise its complexity. It gives complete tank emptying, full boom recirculation, and easy access to the filters and pumps for servicing.”
Merlin’s cab offers a high spec operator environment with a highly efficient carbon filtered climate control system, curved and tinted rear glass for optimum visibility,
The 10 inch touchscreen terminal used Intel dual core technology. Options include Field Master GPS guidance software with auto section control or integrated Spray Pilot autosteer.
Househam’s Spirit self-propelled sprayers are entry level machines designed for medium sized operation that now run trailed machines.
“Weighing in at less than 6000kg, Spirit sprayers are essentially high spec’d buggy-type machines with a price that is sure to impress,” James McCloy.
The standard Spirit boasts a high spec cab with full air conditioning, 3000 litre GRP tank, and hydrostatic drives for power and manoeuvrability. Booms are 24m wide and the Spirit has a 140hp CAT engine.
A revolutionary design layout incorporates an open power pack engine and pump system positioned at the rear of the machine for excellent weight distribution. Te power pack has significantly lower noise levels.
Another new feature of the Spirit is the Pantograph arm boom height control.
James McCloy says Househam developed the Spirit for farmers who want greater flexibility in their spraying operations, which trailed a sprayer and tractor cannot deliver.
“Spirit is a self-propelled machine that is within reach of small to medium sized farmers who cannot justify an ultra-high spec machine.”
Photo shown: James McCloy and Steve Melton from Househam
Steve Melton, Househam Technical Support Manager, recently visited to provide staff service training. Together with James McCloy he visited clients, with appointments taking place between February 26 and March 4.