Farming 1,400 acres in north Co Carlow, Kevin Nolan started off spraying at the tender age of 14 using a Hardi trailed sprayer with a 14m boom. After first switching to a Horsch Leeb trailed sprayer back in 2011 because of its boom stability. Kevin opted to stick with the brand and upgrade his sprayer to a Leeb 8 GS.
He noted that his decision to stick with Horsch was based on the low running costs of his previous sprayer. Kevin went from running a trailed sprayer with a 6,000 litre tank and 30m booms to an 8,000 litre tank with a 36m boom.
Kevin Nolans Horsch Leeb 8 GS 36m trailed sprayer. \ Adrian Leech Photography
Since taking the delivery of his new sprayer in December, Kevin has covered just under 800 acres with the machine.
BoomControl Pro Plus
The sprayer is kitted out with 36m triple-fold booms. Horsch’s BoomControl Pro Plus uses sensors positioned along the boom to allow each section to move up or down independently.
Horsch’s BoomControl Pro Plus uses sensors positioned along the boom enable it to independently move each section up or down.
This is in an attempt to maintain the desired boom height across the machine’s width.
The active boom control system allows the user to spray at a low target height. This helps to reduce drift. The boom can be equipped with four different nozzles at any one time, allowing for 12 different nozzle configurations.
The boom can be equipped with four different nozzles at any one time, allowing for twelve different nozzle configurations.
These nozzles can be either physically altered or altered from the cab.
Both the right and left booms are fitted with one LED light for night spraying. The brightness of this light can be adjusted from the display monitor. When working, the sprayer and the lights are on. At the end of each run fresh water is sprayed at the lights ensure they are kept clean.
When the booms are extended, a curtain sits down behind the wheels, meaning that if the ground is a little sticky, no muck will be splashed onto any of the nozzles.
Another nice feature is the deadlock lever. This locks the flow of oil to the booms and the steering axle, allowing for peace of mind while in transport.
The sprayer is equipped with a steering axle, which allows it to follow the tracks of the tractor via a gyroscope that’s mounted on the axle.
The tank is stainless steel rather than plastic. As a result, there is little fear of any residue sticking in the tank. As standard, an airline is fitted to the rear of the sprayer. If any nozzles get blocked they can be easily cleared.
Kevin opted for the Horsch 1200 (12.1 inch) touchscreen display monitor over the option of running the sprayer through the Fendt’s Isobus terminal. This terminal is quite large and can be used in either portrait or landscape mode.
Kevin opted for the Horsch 1200 (12.1 inch) touchscreen display monitor over the option of running the sprayer through the Fendt’s IsoBus terminal.
Kevin explained that he opted for the terminal because there’s so much going on with the sprayer he likes to have the two screens.
Internal cab controls also feature a multifunction joystick. This joystick controls all important boom functions, including section control.
Internal cab controls also feature a multifunction joystick that controls all important boom functions including section control.
Kevin retrofitted a reversing camera at the rear of the machine to provide him with more visibility. The exterior panels are manufactured using plastic. All opening panels use gas struts and are kept shut using magnets.
However, Kevin noted that in his opinion this was one downfall, as he was afraid they could pop open some day while in transport on the road.
The sprayer is equipped with 3in fittings, a stainless steel induction hopper, a 3in rotary pump with an output of 1,000 l/min as a spraying pump and an additional piston diaphragm pump as a suction aid for the continuous inside cleaning.
The area around the induction hopper has been redesigned and provides for a simple working environment.
The area around the induction hopper has been redesigned and provides for a simple working environment. The display monitor has three pages, each of which are easy to read and alter. Kevin said: “The area around the induction hopper provides for a really nice working environment. It has a tap with freshwater for washing your hands and an overhead LED light that lights up the area in the dark”.
When working the sprayer and the lights are on, at the end of each run fresh water is sprayed at the lights ensure they are constantly kept clean.
Kevin’s sprayer is kitted out with Horsch’s fully automated Continuous Cleaning System Pro (CCS Pro). This system uses displacement to clean out the machine. Initially the CCS Pro system blows out the sprayer internally using compressed air, pushing out any unwanted residual in the spray lines. Following this, a separate cleaning pump will feed fresh water into the main tank and wash it out. The main pump then kicks into action, circulating the washings around the rest of the system before pushing it out of the nozzle. Kevin said: “The cleaning system is the stuff of the future. It thoroughly cleans the sprayer using a little amount of water. I can go from spraying Roundup to spraying oilseed rape in 10 or a maximum of 15 minutes.”
The sprayer is equipped with a steering axle, which allows it to follow the tracks of the tractor via a gyroscope that’s mounted on the axle. The axle is also air-suspended with level regulation. The sprayer came on 620 tyres, however, Kevin plans to fit either 710s or 800s to the sprayer next autumn. Kevin explained: “When I was ordering the sprayer I would have liked to have put it on 650 tyres, but the option wasn’t there so he had to settle for 620s”.
The rims come as standard in a grey colour, however, Kevin opted to powder-coat the rims black to fit in with the colour scheme of his Fendt 828 tractor. The machine is 2.8m wide with the mudguards being the widest point. This means that booms are neatly tucked away.
Kevin noted that the sprayer is very easy to attach or detach from the tractor. The sprayer has a hydraulically powered stand, which cuts out any winding up or down associated with typical stands.
The sprayer has a hydraulically powered stand, which cuts out any winding up or down associated with typical stands.
The stand folds up neatly, tucking itself away into the drawbar. After the stand only hydraulic hoses, an air brake line and the terminal cabling need coupling or decoupling.
Kevin explained that he opted to move from a 30m boom to a 36m boom for two reasons. Firstly, the wider boom means that Kevin can run a wider tyre without losing grain and, secondly, the increased tank capacity means that overall time spent spraying will be reduced.
We posed the question to Kevin why didn’t he opt for a self-propelled machine. He explained that he had a third tractor in the yard and liked the idea of running three tractors over two. However, he wouldn’t rule it out.
This year Kevin expects to cover around 7,000 plus acres with the new sprayer. This includes applying somewhere between 100,000 to 140,000 litres of liquid nitrogen and a small bit of contract spraying.
LikesLarge split screen terminal showing full workings of sprayer.Boom Pro Plus maintaining same boom height across the entire boom.The sprayer is physically narrower than its predecessor.
DislikesExterior plastic panels held shut using magnets.No option of ordering with a 650 tyre.