Three is a magic number with Case IH's new Trident 5550 combination applicator. It offers three seasons of application -- spring, summer and fall. It has three identities -- liquid, dry and combination. And its name references the Roman god Neptune, who wielded a three-pointed weapon.
Case IH thinks of the Trident as a versatile product that answers a need to get multiple uses from one applicator.
In the spring, the Trident carries a 330-cubic-foot dry box capable of holding multiple products. Optional NL4500T G4 Edge precision spinner technology provides programmable variable rate dry nutrient application. A MultApplier option allows spreading of two dry products -- simultaneously or independently -- at straight or variable rates.
If an owners want to tap into all the Trident's dry capabilities to apply an even larger variety of nutrients, "The MultiBin option increases application options to four products in a single pass. That means fewer trips across the field for reduced soil compaction, labor and fuel consumption," said Mark Burns, Case IH application equipment marketing manager.
In the summer, owners can convert the Trident to a liquid applicator for crop protection chemicals. In this configuration, the Trident's sprayer has "the whole gamut of options" you would find on a Case IH Patriot self-propelled sprayer, Burns said. That includes the AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology option and auto boom height, section control and end flush.
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Come fall, the Trident converts back to dry for post-harvest work.
Key to Trident's appeal is the short time it takes to convert it from one identity to the next, Burns said. Combination applicators are not new, but the Trident "is the first one designed from the ground up to be switched from liquid to dry applicator."
With three men working, it takes less than an hour to switch systems, Burns said. Other combination systems take at least four man-hours to convert from dry to liquid.
The Trident employs an optional aerial lift system to make the operation go quickly. It also requires a telehandler or other device that can lift at least 12,000 lbs. Three reinforced points on the dry and liquid assemblies facilitate lifting. Fastening requires only four spring-loaded points and eight stretch bolts -- 12 connections total. Hydraulic and electrical connections are virtually error-proof because each is sized to marry only its assigned partner.
With all its permutations, the Trident needs a specialized suspension system because weight can change according to product carried and amount remaining during an application session. Case IH engineers devised a pneumatic, load-sensing suspension. Sensors communicate with each part of the system to pump air into cylinders when needed.
The suspension system has four operating modes: 1) transport for use when loaded on a truck; 2) a minimum ride height to get into low-clearance buildings; 3) a standard ride height when in use and 4) a tender setting so that the system is fully inflated to accept product; it then settles to its standard height to go to work.
Starting price for the Trident 5550 is $312,000 for the chassis plus $65,000 for the base liquid system.
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