Machinery Chatter

Creative Plumbing

Jim Patrico
By  Jim Patrico , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The C Series RoGators come with 90-, 100- or 120-foot booms and are designed to make cleanout faster and more efficient. (Photo courtesy AGCO)

At a time when chemical application has grown increasingly more complex, AGCO this summer introduced a new series of RoGators with creative plumbing solutions to tackle those complexities. The new C Series is unlike anything AGCO has offered before.

"Everything about the plumbing has changed," Craig Miller, Sales and Marketing Specialist, Application Equipment, told DTN/The Progressive Farmer.

AGCO's new plumbing system -- branded LiquidLogic -- has several innovative components, including a recirculation system that eliminates dead-ends where residue can be trapped.

"Regardless of the length of the boom -- 90-, 100-, 120- foot -- that pipe carries [recirculating liquid] from one end to the other. The plumbing is in constant motion," Miller said.

A dual valve set up is key. Liquid comes from a flow meter at the front of machine to a master apply valve, then to a recirculation valve. The master apply valve closes when not spraying, and recirculation starts. Recirculating liquid goes from the main line to the ends of the booms and back to bottom of the tank. When spraying recommences, the recirculation valve closes and product goes to the booms.

With chemicals flowing in a closed system, there are fewer places for solids to form and contaminate the next batch of liquids. LiquidLogic's plumbing makes rinsing and clean out easier and more efficient, because the operator does not have to take off end caps or aspirator caps. This reduces his "time and risk" when rinsing, Miller said.

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Typically, an operator has to prime the boom by spreading 40 to 60 gallons onto a field before his real work begins. Recirculation eliminates the need for priming because liquid is always flowing. That can save time and expensive product.

LiquidLogic also has a recovery system, which moves unused material back into the product tank for later use. It uses air pressure to accomplish this. Other sprayers on the market also use air pressure, but only to assist with cleanout by forcing liquids out of pipes and hoses.

"We have taken that a step further," Miller said. Air pressure on the C Series sprayers now forces product back into the tank where it can be recovered and used.

The recovery plumbing includes both booms and the reload station. It can reduce liquid left in the entire system to a total of 2 1/2 gallons, which can be sprayed at a lower rate onto a field, or it can be taken back to a holding tank for later disposal.

OTHER FEATURES

Creative plumbing isn't the only new feature in the C Series RoGators, Miller said. Its all-wheel SmartDrive system relies on a single hydrostatic drive with a divider block that splits flow to all four wheels evenly.

Each wheel motor has a speed sensor. If the system detects one wheel is spinning faster (slipping), the system redirects oil to the others three motors to keep the machine moving efficiently.

Differential logic in the drive system makes outside wheels spin faster during a turn, while inside wheels turn slower. "So we now pull ourselves around the corner instead of pushing around the corner," Miller said. That could create fewer berms in the field as wheels turn.

Pricing starts at $321,372 for RG900C; $365,830 for RG1100C and $406,819 for RG1300C.

Jim Patrico can be reached at jim.patrico@dtn.com

Follow Jim Patrico on Twitter @jimpatrico

(ES/BAS)

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