A class-leading boom ride and full mechanical driveline make the Goldacres G5/G6 series Crop Cruiser stand out from other sprayers
The G5/G6 series Crop Cruiser from Goldacres is the company’s flagship self-propelled sprayer, with an impressive feature set led by its class-leading boom ride and full mechanical driveline.
With a 5200- or 6000-litre tank, the G5/G6 Crop Cruiser is a high-capacity, high-clearance and high-performance sprayer designed for large-scale dry-land farming.
With an even spray result dependent on a stable boom in any terrain, Goldacres pioneered the use of lightweight aluminium in the outer boom wings over two decades ago.
The philosophy is that mass on a boom is fine so long as it is as close to the centre as possible. Reduced mass on the boom extremities reduces boom forces in both yaw and roll, which is also helped by a unique boom suspension.
This three-way suspension uses a combination of springs and shock absorbers, as well as hydraulic cylinders and accumulators that work to reduce boom pitch, roll and yaw.
The TriTech booms used on the G5/G6 are contour following, meaning that the boom level will be referenced to the sprayer chassis and not purely on gravity such as a pendulum boom. Goldacres says this allows the sprayer to transverse the sides of hills and contours while keeping the boom level to the ground at all times. This results in the nozzle being placed at the optimum height above the target.
Added to this are optimum droplet sizing, pressure, nozzle flow rate and spray uniformity across the boom width.
In terms of driving dynamics, Goldacres says it has set the industry benchmark with the Crop Cruiser through the use of a rigid chassis, a five-link suspension and a mechanical driveline system.
The main chassis is a fully welded, torsionally rigid semi-truss structure that provides a balance between strength and weight, while the five-link suspension is designed to provide a stable yet smooth ride through the use of polyurethane bushed heavy-duty torque rods, rear anti-sway bar and air springs on all four corners.
When asked why the company had gone for the mechanical driveline, Goldacres sales and marketing operations manager Stephen Richards says there are numerous benefits, including: lower maintenance costs, less noise, lower fuel use, less heat generation, lower engine revs, lower power requirements, more torque at the wheels and longer component life.
“All of this adds up to substantially lower operating costs,” Richards says. “Our customers are telling us that the Crop Cruiser can use up to a third of the fuel used by many hydrostatic drive sprayers.”
Acknowledging that sprayer operators need to put in long hours day after day, Goldacres has designed a ‘business class’ ROPS cabin for the G5/G6 series Crop Cruiser.
Its features include European styling and finishes, a narrow-profile four-post frame, double-skinned rear wall and extensive sound deadening. The cab is centrally located behind the front axle for reduced vertical movement, and the ride is made smoother through the use of an air seat and a five-link airbag chassis suspension system.
Ergonomic comfort is catered for with a seven-way adjustable seat, adjustable side console, adjustable G-Motion handle position and adjustable steering column.
The machines use a Raven spray control system, at the heart of which is a positive-displacement pump which runs at a consistent RPM, creating known flow rates across varying pressures. A flow meter and three-way regulator valve combine to help achieve fast ‘on target rate’ plus greater flow stability with known tank agitation.
The Raven SCS4400 sprayer console is designed to be simple to use and features up to seven boom section control switches (expandable to 10), manual pump speed readout, ground speed, three-tier system (3TS), direct chemical injection (DCI), as well as several counters such as area and volume.
Goldacres offers the option for ISO BUS compatibility, which brings all the sprayer’s control systems together into the one display and allows numerous leading VT displays to take over the control duties.
Two more technologies improving precision and ease of use are the RapidFire air-controlled nozzle shut-off capability and RapidFlow boom recirculation system.
Regarding the former, Goldacres says: “Traditional systems use motorised boom section valves to control water flow to the nozzles. Wider booms, in conjunction with increased number of spray sections, means a substantial amount of plumbing is required, thus increasing the delay in spray on and off times.
“In addition, the further the nozzle is from the centre of the boom, the longer the delay becomes.
“RapidFire overcomes these problems by putting the switching capability right at the nozzle.
“Small air lines at each nozzle switch the flow on and off in a fraction of a second, and more evenly across the boom width. Boom line plumbing is also greatly reduced, which quickens line priming and flushing as well as simplifies plumbing.”
The RapidFlow system, on the other hand, allows the sprayer boom lines to be fully primed from the driver’s seat without spraying a single drop. This reduces wastage at the start of a tank load or when switching chemicals.
The system can also be used to thoroughly flush out the boom lines without the need to physically spray on the ground.
Our customers are telling us that the Crop Cruiser can use up to a third of the fuel used by many hydrostatic drive sprayers
For more information call (03) 5342 6399 or visit www.goldacres.com.au
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