John Deere to preview carbon-fiber boom sprayer at Cereals


Featuring a larger, 5000-liter capacity spray tank and a new ultra-lightweight but extremely strong carbon-fiber boom, John Deere’s new R4050i self-propelled sprayer will be making its UK & Ireland show debut at Cereals 2016 in Cambridgeshire on June 15 & 16.

Scheduled to be in full production at the John Deere Horst factory in the Netherlands for the 2018 season, the R4050i will join the existing R4040i 4000-liter self-propelled model in the company’s sprayer range in limited numbers from early 2017.

Weight distribution on this bigger machine has been improved by removing around 900kg from the rear through the use of the carbon fibre boom, alongside the extra weight of liquid carried in the larger tank.

Able to spray at widths of 18m or 36m, the high-performance spray boom is considerably lighter than steel or aluminium designs. However, the carbon-fiber material used in its construction is around five and half times stronger than steel and is able to flex, which relieves the boom structure from the stress that can cause fractures in metal booms. The carbon-fiber boom is specially designed to withstand the high dynamic loads created at high application speeds of 20-30km/h, even with very wide booms.

The reduced weight of the boom – it is around five times lighter than a steel equivalent – also has benefits for ride performance: its low inertia greatly reduces the undesirable roll and yaw movement often seen in wide spray booms. In addition automatic boom levelling systems, like John Deere’s own BoomTrac, are able to control the ultra-lightweight boom with greater precision, enabling lower boom heights and higher speeds to be employed.

The R4050i is powered by the same 6.8-liter John Deere PowerTech PSS engine as the smaller machine, producing 235 rated hp (boosted to 255hp with intelligent power management/IPM). This engine meets Stage IV/Final Tier 4 emissions regulations by incorporating selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

The machine’s centrally located, easy to access cab provides a comfortable operating position and offers good visibility both on the road and in the field. The sprayer chassis features dual-strut independent wheel suspension for a smooth, fast ride, and hydraulic track width adjustment as standard. There is also a choice of two-wheel, four-wheel or crab steering to suit different crop and field conditions.

The R4050i is equipped as standard with the John Deere GreenStar 3 2630 touchscreen display with full FieldDoc spray documentation and ISObus compatibility. The sprayer comes AutoTrac ready and with a free JDLink Ultimate subscription for one year, which enables a range of additional FarmSight precision farming solutions including new Remote Display Access and Wireless Data Transfer, as well as Service Advisor Remote.

Other standard features include a Hydro Handle multi-functional control lever, Solution Command electronic sprayer control for automatic filling, mixing, spraying and rinsing, and a 50-liter PowrFill inductor for safe transfer of crop protection chemicals into the main tank. Total spray pump capacity is a maximum of 560 l/min, with a flow of up to 380 l/min.

John Deere’s established BoomTrac automatic boom levelling system can be upgraded to the new variable geometry BoomTrac Pro option, for increased application accuracy and efficiency. BoomTrac Pro automatically adjusts the height of the individual boom wings independently to match the terrain.

Instant crop or soil coverage to the full working width of the sprayer is provided by the standard pressure circulation system, which keeps the liquid solution moving along the stainless steel spray lines and right up to the nozzles, even when not spraying. Once spraying starts, the system feeds the spray lines from both ends to maintain a constant pressure and application rate.

To reduce input costs by minimizing overlaps or skips, John Deere’s automatic Section Control system switches individual boom sections on and off when entering or leaving predefined areas, including headlands, while LED boom lights help to maintain high productivity at night.

April 29, 2016

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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