Grower ‘pilots’ enjoying hi-tech Miller ride

03.21.2024 By Miller Company News

Photo caption 1: Growers are appreciating the opportunity to look over the latest Miller Intelligence sprayers during demonstrations continuing across the WA agricultural region.

Photo caption 2: The new Miller Intelligence sprayers feature Sidewinder Ultra consoles, larger screens and updated cabs that come with greater comfort, numerous luxury appointments and improved, 270-degree panoramic visibility.


Miller Intelligence

WA growers getting into the seat of the latest Miller Intelligence sprayers can be confused they have been handed the keys to the latest hi-tech chopper lined with plush comforts, and, hence, they have been suitably impressed.

Growers have been getting behind the wheel, and joystick, of the manufacturer’s newly introduced sprayers at demonstrations being held across the State and there are still opportunities to take a ride, including on their own farms.

The new Miller Intelligence sprayers feature Sidewinder Ultra consoles, larger screens and updated cabs that come with greater comfort, numerous luxury appointments and improved, 270-degree panoramic visibility.

The consoles also have introduced advanced telematics, raising spraying application and machine data control and transfer to leading industry levels, and which, critically, is compatible with all major data management systems available. It interfaces seamlessly with New Holland and Case IH systems, and, by taking up the option of the Raven Slingshot portal, it also can be used with other data platforms.

Peter Vella, National Miller Sales Manager with Australian distributor, McIntosh Distribution, said growers at the various demonstrations had enjoyed familiarising themselves with the different steering system, spraying operations on the console and the new cab environment.

“It’s a force-based propulsion system and so the joystick is not always in forward position. You hold it forward to get to your desired speed, then let it go and it holds the speed while returning back to the neutral position. Your hand is then always in the neutral position, which is ergonomically better for your arm and hand,” Peter said.

He said reaction to the new Sidewinder Ultra consoles, increased visibility and more spacious cabs with comfortable, high-back seats had been excellent.

“The changes have been well recognised and growers like the fact that day-to-day spraying functions on the operating screens have been taken back to physical buttons on the consoles, even though there is still the option to go via the screens.”

“It also has made operations easier to understand and, together with the advanced telematics and data transfer, this has given growers greater comfort in looking to use seasonal workers to operate machines.”

Compared with alternate systems, dealers also are alerted as any errors, warnings or notifications occur, allowing improved support to growers; guidance software programs can easily be interchanged; and, the system supports prescription maps developed from drone data.

“Service departments can use a Remote Service Tool (RST) and log-in if any performance fault codes or errors pop up,” Peter said.

He said during the ride and drive events, grower owners of existing Miller Nitro 7000 Series sprayers have noticed extra torque with the latest Intelligence series machines.

“There has been a change from two transmission pumps to a single pump with the hydrostatic transmission and this has enabled more efficient horsepower usage and that sense of greater torque.”

Meanwhile, all other industry-leading application options available with the Miller sprayer line-up are continuing to drive interest in the unique, front-mounted machines, including the wide range of nozzle systems, spot spraying technology offered by the Bilberry and Weedseeker 2 brands, Miller’s own Spray-Air platform, and the option to add a swather kit for crop windrowing.

“The Miller Intellispray II nozzle system is the next generation of pulse width modulation (PWM) control that can run at user-defined hertz rates of 10, 15 and up to 20 hertz, whereas Intellispray I ran at 10 hertz,” Peter said.

“This option helps to maintain consistent spray application at wider speed variations. By not requiring as much power, it allows the PWM to be set at 25-centimetre spacings on booms of up to 48 metres. On the larger boom, that’s individual nozzle control via 193 nozzles, compared with 92 nozzles set at 50cm spacings with Intellispray I.

“It provides greater consistency at higher speeds and it allows higher resolution with spot spraying. At 25cm resolution, but with side safety engaged, you are at 75cm resolution, versus 1.5 metres, so it further reduces chemical usage whilst maintaining ultimate coverage.”

He said for green-on-green applications, the Bilberry Intelligent Spot Spraying System, which fully integrates with Miller’s electronics and is available on the Miller truss booms up to 41.5m and the 48m Pommier boom, now incorporates generation III architecture.

“The latest systems feature a lot less componentry. Previously, there was one computation module per camera, whereas now there is only one for every four cameras, so across a 36m boom there are only three modules for 12 cameras.”

Since the launch of the latest Miller Intelligence series sprayers at last year’s round of agricultural field days, Peter said interest had been growing steadily and enquiries had increased following confidence-boosting rains in eastern Australia as well as many parts of WA.

Importantly, stocks of the Miller sprayers have improved, however they remain under solid demand.

An expanded dealer network is assisting the strong demonstration program with growers and the next event will be held at the Lake King community crop site on Tuesday, March 26. Growers interested in a demonstration can contact their local dealer.