Versatile sprayer helps the bottom line in Southern NSW

10.10.2023 By Miller Company News

Photo caption: Southern NSW growers Nick and Joe (second from right) Lawless with Hamish Dalitz and Mario Mete, of Rural Group at Cobram, and John Hill, McIntosh Distribution, national distributor for Miller sprayers, recently caught up to update the performance of the Lawless family’s Miller Nitro 7380 sprayer used for spraying and swathing.

SELF-PROPELLED (SP) sprayers are one of the biggest farm equipment investments, however Southern New South Wales grower Nick Lawless recognised that by having a sprayer that also could windrow, it would save on employing a windrow contractor and help his bottom line.

This prompted Nick to upgrade from a 36-metre Goldacres tug-along sprayer with a 6500-litre tank to a front-mounted Miller Nitro SP sprayer with the same boom width and a 6100L tank, plus the option of its swather kit, and so far everything is going to plan. The ability to spray weeds whilst windrowing also is proving a bonus for weed control.

Nick farms with his family in the Narrandera area and near Yarrawonga in Victoria and spends plenty of time on the sprayer in their continuous wheat and canola cropping enterprise.

“Hands-down, the sprayer is the most used machine on the farm,’’ Nick said.

From March last year through to the same time this season, the new Miller spray rig clocked 800 hours, working throughout the season and over summer.

That was part of the calculation Nick included with the cost of the new sprayer, compared with investing in a new tractor and tug-along that both needed updating, and of course maintaining the contract windrowing.

“And the tractor never got unhooked from the sprayer to be used for anything else,’’ he said.

A 12m MacDon front is used for the windrowing and Nick said spraying under the cutterbar had shown good early results.

“It was too wet for croptopping last year and we only completed 200ha under the cutterbar. However, after 300 millimetres of rain over summer, where we sprayed it only required one light summer spray, whereas everywhere else had three summer sprays.’’

The latest Miller Nitro 7000 Series sprayers have introduced more power, torque and fuel efficiency, as well as improved driver experience, into the manufacturer’s range.

Featuring proven IVECO Tier 2 turbo diesel engines, the Lawless family’s 7380 model offers up 383 peak horsepower with 1459NM of torque, while the 7420 model delivers 434 peak horsepower with 1629NM of torque.

An innovative hydrostatic Danfoss pump system featuring electronically-controlled variable displacement, bent axis drive motors and integrated Fairfield Torque-Hub planetary final drives provides the improved drive performance. The drive motors supply greater torque at all speeds, while the weight distribution has been carefully designed to ensure it remains within 4 per cent of 50:50 balance during spraying.

Miller’s IntelliSpray pulse width modulation (PWM) nozzle system for high resolution, on-the-go nozzle control was another key attraction for Nick.

“If the wind picks up and we are concerned about drift, we can drop the pump pressure down from 4-bar to 2-bar and it will automatically adjust the duty cycle to maintain the spray pattern,’’ he said.

“The IntelliSpray (PWM) is particularly useful for maintaining the droplet size in our Victorian country, where there are more trees and we are always slowing down and speeding up.’’

A Raven XRT high resolution height control system is further improving spray applications, ensuring their boom remains at optimum spraying height for longer.

Nick also praised a host of other features with the Miller 7000 Series, including the renowned front-mount design.

“With the visibility out the front, I don’t think we can go back now.’’

“The higher ground clearance with Miller Nitro sprayers is also excellent. When you walk past John Deere and Goldacres sprayers at the field days, you see that you have made the right decision.

“The cab is awesome. I have been in the 6000 Series cab and it is chalk and cheese.

“The ride and stability are good too.’’

The complete chassis and suspension system on the latest Miller sprayers was purposely designed with added strength for the Australian market and four-wheel steer is available for those who need to track on a singular tyre track to avoid issues. Local tyres are selected for excellent flotation and reduced compaction.

Nick said his Miller Nitro was the first one sold by local dealer, Rural Group at Cobram, and Branch Manager Mario Mete and the team had provided fantastic support for the machine.