Review: Hardi Saritor 2 Sprayer

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Hardi has just launched the new French-manufactured Saritor 2 5500 sprayer with bigger, lighter aluminium booms. Matt Wood headed to South Australia to check it out

Named after Saritor, the Roman god of hoeing and weeding, Hardi’s latest Saritor 2 self-propelled sprayer is a serious machine. It is a bigger, lighter version of the sprayer from the European manufacturer and sports some interesting features.

Overview

The Saritor 2 is powered by an unremarkable yet tried and true 275hp (202.8kW) 6.7-litre Cummins QSB turbo diesel engine and like many of its competitors the sprayer uses hydrostatic drive to get power to the ground.

But on closer inspection the big red French built sprayer does have some interesting things going on. For example the Pommier TR5 aluminium boom, the lightweight boom is available in widths from 36m to 42.5m although

Hardi also confirm a whopping 48m example is out in the field at the moment. The use of the lightweight boom leads Hardi to claim a 14.5-tonne tare weight for the sprayer, which isn’t too shabby at all for a hydrostatic machine.

Hardi Saritor 2: Hydrostatic drive

The wheel track of the Saritor can be hydraulically varied from 3m to 4m or anywhere in between.

This makes matching the wheel track to those of other machines that have been working in the paddock easy, it also allows the track to be varied to avoid compaction over the life of crop. It also maintains maintain crop clearance of 1.45m.

The sprayer also uses a twin 1,100cc pump Sauer-Danfoss hydrostatic system to both drive and steer the machine however, the system isn’t rpm dependant.

The idea being you can run at lower rpm while still maintaining optimum hydraulic pressure and as a consequence save some dinosaur juice along the way.

Hardi claims engine rpm of around 2,000-2,100rpm while spraying. For those long drives between paddocks the Saritor will boogie along at up to 55km/h with the booms safely tucked away.

For a hydrostatic machine, noise levels on the Saritor 2 are quite low and there is only some of that characteristic hydraulic whine in the back ground as we trundle along.

The paddle control is quite easy but there’s also a foot pedal that can be used for drive control as well.

The Saritor doesn’t roar in an effort to maintain hydraulic pressure, you get the feeling that it’s doing its best to balance engine rpm and torque with efficiency and performance at all times.

Hardi Saritor 2: High tech boom control

Sitting between that lightweight Pommier TR5 boom and the tractor unit is an interesting bit of kit, the AutoTerrain centre.

The boom itself sits on a wide paralift for stability but has four ultra-sonic sensors (six is optional) mounted along the boom length as well as a pendulum type sensor that is constantly making adjustments via computer controlled electro hydraulics to the boom level while the machine is in motion at up to 10 times per second.

In short the Auto terrain works to keep the boom from smacking the ground, and given undulating nature of some of our agricultural areas and the ever increasing size of spray booms this is a handy feature indeed.

Yaw dampening is handled by plunge cylinders mounted in the end of the fold cylinders with centrally mounted nitrogen accumulators, this means that each boom wing can move backwards and forwards independent of the other when braking or turning.

What this all means is that it’s pretty hard to hit stuff or break stuff while spraying.

Hardi Saritor 2: Tank capacity and ease of use

Of course, before you actually hit the paddocks with this machine you have to fill it. The low profile 5,500-litre main tank is a noticeable part of the Saritor but it’s also equipped with a 600-litre rinse tank as well.

A fast fill hose nozzle drops from the underside of the machine, which is a nice touch to stop hoses kinking; there’s also the option of a banjo fast fill pump.

But the bit that caught my eye was the front mounted fill point which would come in very handy when self-filling out of dams.

This means you can just nose up to the water rather than having to manoeuvre the machine sideways on uneven ground.

The work zone itself on the left side of the machine is accessed by lifting a strut mounted side cover, this I like as it also doubles as a veranda and provides some protection from the elements while filling and mixing chemicals.

All functions are labelled with easy to read symbols making it easy to know exactly which button you’re pressing or lever you’re pulling.

For mixing dry chemical there’s also a swing down turbo filler to stop things from getting too frothy and a spray gun connected to the rinse tank is handy for a wash down.

Flushing the system can be done from either the cab or at ground level.

Hardi Saritor 2: Pump pressure and speed

Once all fluids are in place something has to move them and that’s where the OnRate centrifugal pump comes into play.

The pump, which can run dry without doing itself an injury, puts out 11 bar of pressure, and is capable of running 680 litres per minute through its curly innards, the Mazzotti hydraulic motor puts out up to 275 bar.

It’s a pressure based system and the idea is that OnRate is capable of maintaining consistently high pressure across the pump system and is able to respond almost instantaneously to changes in spray rate.

In fact Hardi says a response time of 2 seconds or less.

The system is charged and maintains pressure regardless of speed by using a variable hydraulic valve. You can also opt for a closed loop system with auto prime as well to save spraying and flushing needlessly.

Hardi Saritor 2: Cab access and design

Most of this seems purely academic unless you get to climb behind the wheel, and as with most self-propelled sprayers this involves climbing a set of flip down stairs.

Once up at cab level a nice wide platform leads to the cab door. Like many of these machines, the Saritor uses a third party cab, in this case from New Holland.

You have to walk past the door before opening it, and I can’t help but think that a rear hinged door would make cab entry a tad easier.

Hardi Saritor 2: Cab visibility and ergonomics

But once inside the cab its strong points become very apparent, visibility is excellent and the cab layout is very simple and uncluttered.

The steering wheel and column are the only real dominant features forward of the driver’s seat.

Controls for all major functions are located on a side mounted console, including a paddle control for forward and backward drive.

Boom wing control, spray on and off, and section control functions are also mounted on the paddle while sturdy rocker or toggle switches take care of most other functions.

But what really stands out is the HC 9500 screen mounted beside it.

In keeping with the lack of clutter in the cab there are only two screens to look at, the smaller one displays basic drive information about the machine.

Hardi Saritor 2: GPS auto steer

The large HC 9500 spray control unit, has a standard interface with auto section control. AParaDyme global positioning system comes to the party for job mapping and auto steer.

But it’s the simple user friendly interface of the unit that catches my eye. I’m not a seasoned sprayer by any means but the layout of the menu, functions and real-time data seems quite intuitive, and very easy to read.

Specifying the whole GPS, section control package gives you the ability to map and store paddocks for future use as well as the ability to record obstacles.

Hardi claims accuracy to within an inch using the ParaDyme GPS and auto steer set-up.

All of this combined with the rapid response of the OnRate fluid control system seems to have the goods for constant spray coverage and ease of use.

Hardi Saritor 2: Handling ability

With the air bag suspended body soaking up undulations and the suspended Gramma seat also pitching in to smooth out any bumps, the Saritor 2 handles quite well.

The sheer size of the machine with wings unfolded to a stretch of over 40m means this machine does need to handle with some precision.

I can say that it did seem to be an easy bit of gear to throw about, although I reckon the small steering wheel could perhaps do with a knob to make low speed manourvreing a bit easier.

As you’d expect for an auto steer capable machine the Sauer-Danfoss steering system is electronically assisted and very light.

The 20.5m turning circle isn’t exactly tiny however, Hardi claims this also prevents crop damage in the headland while turning.

Hardi Saritor 2: Ease of transport

Folding the boom wings in for transport is reasonably easy.

It involves some console button pushing to unlock the wings while the rest is done by the simple joystick mounted wing controls.

Of course if you do manage to smack a tree, a strainer post, or the boss’s ute, the boom wings have 2.5m break away sections at each end.

The Saritor 2 also has plenty of lighting options with six spotlights facing forward and six smaller cab mounted lights, and six under the snout, boom mounted light packages are also available.

Hardi Saritor 2: Final Words

The Saritor 2 is an impressive machine; the use of aluminium booms not only helps trim some weight but also potentially paves the way for even longer boom lengths in the future and ditto goes for the AutoTerrain and Paralift set up. In cab ergonomics and visibility are impressive indeed and the HC 9500 spray control unit is a very approachable interface.

It may be more sprayer than many people need but it’s a slick well put together package with a user friendly interface that belies the innovation within.

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

MAKE/MODEL: Hardi Saritor 2 5500 Self Propelled Sprayer

ENGINE: 6.7-litre Cummins QSB

POWER/TORQUE: 205kW (275hp) / 990Nm (730ft-lb)

TRANSMISSION: Sauer-Danfoss Hydrostatic

DRIVE: All Wheel Hydrostatic

MAIN TANK CAPACITY: 5,500 litres-Rinse Tank 600 litres

SPRAY CONTROL: Hardi HC 9500 with section control (GPS and auto steer optional)

BOOM: Pommier TR5 Aluminium with four-sensor AutoTerrain system. 36.5m, 38.5m, 40.5m and 42.5m boom widths available.

MAIN PUMP: Saritor OnRate. Flow: 680l/m. Pressure: Up to 11 Bar

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