REVIEW: BA Pumps and Sprayers Cropchief 1900 linkage sprayer

By: Tom Dickson, Photography by: Andrew Britten

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Dairy farmer Adam Kordupel swapped a deal from a salesman who didn’t listen to his needs for a 1900 litre Cropchief linkage sprayer from BA pumps and Sprayers. TOM DICKSON reports on whether the Aussie-made unit made the grade.

BA Group Australia is a fresh new Australian company established in 2008 with a dedicated team encompassing years of experience in the Ag spraying industry.

Based in Geelong, Victoria they manufacture and import a large range of Agricultural sprayers and accessories, creating spraying solutions for the broad acre, viticulture, horticulture and turf industries.

Dairy farmer Adam Kordupel was looking for a two thousand litre linkage sprayer with a sixteen metre hydraulic fold boom and a reliable pump.

He wanted a heavy duty, galvanized boom fitted with TriJet nozzle bodies able to link into his tractors’ on-board monitor and navigation system.

Being strong, maintenance free and easy to operate was a given.

His new 1900 litre Cropchief is the largest in BA Pumps and Sprayers’ range which also includes a thirteen hundred litre and sixteen hundred litre versions.

All three models use the exact same frame and componentry but mount a smaller spray tank.

The Cropchief unit is a lot more manoeuvrable in and around Kordupel’s dairy than a trailed sprayer.

It also makes navigating up the narrow lanes and through gateways a breeze.

 

TANK

Tank filling is undertaken on the entry and exit side

Opening the ball valve on the bottom fill point makes filling easy and from ground level. The tank is also drained from this same ball valve.

The ten litre wash tank is on the same side as the bottom fill while the one hundred and fifty litre flush tank is on the other side. Both of these are filled through the lid.

Filling the tank, using the chemical hopper and cleaning the main filter are all done from the same side that you get out of the tractor.

A pre-pump filter is mounted safely within the heavy duty frame for protection and two post pump filters are attached at the back of the tank near the flush tank. They are very accessible and so can easily be cleaned during each fill up.

There is no rinse nozzle inside the tank so you would have to flip the large lid on the top of the tank and give it a bit of a squirt out with a hose. A glaring omission in my opinion is the lack of a reliable volume marker on the side of the tank.

HOPPER

The Two Red Levers activate hopper rinse and dry chemical mixing

The hopper on the Cropchief becomes active as soon as the PTO on the tractor is engaged thus starting the pump.

Opening the ball valve at the bottom of the hopper draws all the contents directly into the tank.

Inside the hopper is a drum rinse nozzle and a jet which helps break down dry chemical and turn it into a liquid form when it’s turned on.

There’s also a stainless steel ring with holes that rinses out the hopper. Its valve lever is coloured black while the other two are red to prevent you from accidently squirting yourself in the face with the drum rinse nozzle.

 

BOOM

BA Pumps & Sprayers LK1900 Boom

From my observations the boom rides really well.

Even as the tractor rocks and lurches its way through undulations, drains and rough ground the boom appears to float gracefully and independently of the frame itself.

Three sets of remotes are required. One set to lift the boom up and down through a huge working range up to about two and a half metres.

The fully hydraulic X fold heavy duty 15-metre boom is standard on the Cropchief 1900 with the option of extensions to take it up to 16 metres.

It pivots at the centre of the boom and is mounted on double airbag suspension.

Most of the plumbing along the boom delivering spray solution to the nozzles is stainless steel piping except for the rubber tube at places where the boom folds.

Again, like many of the other components the stainless steel pipe will be far more resistant to wear and tear.

The Gal boom may not look as shiny and new at the beginning but I think it is a far better option and will outperform the alternatives.

The boom rides up and down the mast on nylon pads that need no greasing at all.

Apart from smearing a bit of grease on the end breakaways there are only a couple of grease nipples on the main pivot point where the boom folds, and of course the PTO shaft

 

NOZZLES

Tee Jet Nozzles Showing Nozzle Bodies

The triple body trijet nozzles mount behind the boom frame for protection from impact in the event that the boom does bottom out.

For this reason I think it lacks some sort of attachment at each end to prevent grounding of the boom.

The boom is plumbed into five sections controlled by five section TeeJet 430 motorised valves.

At the moment there is a free upgrade to a TeeJet Radion 8140 auto rate controller.

It has a 4.3 inch colour touch screen, built-in droplet size monitor and on screen pressure reading.

This means is you can decide the volume rate per hectare then engage the appropriate nozzle on the triple nozzle body. The monitor will adjust flow rate automatically to suit your varying speed

 

STRENGTH AND EASE OF USE

The Cropchief Linkage sprayer is robust

The 1900 litre Cropchief is the largest in the range that also includes a thirteen hundred litre and sixteen hundred litre versions.

All three models use the exact same frame and componentry but mount a smaller spray tank.

There are a couple of non-slipe galvanized steps built into the frame of the Cropchief and some well-placed handles to help you up.

The frame serves as a really secure protective shell in which the one hundred and seventy litre per minute PTO pump and filters are housed.

The flush tank and hand rinse tank are made from the same plastic as the main tank and attach to either side of the main tank to create a really streamlined look.

Hitching up to the Cat 2 balls and attaching the PTO, three sets of hydraulic hoses and the monitor only takes minutes.

SUMMARY

Overall it’s a really impressive unit and my gut feeling tells me we will see more and more of these blue tanks getting around on Australian farms.

I liked it and would confidently recommend it as a quality piece of equipment in regard to build and performance.

SPECIFICATIONS

Make: BA Pumps and Sprayers

Model: Cropchief 1900

Attachment: Linkage

Pump: Bertolini

Tank (L): 1900

Flush tank (L): 150

Boom Type: Hydraulic X-Fold galvanised

Boom width (M): 15

Boom suspension : Double airbag

Find BA Pumps and Sprayers items for sale.

Look up sprayer specifications.

Read Tom’s full coverage as part of New Farm Machinery’s special spraying feature in issue 24 on sale July 20

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Linkage sprayer is more manouvreable A linkage sprayer is far more manoeuvrable and makes a lot less mess during winter months Linkage sprayer is more manouvreable
BA Pumps & Sprayers offers quality When folded up for transport the Cropchief 1900 is less than the width of the tractor BA Pumps & Sprayers offers quality
Tank filling on entry and exit of the tractor Tank filling, chemical induction and operating the valves is all done on entry and exit side of the tractor Tank filling on entry and exit of the tractor
TeeJet nozzles showing nozzle bodies Trijet nozzle bodies means a complete nozzle change can be done in minutes. TeeJet nozzles showing nozzle bodies
The Bertolini Diaphragm pump is well protected within a strong galvanized frame The Bertolini Diaphragm pump is well protected The Bertolini Diaphragm pump is well protected within a strong galvanized frame
The black valve lever activates the drum rinse nozzle The black valve lever on the chemical induction hopper helps you to remember which one activates the drum rinse nozzle The black valve lever activates the drum rinse nozzle
The two red levers are to active hopper rinse and dry chemical mixing The two red levers activate hopper rinse and dry chemical mixing The two red levers are to active hopper rinse and dry chemical mixing
BA Pumps and Sprayers Cropchief 1900 litre linkage sprayer BA Pumps and Sprayers product is definitely not the cheapest on the market but makes up for it with quality BA Pumps and Sprayers Cropchief 1900 litre linkage sprayer

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