RoGator Customer Review
“The ride is brilliant – it is simply great to drive,”
Alex Sullivan, Goondiwindi, Qld,
GOONDIWINDI grower Alex Sullivan is putting his new RoGator 1300 through its paces finishing fallow sprays prior to planting 800 acres of oats.
Farming on two properties north and west of Goondiwindi – Kinbeachie and Tenonby - the Sullivans plant 7500 acres to cash crops and some grain and forage sorghum throughout the year.
“We plant mainly winter cereals, some chickpeas, oats, grain sorghum and forage sorghum,” Mr Sullivan said. The current oat crop will be in the ground within the next week. The only obstacle has been waiting for drier conditions to plant, with a year-to-date total of 15 inches of rain.
The wet, boggy ground has proven no match for Mr Sullivan’s RoGator 1300. With its new 339-hp (253kW) engine and integrated drive package it has more than handled the situation matching speed to conditions. “We usually run around 30km/hr but it has heaps of power – you could go faster if you wanted to. In the heavy going wet paddock we drop back to around 24km/hr. But it handles the rough going really well. “This is my second RoGator. We bought a second-hand 1286 model just over 12 months ago and we decided to take the opportunity to buy into a new unit from Goondiwindi Black Truck and Ag,” he said. “We have only had this one for six weeks but nearly have 100 hours on it already and it is very good to operate.”
Speed over the ground is not a top priority for the Sullivans with work rates enhanced by the 36 metre boom. “Our planting is on 18 metres so it allows me to get over the country without having to run around the clock.” The current running rate is 1000 acres a day covering approximately 200 acres in an hour followed by half an hour to refill the 5000L tank. “If you wanted to push the machine it would go around the clock and 2000 acres a day would not be out of the question.”
The machine’s “stamina” and efficiency flow from its integrated drive system that consists of two primary components – a hydraulic motor and a gear reduction hub with the same parts used on all four wheels. The beauty of this simple system is that it delivers more power to the ground, more efficiently. The multiple speed ranges allow speed to better match field conditions and deliver quicker acceleration and better power management, which means a more consistent spraying speed over a range of terrain. Mr Sullivan draws particular attention to the boom height control – a feature that was not included on his previous model. “We can definitely run our boom a lot more level with the height control and I wouldn’t consider a 36 metre boom without it.”
AutoBoom is an automated boom height control system that increases application accuracy and reduces boom wear by keeping the boom level at the optimal height. It allows faster, more accurate spraying by automatically adjusting the height of the spray booms as they travel across the field.
Mr Sullivan says the value of this feature will be reflected by the extended life of the boom and is simply a “must have”. “It also takes a lot of the operator fatigue out of the equation.”
And there is no doubt the cab ticks all the boxes for comfort with an efficient air-conditioning system and a three-stage filtration process keep the air virtually dust and odour free. Large windows on all four sides of the cab allow the operator a clear view of critical parts, including the front tyres while lowered boom rests and better mirror placements also deliver clean and unobstructed views when transporting the machine.
“The ride is brilliant – it is simply great to drive,” Mr Sullivan said.
The bolted “C” channel flex-frame design also delivers a unit that is “solidly built”.
All four wheels are kept in contact with the ground, even in the toughest field conditions.
Heavy-duty cross members provide additional stability for a smoother ride and less stress on the equipment. “There is no question they are built to last.”