Pegasus Customer Review
"The boom is very strong"
Nigel Martin, Condobolin, NSW,
Western NSW farmer Nigel Martin from Condobolin knows what he wants when it comes to spraying equipment. And he is a big fan of manufacturers who take the time to listen and respond to farmer requests to make machines more reliable and efficient.That has been the case with him since 2004 when he swapped two boomsprayers for a Croplands Pegasus 6000, as it was a time to focus on economies of scale on an operation of 4600ha (11,500ac).
With one sprayer out of the operation it meant one less tractor, one less worker and an associated decline in fuel and labour costs. As a one man operation he also was aware that he would face increased pressure to maximise good spraying windows, hence the choice of the Pegasus model equipped with a 6000 litre tank and a 36 metre (120ft) boom.
Such a combination would increase his productivity and keep him out in the paddock longer when conditions were ideal to spray. The other aspect of being a one-man band is the importance of having easy to operate equipment that is reliable, because if something goes wrong, there normally is nobody around to run the proverbial rabbit to the local dealership to pick up a spare part. That sort of down time when you’re spraying can be very frustrating.
Nigel purposely opted for a trailed sprayer because of the flexibility of using the spray tractor for other jobs such as chaser work and general odd tasks around the farm.
“It’s a simple rig which is one of its strengths,” Nigel said. “It’s very well laid out and user friendly and would be ideal when using casual labour because they won’t waste time trying to figure out how things work.”
All Pegasus models are fitted with a clearly labelled, simple to use central control panel with twin rotary valve controls for all filling, mixing, spraying, and rinsing functions. Nigel had some input regarding the 36m boom and his advice has seen a new stronger boom on the Pegasus models. “The boom is very strong and will take a bit of treatment which is what they should be designed for because 36m can create a lot of twisting over undulating country at speed,” he said. “We have had two cracks in the frame which Croplands have now gusseted, removing those stress points.” “But with guidance, the boom doesn’t get knocked around as much and with the airbag the boom it is very stable.”
The base model Pegasus is appealing. It is a fully welded chassis design with an adjustable hitch offering maximum durability. It comes with a PTO-driven positive displacement diaphragm pump, MT9000 "automatic rate" controller, 20.8 x42in single tyres (6000 model), 60L Chem-e-flush tank, 340L flushing tank, double-sided foam marker and a 24m hydraulic lift and fold boom. Other models also come with hydraulic wing lift and hydraulic drive pump in lieu of the PTO model, both of which Nigel did not opt for when he bought the Pegasus 6000, as the PTO was simple and the wing lift was unnecessary in their flat country.
The tank is a top or bottom fill with a dump sump for total emptying, dual agitators, direct chemical induction and a tank rinsing facility and drain outlet. The positive displacement diaphragm pump ensures product delivery through a wide pressure range via stainless steel boom tubes which are easy to flush. Pump capacities are available as 180L/min standard and 250L/min option with performance characteristics offering the ability to run “dry” without causing damage. The Pegasus also comes with a five-point filtration system, designed for minimising down time. In operation at speeds up to 25km/h, depending on conditions, Nigel says the load-compensating nitrogen accumulator axle suspension, allows the unit to run the same empty or full, providing a smooth ride.
Nigel says the drawbar also has been extended 80cm (0.8m) to complement load balance that is a product of a low profile design providing a low centre of gravity.
The chemical handling system includes a chemical mixing and induction unit with drop-down leg for safe mixing at the correct height. Another example of upgrading by Croplands from farmer input is the case of the hydraulic lift cylinders that were a single acting cylinder with a breather on the retraction port that tended to draw in dust. Croplands have replaced this with a single acting cylinder with a piston the same size as the bore that solves the problem.
The fact that Croplands is very responsive to constructive criticism and react with positive action is very encouraging. The Martins have since sold one of their properties and moved to a new area, but still use the Pegasus in their farming operation at Condo.
With more than 60,000ha (150,000ac) of spraying using the Pegasus 6000, Nigel is looking at trading “the old girl” in on a new model. “It’ll be another Croplands,” he said.