Today’s sprayers are huge, with capacities routinely topping 1,200 gallons. Axle loads can approach 12 to 20 tons when loaded, which is . . . a load. We don’t need to mention the other problem (but we will anyway): sprayers ride on narrow wheels. All this adds up to poor handling, ruts, compaction problems, a thirsty engine, and calls to hired hands or neighbors to come pull them out.
More Footprint is the Cure for Tire Troubles
In a perfect world, the rain would hold off until everyone has the crops sprayed. And there would never be a weed or insect infestation that requires quick action—when waiting a week for the soil to dry isn’t an option. If a customer complains about any of the issues we listed above, such as poor handling, be prepared to offer them a solution. A farmer doesn't have to put up with an unwieldy sprayer; it is possible to eliminate a sprayer's tire tantrums. A good way to improve a sprayer's performance is to add more footprint to the machine. A bigger machine footprint will better distribute its weight across the soil, which results in:
- Better flotation
- Less rutting
- Less soil compaction
- More precise handling
- A more compliant ride
- Better fuel economy.
One way to add footprint to a sprayer is to add tires by mounting duals. (Other options include: a set of floaters to use for pre-emergence passes, a central tire inflation system, taller tires and wheels, or top-end radial tires.) Here are three reasons to add duals to a sprayer.
1. Duals keep the sprayer in the field.
Wet conditions are much less dicey when you have more tire in contact with the ground. This isn’t an open invitation for farmers to go and drive through the biggest mud holes they can find, but the extra flotation duals provide will at least give them a fighting chance to get back in the field quickly after a wet spell.
2. Duals make it easier to keep the sprayer between the rows.
Sprayer duals cure the sloppy boat-like handling responsible for operator fatigue and sprayer blight. Even in wet conditions, duals will help a sprayer float and track better while burning less fuel. The shallower the ruts, the higher the fuel economy. And when farmers or custom applicators are working day and night to get everything sprayed, they will appreciate the improved ride and handling.
3. Duals save time and money.
Some farmers prefer duals over the floater option because they find it easier to mount and dismount the wheels. Or, farmers can simply leave them on, even for late-season fungicide or insecticide applications, which isn’t an option with floaters. This is especially important if the weather isn’t cooperating and guys need to get back in NOW to spray and not wait two weeks for the soil to be completely dry.
Ordering Duals for a Sprayer
Have a customer who's interested in better flotation, less rutting, a better ride, and more days to spray? Call or contact Keltgen Wheel. We can supply the wheels and extensions to make the project a success. John Deere and older RoGators will generally only mount duals on the rear axle as it carries most of the machine’s weight (40/60 or 30/70 split). If the machine is closer to a 50/50 split, it’s best to mount duals on both axles. And if your customer has a pull-behind sprayer, adding duals can benefit his operation too—better flotation means easier pulling through the field. Our wheel solutions are Forged to Go Further.