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Field day showcases APACHE sprayers

By Staff | Jun 18, 2010

Area farmers stopped by the Jim Brown farm near Churdan last week for an APACHE sprayer field day, which was sponsored by Brokaw Supply Co., of Fort Dodge, which sells the torque-converted, mechanical-drive sprayers.

CHURDAN – When Jim Brown was thinking about buying a new sprayer, the Churdan-area farmer looked at many different options before selecting the AS1010 self-propelled, 1,000-gallon APACHE sprayer from Equipment Technologies.

“I like its simple physics, and we’ve covered 4,000 acres with the sprayer already,” said Brown, who used a pull-type sprayer before investing in the APACHE. “The APACHE is affordable, compared to many other sprayers, it rides nice, it’s simple to run, and it does everything we need it to.”

Brown recently hosted an APACHE sprayer field day at his Greene County farm in conjunction with Brokaw Supply Co., of Fort Dodge, which sells the torque-converted, mechanical-drive sprayers. Many area farmers stopped by to view and test drive the APACHE machines, which are available in three models, including the AS715 (750 gallons), AS1010 (1,000 gallons) and AS1210 (1,200 gallons).

According to factory representatives, the simplicity of the APACHE’s drive train offers 50 percent better fuel efficiency, easy do-it-yourself maintenance, significantly less soil compaction and a smoother, quieter ride compared to hydrostats.

Gary Nelson, a Brokaw Supply co-owner, who also farms in the Fort Dodge area, recently purchased an APACHE sprayer for his own use. “It’s a big step to go from a pull-type sprayer to a self-propelled machine, but I really like my APACHE.

“You can spray 100 acres an hour with one of these rigs and I’m impressed by how well they go through the mud.”

Stabile system

The APACHE’s suspension system is a big plus, Nelson added. The sprayers feature anti-sway and auto-leveling technologies that keep the booms out of the soil on sharp turns, regardless of whether the tank is full or close to empty, said Jeremy Hurt, service manager for Equipment Technologies, a privately-owned company in Mooresville, Ind.

The sprayer’s patented hydraulic suspension, combined with the focused power of the rig’s mechanical drive, allows the operator to take off from any gear position and do so without tearing up the field.

This is possible, because the APACHE is geared to multiply engine torque up to two times when needed for hilly terrain and muddy conditions. Then a limited slip differential kicks in, so the operator gets traction where he or she needs it.

“The APACHES can run so efficiently,” said Hurt, “because with mechanical drive you get 90 percent of the power right to the ground.” He added that the APACHES can reliably spray 1,000 acres on a single tank of fuel.

The two-wheel drive APACHE rigs, which feature Cummins engines and a five-year limited warranty, come with a variety of boom widths, including a 60/80, 60/90, straight 80, straight 90, and up to 100 feet.

A farmer who worked at a co-op developed the concept for the APACHE sprayer, which Equipment Technologies has manufactured since 1997, said Nick Smith, inside sales manager for Equipment Technologies.

“All we do is make sprayers, and the APACHES get your biggest return on investment,” said Smith, who noted that an APACHE sprayer retains 76 percent of its original value after six years. “The resale value is so high, because the APACHES are easy to work on and parts are readily available.”

Precision ag tech

Equipment Technologies, which was among the earliest adopters of precision-ag technology, factory installs a wide variety of Raven precision-ag options, from guidance and steering to application rate control.

Brown’s APACHE sprayer, which features a 90-foot boom, includes auto steering technology, boom control that automatically turns booms on and off, and an Envizio Pro touch screen, which provides multi-field views and full-motion field maps as the sprayer moves through the field.

APACHE sprayers also offer a full range of options, includin full flotation tires, rear duals, field lighting and a chemical educator that works well for mixing dry and liquid chemicals.

Nelson, who noted that Brokaw Supply has two factory-trained mechanics and a precision ag/Raven specialist on staff, said there has been a lot of interest in the APACHE sprayers, which are relatively new to the area. “Once you get the farmers in the cab to drive the APACHE sprayer, they fall in love with it.”

Contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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