Few growers know HARDI’s RUBICON 9000 better than Matt Davies, who farms north of Pooncarie on the lower Darling River, and who just clocked up a full year with his “Big HARDI”. Matt was one of HARDI’s very first customers for the big self-propelled sprayer following its Australian release in July 2016.
“When we were looking to buy a new sprayer, we seriously looked into purchasing a Goldacres G8, but it just didn’t stack up in terms of the specs,” Matt says.
Matt was specifically seeking width, tank capacity and reliability in his new purchase, so when he learned about the RUBICON 9000, he knew it was right for their requirements.
“We have always been HARDI customers and the RUBICON 9000 was just a far better machine! It ticked all the boxes and HARDI was willing to work with us to put on a sprayer we wanted.”
The RUBICON 9000 is the largest self-propelled sprayer on the Australian market. Its huge capacity – 9000-litre spray tank, 1000-litre fuel tank and 630-litre rinse tank – is matched in scale by an ultra-wide front-mounted HARDI Aluminium boom (available from 36.5m to 48.5 m), on-the-go adjustable axles of 3 to 4m and a huge underframe clearance of 1.85m.
The rear-mounted 276kW Cummins engine has fully integrated electronic controls and supplies the power to a Danfoss four-wheel-drive hydrostatic transmission, which Matt says delivers plenty of power with good fuel efficiency.
The front-mounted HARDI Aluminium boom is a bonus for Matt in the dry conditions frequently experienced in far western New South Wales.
“We have very dusty country here and having the front-mounted boom is really helping us,” he says. “I thought we may have issues with chemicals going onto the machine but we have had no problems whatsoever. That surprised me.”
When conditions are right, it’s not uncommon for Matt to put in 12-16 hour days, so ride comfort is critical. HARDI’s OverRide suspension, combined with the RUBICON’s unique boom ride ensures optimal operator comfort.
“The ride comfort – and the view – is fantastic,” Matt says. “I don’t have a sore neck at the end of the day looking forward, that’s for sure!”
When asked the most important factors a grower needs to make when considering a new machine purchase, Matt says, “Reliability and support – they both have to be right up there. HARDI has always produced a reliable machine. And as far as support with the RUBICON, I could not have wished for better. They have really looked after us.”