SAM Vision 3000 sprayer
The easiest sprayer I’ve used, the SAM Vision 3000 is well designed, logical and safe to use
- Well laid out controls mean filling / chemical handling procedure is safe for the operator
- Two-stage suspension gives an excellent ride on rough paddocks
- Robust boom made from high tensile steel
- Automatic headland lift
- Easy access to engine / radiator for servicing
Filling the sprayer
The filling procedure is made easy, with a control panel incorporating two rotary valves and a boom lift switch on the left rear of the sprayer to control filling, tank washing and so on.
The hydraulically driven filler pump, on/off control and tank level indicator is located behind the left front wheel, so once you have connected to the water source and the pump is started everything else is done from the rear control panel.
The 25-litre stainless chemical hopper is stowed neatly between the back of the main tank and the boom tower and is easily folded down to below waist-height on a spring-loaded linkage.
The hopper includes the normal wash ring and rinse nozzle and also a jet so wettable powders can be mixed.
Like most self-propelled sprayers there are no chemical racks, but if required a rack is fitted over the right rear mudguard that is accessible from ground level. The tray over the tank where the roundup tank is mounted is also able to carry additional chemical.
Cab and controls
The operator’s gloves are stowed in a locker incorporated into the top step with a hand wash tap beside that.
Once seated all the controls are mounted on the right-hand armrest, with the hydrostatic joystick under the operator’s right hand.
The joystick contains the switches for the seven boom sections. Master on/off is worked by the operator’s thumb and on the front the raise/lower boom control is worked by the operator’s finger.
Three toggle switches to the right of the joystick are for left and right wing lift and boom tilt, with less frequently used controls behind that.
Mounted on the front of the console is the computer, where it is set to the desired application rate. The service intervals are incorporated into the computer – meaning one less monitor in the cab. The computer can show both target rate and actual rate with an option called "true flow sensing", which will show up a problem such as a blocked filter before it shows up on the pressure gauge.
Carbon filters are standard on all sprayers, but an important safety feature with the SAM is that the filter lays flat in the cab ceiling, so if any settling takes place over the life of the filter the operator is always protected.
Climate control air-conditioning is fitted, as well as an air seat and a foot-operated control for the four-wheel steer.
The ladder control is separate to the park brake.
Boom and pump
SAM sprayers are known for robust booms made from high tensile steel.
SAM sprayers now have a gull wing type boom with a hydraulic lock on the hinge joint and the 24m boom on the test sprayer was able to operate at 12, 18 or 24m.
A handy option available is automatic headland lift, which lifts and lowers the boom as you turn off and on at headlands.
The boom is fitted with twin spray lines, the rear line fitted with triplet nozzle bodies and the front with twin caps.
Twin cap nozzles have two nozzles in one cap, one facing forward, the other back so coverage is excellent, particularly with fungicides. This means in most cases an air assist system is not required.
During the test the twin lines meant we could go from our 180L/ha rate using the rear line to about 320L/ha by turning on the front line, all from the cab without a nozzle change.
The twin caps had 02 nozzles so with two per cap delivery it is about the same as a 04, with the advantages of small droplets and good coverage and without the high drift normally associated with a single 02 nozzle at high pressure.
Also fitted is SAM’s "prime & purge" system, meaning the chemical is virtually "at the nozzle" as soon as the sprayer is turned on. Prime & purge also allows the boom to be flushed with clean water when washing.
Most sprayers have electric ball valves to turn the boom on or off and these have a slight time delay and are subject to wear. The SAM has pneumatic valves at each nozzle, meaning the boom pressure is higher when turned off. This means less time delay and hardly any change in pressure as the boom is turned on or as sections are turned off by the GPS.
The SAM runs a six-cylinder diaphragm pump that, like the filler pump, is hydraulically driven, however it features a two-speed drive using low speed for low water rates and high speed for high rates, ensuring a long service life.
Also worth mentioning is the foam marker system, which makes the foam in a high pressure tank and does not need to be refilled with fresh water and foam after sitting a few days in order to make decent foam.
The boom features probably the simplest break-away system I’ve seen, with the end section of the boom secured by a ball joint and spring, which allows the boom to break both back – and forwards for those who misjudge when reversing up to a fence.
The Poclain-designed hydrostatic transmission has four ranges driving through two-stage Poclain wheel motors, giving the ability for high torque low speed field work through to a high speed low torque travel mode.
Axle weight distribution is 50/50 with a full tank and the boom in the working position and remains the same as the tank empties.
The sprayer is capable of 40km/h on the road and sits on a hydro pneumatic suspension system that has two modes, with what SAM calls "dual ride". This gives a firm setting for road travel or soft for field work.
Standard clearance is 950mm with a 1250mm option available and a 68" to 84" inch track width, which was manually adjusted on the test sprayer although 80" to 108" track and hydraulic adjustments are available.
The sprayer is factory fitted, with 14.9x28 Continental tyres chosen for their load rating as well as a set of 600/50 x 22.5 floatation tyres for winter work.
Many wheel options are available giving greater ground clearance or flotation, depending on customer requirements.
The SAM is fitted with a seven-litre water-cooled Deutz engine Tier 3 set at 177hp.
Access for servicing is good, with the fibreglass panels opening to clean the radiator/intercooler and the separate hydraulic cooler.
The hydraulic reservoir is mounted between the engine and cab, and the filters are mounted upside down so that they drain when the machine is turned off, making changing an easy job.
Operating the sprayer
All the controls are well laid out and visibility is very good – the ends of the boom are visible by turning your head and the inner boom can be seen through the mirrors.
With the motor running at 1500 revs for the test the cab was very quiet and, with the suspension on the field setting, the ride was excellent. Running with the cultivation on the road setting the suspension still gave a reasonable ride.
The sprayer is fitted with four-wheel steer actuated by a foot switch before the end of the run, meaning a minimum of wheel tracks on the headland, and then released when turning into the next row, where it automatically realigns the rear wheels.
The SAM is certainly a pleasure to operate; it’s quiet and the suspension is excellent, which, given how rough some of our paddocks are now, has to be a real plus.
From the safety aspect the filling procedure is well designed and thought out.
The large number of options available would allow a customer to almost "custom-build" a sprayer to suit their operation.
Engine 177hp, Tier 3 Deutz six-cylinder watercooled and turbocharged diesel engine
Transmission Fully hydrostatic four-wheel drive with four-speed transmission for high field torque and high road speed
Braking Primary hydrostatic on all four wheels, safety and parking - multi wet plate discs on rear wheels
Hydraulic oil tank 100L (TF 46)
Axles Telescopic axles (optional hydraulic assist)
Suspension Self levelling hydro-pneumatic with optional "Dual Ride" facility for softer ride in the field
Spray tank size Nominal 100 litres over capacity 3000L
Boom Size Standard 24m two-stage gull wing. Optional up to 36m.
Turning circle 6m
Ground clearance 950mm
Fuel tank 280L
Max road speed 40km/h
Unladen weight 6.8 tonnes
Overall width 2.9m
Overall length 6.87m
Overall height 3.7m