News Story - Bought ‘sight unseen’
Blind faith can pay off, as in the case of W B Ritchie Farms in North Yorks and their Berthoud ‘Tracker’ trailed sprayer.
Having lost their previous machine to a barn fire, David Ritchie was given the task of finding a replacement that was fit for purpose on his family’s mixed arable and dairy farms. With around 3,000 acres of spraying per annum, David had a pretty clear idea of what his priorities were: a reliable sprayer with rate control and tracking drawbar.
Initially he considered a second hand self-propelled machine but soon realised that his budget would only run to one with a lot of hours on the clock. Murray Allan of Spray Trac Systems Ltd pointed him towards a trailed machine: the Berthoud ‘Tenor’ but this desirable machine was over spec’ed for David’s needs. But Murray had another card up his sleeve: Berthoud’s new mid range trailed model ‘Tracker’.
This 3200+ litre capacity machine with 24m boom looked good on paper. Unfortunately no brochure or photo were yet available to show Richard so, taking courage in both hands, Richard agreed to take delivery of the first model shipped to the UK in late 2010.
“It matched our needs at a more suitable price” says David. “Murray did a great job on the spec and although we have sacrificed some lockers, we still have the clean water facilities and it has plenty of power plus the capacity for much greater acreage than we envisage doing. The parallelogram lift booms are a great improvement on our old mast booms and soon convinced me with a good smooth ride and no yawing at all.
We also added mudguards in view of extensive mileage done on road.”
The accurate spray control is paying dividends.
“We used to spray at 200 litres an acre but we are now down to 150. Whereas further reduction to 135 litres and a full tank (3400 litres) mean I can complete a 54 acre field on one tank without refilling! So now I group fields to fall within in this acreage for non-stop spraying.”