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Sneak Peak: John Deere High-Capacity Nutrient Applicator

This week at a new product event John Deere showed off an applicator that’s in the works. The machine is so new that it doesn’t even have a branded name yet, so for now it’s called the high-capacity nutrient applicator (HCNA).

“We talked to ag retailers all over the country and saw three main customer needs when it comes to applicators: durability, productivity, and service,” says Jason Beuligman. The HCNA was designed to meet all three needs.

Durability starts with the chassis. “Applicators run at higher speeds, carry heavy loads, and work in varying field conditions, so we wanted a chassis that was flexible enough to handle those conditions and absorb loads,” explains Beuligman. This was achieved by using a dual C-channel frame design with leaf springs and dampeners.

Another big durability issue for applicators is corrosion. During the design process, Deere engineers eliminated as many flat spots as possible to limit areas where fertilizer can collect, corrode, and cause issues. In addition, many of the critical components that are normally placed at the rear of the machine under the dry box have been moved to the front to protect them. The battery box is sealed and the highest quality electrical connectors were used to protect electronics from the harsh applicator environment. Finally, high quality corrosion resistant coding was also used on all of the hydraulic hardware.

All of the work done to make the chassis more durable also provides an improved ride for the operator, improving productivity. Plus, the applicator is equipped with John Deere’s Generation 4 Command Center and updated command arm.

“We are a good choice because our John Deere network is so strong,” says Beuligman. “They do a great job of supporting all of our equipment.”

The HCNA is powered by a 9-liter PowerTech PSS Final Tier 4 engine with an IVT and uses a 330 cubic foot New Leader dry box to variable rate apply up to four products. For now, it is still a prototype and going through design and testing phases. Beuligman says you can expect to hear more about the HCNA in 2016.

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