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30 years with HARDI – and counting

The Puckridge family are fifth generation farmers, based near Cummins, on South Australia’s lower Eyre Peninsula.

The farm is a mixed enterprise, running sheep alongside large scale wheat, canola, lupin and barley cropping. The current generation of Puckridges are Chris and his wife Tara, but they work pretty closely with Chris’ parents Peter and Louisa, who still live on the property.

Chris was raised on the farm and for as long he can remember, a HARDI sprayer has been an essential part of the operation. 

“We’re probably onto our fifth HARDI,” he says. “We’ve stayed with them since Dad bought his first boom sprayer about 30 years ago.”

They’ve found that HARDI sprayers constantly stepped up to their needs, year in and year out.

“The sprayer’s reliability and durability, and the nozzles with different applications, is all really good,” he reports.

With crop protection being so vital to their annual production, Chris gave up counting how many hours they spend spraying long ago. However he estimates the boom needs to cover about 15,000 acres per season.

“Conditions are normally the issue for us, Chris Puckridge goes on to explain. “Especially in the middle of seeding and with the different applications we need to do.”

However he says the biggest limiting factor is simply driver fatigue.

“We have some undulating country, some hills and gullies, and the automation in the sprayer is saving us a lot of frustration and operator error” Chris Puckridge

It was the main reason they decided to upgrade to a new HARDI COMMANDER with 6,500 litre tank and 36 metre HARDI ‘TerraForce’ TDZ steel boom.

“The larger tank size and wider boom width lets us cover more ground and use less fuel,” he says. “And with AutoHeight looking after the boom ride, we can get faster ground speeds.”

“So far the COMMANDER is really exceeding our expectations,” he continues.

“We have some undulating country, some hills and gullies, and the automation in the sprayer is saving us a lot of frustration and operator error.”

More importantly, the new COMMANDER is making the job of spraying less fatiguing overall. The added productivity helps reduce time in the tractor seat, while the AutoHeight boom control relieves a lot of operator stress.

For independent farmers like the Puckridges, that’s a huge benefit. And it means there’ll be HARDI sprayers in the family for many years to come.