Representing a re-entry into the self -propelled spayer market , we were keen to get under the skin of the new Vicon iXdrive and find out more

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It has been 10 years since Vicon offered a self-propelled sprayer in the UK , the last beaing its Rau Ibis .

However , with an ambition to complete its sprayer range and get into new markets , the firm is back with all the new iXdrive.But rather than start from scratch , Vicon recognised the potential in a concept origianlly developed by a Dutch sprayer dealer ,famed for building specials.As a result , a collaboration was set up and the iXdrive  was born .

Based on a skid unit from Italian manufacturer Mazzotti , the rest of the machine is made up of well-known , tried and tested components , including Vicon´s own spray pack .

Models

Three models currently make up the range , with 4,000 -5,000 and 6,000-litre tank cappacities , all with 240hp. A 180hp ,4.000 -litre machine is also still to come , sharing the same chassis as the more powerful machines , but fitted with smaller wheels .

To get better acquainted with the iXdrive , we test drove the 5240.

To see the iXdrive in action , visit http://www.fginsight.com .

Filling station

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At the heart of the iXdrive is Vicon´s own top spec filling station .Controlled from the cab or externally , it should be familiar to any Vicon sprayer user , but is intuitive enough to soon fathom and features all filling points in one convenient spot – automatic filling and cleaning systems , turbo agitation and filter cleaning .

Cleverly , tank level indicators , rather than flow meters , are used to control filling .These also take into account the amount of chemical which has been inducted into the main tank ,preventing over-filling .A smart touch is a clear bowl on the suction filter , letting you see what is going on .

For cleaning , the firm´s iXclean Pro system takes about eight minutes to complete its three cycles  activated by the touch of a button , resulting in less than 1% chemical residues , claims the manufacturer .A brace of hydraulically-driven Altek piston pumps provide 520 litres /min capacity , affording a 10 -minute filling time for the iXdrive 5240.Pleasingly ,access to both sides of the pumps are good thanks to swing-out valves.

In addition , with all valves and pumps placed in close proximity on one side of the machine , pipework is kept relatively short .

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