Hardi and Matrot (both owned by the French Group Exel Industries) have combined forces to develop a large self-propelled sprayer called the Rubicon 9000, which with a 9,000-litre tank, 385hp engine and 48m front boom is has no trouble covering 1,000ha a day.

Built at the Hardi Group facility in Noyers Saint Martin, France, the Rubicon is flagged up as the world’s largest twin-axle self-propelled sprayer. Depending on destination, the Cummins block meets either Stage IIIA or IV emissions, while the 1,000-litre fuel tank is claimed to provide a full 24-hours of operations.

The engine drives four hydraulic motors sitting in the wheel hubs, which propel the machine at speeds of up to 35km/hr in the field and as fast as 55km/hr on the road. Each wheel is suspended individually on a triple layered airbag/shock absorber arrangement to reduce the mechanical stress on the chassis to a minimum. Other features include a boom suspension system, a ground clearance of 1.85m, a 630lit/min (7 bar pressure) centrifugal pump and a Cat 4 cab.

Introduced to the Australian market in July 2016, the Rubicon is now available in the east of Europe, CIS countries, South Africa and North America. Hardi admits to being surprised at the higher level of interest for a machine, which we are informed leaves customers with no change from US$500,000.