Already popular on tractors, combines, sugar beet, potato and forage harvesters, if Italian manufacturer Poluzzi is anything to go by then the sprayer is next to get the rubber track treatment.
Since launching the Anacon units for sprayers in 2020, Poluzzi Track System Engineering has supplied 12 sets for John Deere’s R4030 and two each for Dammann and Berthoud. The latest, and sprayer number 17, is a four-track set (40cm-wide belts) for a striking black edition of the self-propelled Grim 3500.
This is the first time Poluzzi has been asked to fit a four-track system to an Italian-made Grim sprayer. Swapping four wheels for tracks is said to take two people around two hours. Maximum speed is 30km/hr.
Based at Vicolungo, roughly midway between the cities of Milan and Turin, the Poluzzi family’s background with tracks can be traced back to 1975 when it repaired steel versions. The company made its first steel tracks in 1999, something it still does today for rice combine harvesters. The first rubber versions, the Ultron for combine harvesters, were launched in 2006.
Most of the rubber track units for sprayers have been fitted to machines in Bulgaria, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but some other sets have been delivered to customers in Russia and Paraguay.
We asked current managing director Simone Poluzzi the reason for the increasing interest in tracks on trailed and self-propelled sprayers. “Customers tell us they provide the traction and flotation needed to reduce soil compaction, giving them full control in less than ideal conditions,” he comments. “Also, tracks do not sink into the ground which results has a beneficial effect on spray boom stability. This allows it to be lowered closer to the top of the crop to increase accuracy and reduce drift.”
The family-owned company designs and manufactures the complete rubber track drive unit, sourcing the belts from the various suppliers, including Soucy and Bridgestone. As well as self-propelled sprayers, combines (Claas, Case-IH, Deutz-Fahr, John Deere, Fendt, Laverda and New Holland) and self-propelled forage harvesters (Claas, Fendt, John Deere, Krone and New Holland), the Italian company also makes rubber track units for tractors (100 to 600hp), windrowers, and recently fitted a twin set to a 12.0m Bednar drill.
Providing work for 20 staff, when all the different track modules are lumped together the company reckons to make around 100 sets per year. Markets change dependent on weather and economic conditions, but the largest market for tracks in on combine harvesters.
The company delivers its track units worldwide, but the biggest markets are in eastern Europe and Russia. With importers in place in numerous countries, in the UK Poluzzi is represented by Essex-based BWT (Broks Wheel & Tyre).