My Sprayer Story

Moore Farms

August 2014
To whom it concerns:
This story begins with the purchase of a used 2008 Schaben 8590 sprayer in December of 2013. A few days before the end of December I made a call to Praireland Partner spray guy to check on possible delivery. The last day of 2013 I made a call to PPJD to inform PPJD of Marion I would be making a trip to their store to pick up the sprayer, because PPJD Emporia was unable to deliver before the end of year. IRS tax rules say that the implement must be on the premises by the end of the year to qualify for tax credit. A courtesy call was made to PPJD Marion to inform them that I was in route and would arrive in about 30 to 45 minutes so that they could have the sprayer ready to pull to the farm with minimum time delay as darkness would become a factor in pulling equipment on the highway. Upon arriving I saw that the sprayer had probably been moved from lot to near the main office building, but was not prepared for towing. Electrical wire and hyd. hoses had not been secured for travel. I then went to the office to ask for wire to secure the electrical harnesses and hyd. hose. After securing the above items and locking booms I returned to the office to wait 10 minutes to get attention of the service manager to ask if tow lights were available or if there was an SMV sign that could be used. The SMV sign was provided. This delay created an unsafe final 30 minutes of my trip which occurred after sunset
Some days later, closer inspection of the sprayer revealed a missing top lid and bell ends of foam markers. The PPJD sprayer guy did furnish a new lid, but the rest of the foamer apparatus was never addressed.
The next chapter began with hookup and installation to my JD tractor. The needed JD accessory kit was purchased from PPJD Emporia. Upon powering up the monitor, it was immediately apparent that the lower half of the Raven monitor was not functioning. My PPJD sprayer guy was informed and he supplied a used monitor off another piece of equipment, as I was wanting to apply fertilizer and the sprayer, as I was reminded several times later, is not functional without the monitor.
Next, came a sorry chapter with my sprayer partner. It started with the return of the original monitor that had been sent to an Ag Express business for repair. At this time the spring busy season was upon me and after about an hour of use the monitor shut down on a Sunday evening. A Monday AM call to PPJD Emporia was made to the sprayer guy, but he was not available for call or to leave a voice message. I did get hold of my regular PPJD sales rep. and asked if a loaner monitor was possible. No monitor was available, but monitor did reset and an attempt was made to spray the balance of tank contents, which fortunately occurred at about same time as the monitor shut down again. After consulting with my PPJD sales guy and Ag Express, the verdict was that connections or wires must be the problem. I made a hurried inspection of connections and applied dielectric grease to any suspect connections, but could not see any real problem area. Planting and spraying pressure was upon me and I again called my PPJD sales rep. (sprayer guy unreachable) and asked how to solve my problem. The choices were for me to buy a new monitor or extensive wiring altercations to get the sprayer operational. Not good choices. My PPJD sales rep. guy did stop on Tuesday, a day after the initial call and spent time inspecting sprayer. He did find a connector under the sprayer that I had not seen and thought the connector had corrosion enough to cause a problem. I loaded up the sprayer, hopeful that this was the problem. Sadly, it was not. The monitor quit in about 10 minutes. I called my PPJD sales guy as he had just departed, giving him the news. He immediately returned and consulted with Ag Express who said to wait until the monitor reset and disconnect sprayer connections and then power up the monitor to see if it would stay on. Well now, with this being the only calm day in a week with wind less than 15- 40 MPH this is extremely frustrating. During the hour or more waiting for the monitor to reset, the PPJD sales rep guy gave me new and heavier wire on the tractor side just to satisfy the experts even though it had worked fine with loaner monitor when fertilizing. After powering up the monitor with the new tractor hookup the monitor quit within 2-3 minutes. My PPJD sales rep. guy was now convinced that maybe the monitor should be re-investigated and he took the monitor back with him to PPJD Emporia to be shipped to Ag Express. Realize now that I have a tank with chemical setting on sprayer that I have to transfer to my old sprayer that I hoped wouldn’t be needed, thankful though that I had this option. The situation got worse because monitor was gone for about 2 weeks and after 2 weeks residual chemical setting in Schaben sprayer settled and dried. I now had an added job of cleaning tank, tips, and lines. During these 2 weeks I made a call to PPJD sales rep at the end of each week to inquire about monitor. Monitor was sent to one Ag Express in Iowa, I understand, and they pronounced monitor OK after week one there and then monitor traveled to Ag express in Nebraska where at the end of week two a switch was replaced. Finally at the beginning of the third week the actual PPJD sprayer guy ( had not seen since money and paper signing time) delivered monitor and low and behold had a new monitor if needed. The original monitor powered up and stayed on, so thought all was well. NOT!! Next trip to field of course miles from home, discovered shortly after attempting to spray that rate mode or speed indicator was not operating setting off alarm. Called my PPJD actual sprayer guy(actually got on phone) and he offered advice to check more connections. At this time I had no time or patience to trouble shoot more, so called Schaben and asked give me MPH and pressure in manual mode to go with my tips so I get sprayer in operation. This did get me operational. When I had time, I spent an hour or so checking connections, voltage, and sensor on sprayer and found nothing wrong that I could assess. Called my Schaben partner now and asked for help. Schaben guy said next thing to check is if monitor is sp-1 or sp-2 mode(being wheel or gps function) . Well it was hair pulling time to find out that Ag Express at some point had changed the setting that was in my monitor to the wrong mode for my set up. A quick diagnosis and change made monitor functional.
Finally, during one of several consultations with Schaben guys ( now Ag Spray) my question of why boom swing was so great and why two long 3/8 bolts on boom frame were broken, Answer was that sprayer was missing rubber bumpers and resulted in broken bolts. The sprayer was sold to me in this condition as there was no sign of rubber and bolts rusty. I purchased rubber bushings and bolts and straightened sleeves and installed. During this installation and cleaning of badly corroded boom solenoids I viewed in my opinion what is a sprung A-frame on boom.
Now this sprayer was non-operational for nearly all of spring use season and I spent more time working on it than spraying with it. Missing parts is one thing that’s bad enough, but partner, when I need help in the busy season I don’t need just lip service. I’d say say Schaben out partnered you and I didn’t buy the machine from them. I’m old enough to know that some of this aggravation goes with operating machinery. I’ve also been around machinery and green machinery enough to know that it doesn’t have to be this bad. A business that advertises as being a partner can do better. As I have now shared my story. I hope to hear from you, my Prarieland Partner.
D J. Moore

I had a response to the sprayer short: Glad you had good partnership with Schaben to help you out. Prairie Partner manager Paul Dutoit claimed they had more money in the sprayer than they wanted but said, they could send a technician now, in September to make sure the sprayer was operational. I replied that I had the sprayer operational at this point. Just want all who deal with Prairieland Partners JD to keep this story in mind because this can happen to you too.