Test drive Bruttus 12000, the solid fertilizer spreader from Stara

We tested the gravity solid fertilizer distributor, the Bruttus 12000, from Stara, which applies at a fixed or variable rate and has an articulated chassis that facilitates transport on roads and highways

25.03.2022 | 16:38 (UTC -3)

Solid fertilizer distributor by gravity, Stara's Bruttus 12000 applies at a fixed or variable rate and has an articulated chassis that facilitates transport on roads and highways

After some time without testing Stara brand products, for this edition of Cultivar Máquinas magazine we had the opportunity to get to know in the field the work of the gravitational distributor of solid products, model Bruttus 12000. This equipment is part of a line of distributors that has existed since 2005, however, in 2021 the updated model of the Bruttus self-transportable version was launched, which we will explain in detail in this text. Therefore, to accompany Bruttus 12000 on fieldwork, we traveled to a property in the town of Vila Pedro Paiva, in the municipality of Santo Augusto, northern region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

We were accompanied on the mission to learn in detail the characteristics of the machine and its operation during the application of limestone by a technical team from Stara.

Without a doubt, the Bruttus 12000 was designed for the entire Brazilian market and any region of the country, mainly for those producers who seek to improve the distribution process of solid products, aiming for a more uniform application and excellence in the liming, fertilization and sowing, through control and minimization of environmental factors that influence traditional operations, especially those that use broadcast distributors. Consequently, the idea is to compensate for the loss in deposition width, by gaining control of the effects of wind on the application, especially when using light products, such as powders and seeds.

PROJECT AND CONSTITUTION

Stara's new gravity distributor of solid products, Bruttus 12000, is composed of two reservoirs, made of carbon steel sheets, and features the optional stainless steel flow reducers, for the application of granulated fertilizers and other products. Each reservoir contains three corrugated rubber mats, responsible for applying and distributing the product, providing greater precision during distribution.

With a total capacity of 12.000kg or 7,50m³, its gravity distribution system provides an application range of 6,70m and a working height of 1,25m, minimizing losses due to wind action and optimizing the deposition of products on the floor. ground. Since the working height corresponds to the vertical distance from the bottom of the conveyors to ground level, it has lines of vertical chains that help direct the product to the space between two deflector canvases.

With a deposition height of 1,25m and with the product passing between two deflector curtains, the action of the wind practically does not interfere with deposition.
With a deposition height of 1,25m and with the product passing between two deflector curtains, the action of the wind practically does not interfere with deposition.

Divided into two independent sections, that is, two individual reservoirs, the distributor features individual control and drive systems, one for each reservoir, enabling and providing section shutdown. Consequently, it reduces transfer during applications and saves inputs. During operation, to avoid overlapping application ranges and excess product, the system will turn off the section every time it identifies the complete passage of the reservoir over the area that has already been applied.

Characterized as a self-transportable distributor, the Bruttus 12000 features an articulated central chassis and central hydraulic piston that allows it to be changed from the transport position to the working position through a simple command on the Topper 5500. The total width is 7,37m (range deposition capacity of 6,70m) with the articulation reduces to 3,18m, facilitating the movement and self-transport of the equipment. Brazilian legislation requires that equipment have a maximum physical width of 3,20m, otherwise it must be transported by flatbed truck.

To facilitate movement, the double wheels of each tank articulate at a 90º angle. With the equipment open in the working position, the wheels are placed in the direction of travel. The double wheelsets on each side were strategically placed in an offset position, one slightly in front of the other, to provide the functioning of a rocker, doing the work of a tandem wheelset and adapting them to the irregularities of the terrain.

With a central piston, the distributor moves from the working position to the transport position in just a few seconds
With a central piston, the distributor moves from the working position to the transport position in just a few seconds

Visually, the wheelsets are not apparent because they do not protrude from the chassis projection, being embedded in the structure and positioned below the reservoirs. In the version prior to the Bruttus 12000 there were two wheels at the back and two at the front, unlike the new self-transportable version. The new position of the wheels made filling the reservoirs easier, as it allows the loader, or the tractor with a front scoop, to be as close as possible to the equipment.

When closing and opening the chassis, an automatic lock locks it to ensure safety during transport and operation. In the working position, the operator, to make sure that the opening was complete and the chassis is locked, observes the appearance of a rod marked in red between the two reservoirs and close to the main hydraulic piston. Very simple, useful and easy to visualize mechanism. It is worth noting that changing positions (transport and work) must be carried out with the machine empty and on flat, firm ground.

Because of this, loading the Bruttus 12000 must be carried out with it already in the working position and with the upper protective grids of the reservoirs closed. The upper grids mainly serve to prevent foreign or clogged material from being placed inside the tanks. These open via hydraulic activation, simply by pressing a command on the Topper 5500 monitor, facilitating cleaning and speeding up operation.

Detail of the deflector canvases installed along the entire length of the distribution belt
Detail of the deflector canvases installed along the entire length of the distribution belt

In order to avoid the formation of galleries, air pockets and product compaction, the reservoirs feature internal stirrs, with an axis made up of small rods, which, as they are connected to the equipment's transmission system, are in constant movement and guarantee the uniform arrangement of product on the mats.

Furthermore, the Bruttus 12000 reservoirs feature a scraper system positioned next to the tensioner system (belt tensioner) and at the interface between the belt and the reservoir wall, being responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the roller and belt. The project also included a tilting system to facilitate cleaning and maintenance of the conveyors, as well as side and front flaps, which prevent product loss during refueling.

DOSER

The Bruttus 12000 doser consists of corrugated rubber mats and two rollers inside, in addition to their accessories. Inside each belt there are two roller scrapers, responsible for cleaning it and the belt. In total, the machine has six conveyors, and in each section there are three conveyors at the bottom of the tank.

Bruttus 12000 applies at fixed rates and variable rates, depending on the application needs
Bruttus 12000 applies at fixed rates and variable rates, depending on the application needs

Depending on the machine's specifications, it is possible to apply powdered products, such as limestone and gypsum, but it can also be useful for applying granular fertilizers and seeds. In the case of smaller flows, there is an option which is the flow reducer, made of stainless steel, which will be placed at the bottom of the reservoirs and, through separators, will reduce the amount of product deposited on the mats, enabling the application by gravity of seeds and fertilizers.

To regulate the flow, a lever opening and closing system is available on the front of the distributor with the possibility of positioning between zero (closed) and 15 (fully open). Furthermore, the rotation speed of the belts is another way to change the product flow or application rate.

In the Bruttus 12000 there is no cardan shaft drive but rather hydraulic motors, which require a continuous flow of oil in the VCR of at least 35 liters per minute. Hydraulic activation is via a continuous flow remote control valve, found in most current tractors. The rotation speed of the motors that drive the treadmill is controlled by just one PWM valve (Pulse Width Modulation) that controls the two motors, in addition to an individual ventilation valve for each motor, activating or stopping the section.

This system works with a microcontroller that generates analog signals and encodes them digitally. A module, called POD Universal, receives a signal from the Topper 5500 monitor, via the CAN network, and sends signals to the PWM, which controls the six conveyors. With the system adopted, variations in travel speed are compensated. Next to the POD Universal is the device used to calibrate the equipment.

To facilitate movement, the double wheels of each tank articulate at a 90-degree angle.
To facilitate movement, the double wheels of each tank articulate at a 90-degree angle.

Distribution can be carried out according to two application methods: fixed rate or variable rate. Fixed rate application occurs when working with a fixed flow rate and dosage, which is informed by the operator and is not changed, even if the travel speed changes. The variable rate application is carried out according to distribution maps, files in shapefile format. That is, the applied rate will be variable, according to the map's recommendations, and the applied dosage is automatically changed after a brief period of time every time there is a transition in the map.

By means of analog signals, commands are sent to the PWM valve to activate the conveyor motors to operate the doser at a variable rate and to the rotation sensors.

TOPPER 5500 CONTROLLER MONITOR

The Topper 5500 controller is responsible for managing and controlling the Bruttus 12000. Through the “Follow me” function, a configuration assistant, it allows the operator to easily and objectively calibrate and configure the machine. The Topper 5500 controller comes in two versions. The Topper 5500 SL, basic version of the controller, is recommended for operations that do not require precision in repeating the trail, as this version does not allow the use of a signal correction system. However, the optional Topper 5500 VT, complete version of the controller, allows connection to the internet via a SIM card (3G or 4G) or via a Wi-Fi network, and features a GNSS receiver (global navigation satellite system). ) suitable for the use of signal correction by stationary bases and RTK.

All direction control and functions of the Bruttus 12000 are done through the Topper 5500 controller monitor
All direction control and functions of the Bruttus 12000 are done through the Topper 5500 controller monitor

In addition, Stara offers Syncro technology as an option. The brand's exclusive system that allows radio communication and synchronized work, in the same field, of up to four Bruttus 12000. The Stara Telemetry system also provides real-time information management of operations carried out in the property's fields, in addition to sending maps to Topper 5500 via the internet.

TESTS

For the field test, we traveled to an area recently harvested and which will later receive white oats as a cover crop and straw for the next soybean harvest. As a predecessor operation to sowing, calcite limestone will be applied in a variable dose, according to a prescription based on an application map developed by the farm's technical consultancy.

The prescription map was divided into six classes, with lime doses ranging from 500kg/ha to 5.000kg/ha. The equipment management system interprets and changes the flow rate and application rate, depending on this prescription, varying the doses according to what is established by the map for the different areas.

We set out for the field, initially filling the distributor with limestone using a loader. After filling, we calibrate the actuator. For this procedure, the flow rate is first adjusted automatically for three seconds. Subsequently, a set of trays is placed under the product exit point and a quantity of product is collected for a certain period of time, weighed and reported to the Topper 5500 monitor, which identifies the equipment and calculates a factor. Based on this factor, a new flow measurement is made and verifies the coincidence between what should be collected and what was actually measured. With an acceptance of variation of up to 10%, the equipment can be accepted as calibrated or the process can be carried out again. The PWM system calibrates itself at no load and then with the product. In the first check, the variation was less than 2%, which could complete the calibration process, however the team carried out one more repetition of the procedure to train the operator and ensure measurement certainty.

This procedure is not at all complex and is based on a perfectly understandable methodology. However, to make it easier for the user, a functionality known as “Follow me” was made available through the Topper 5500 monitor, with which the customer can access a roadmap, step by step of the calibration, and carry it out intuitively. .

Applying a variable rate between 500kg/ha and 5.000kg/ha, we move along paths approximately 500m long, in a straight line, crossing the limits between at least three areas of the prescription map and applying flows of 2.500, 3.000 and 4.000 kg /ha, with the monitor checking the transitions between the different management zones. Although the terrain allowed for greater travel speed, we traveled the routes at 8km/h and with a 6,70m wide application strip.

The total width of the Bruttus 12000 is 7,37 meters (deposition range of 6,70 meters) and with the articulation it reduces to 3,18 meters, facilitating the movement and self-transport of the equipment
The total width of the Bruttus 12000 is 7,37 meters (deposition range of 6,70 meters) and with the articulation it reduces to 3,18 meters, facilitating the movement and self-transport of the equipment

Using the Topper 5500 monitor, it was possible to check the instantaneous application rate, displacement speed and information on the mass of product remaining in the deposit. Even though the construction system does not have a scale, the remaining value of product is calculated based on the initial quantity of product, before the start of the operation, by discounting the quantity of product applied.

Visually, it was possible to verify the uniformity of distribution across the application range and the minimization of the wind effect due to the reduced product exit height and the efficient work of the deflectors.

IMPRESSIONS AND REVIEWS

From the first contact with the machine, the industrial characteristics of Stara can be seen due to the quality of finishing, welding and painting connections. Recently, investments were made in painting processes in the different units. The result is very appreciable. The quality of the coatings on electrical harnesses, hoses and signals is also notable, preventing them from being affected by external elements or worn out by weather factors.

The application speed can reach 15km/h if the conditions of the crop and the product applied allow it.
The application speed can reach 15km/h if the conditions of the crop and the product applied allow it.

During the test we worked within the limits recommended by the factory and the terrain conditions. The speed limit recommended by the technical area is 15km/h, however, for most cases, the speed of 10km/h is the one that will be most frequently used, which is estimated that, with the application width of the equipment, reach average numbers of an operational field capacity of approximately six hectares per hour.

The equipment, due to its operating characteristics, requires a tractor with a minimum engine power of 150 hp and a continuous flow hydraulic system with flow regulation that provides a minimum flow of 35 liters per minute, which is quite common to have in a tractor of this class, as well as a simple command to open and close the equipment, rotate the wheels and move the cleaning grids.

OLD

Stara is one of the agricultural machinery manufacturing companies that has grown the most in recent years. Born from a small family business, it has achieved a notable market share, being considered one of the most important machine manufacturing companies in the country.

The company's headquarters are in the municipality of Não-Me-Toque, in Rio Grande do Sul, however, it has three other units located in the cities of Carazinho (RS) and Santa Rosa (RS) and another in the province of Santa Fé, in Argentine. Não-Me-Toque is located in the middle plateau of Rio Grande do Sul, and like other municipalities in the region that are considered cradles of the direct planting technique, it was recently designated as the national capital of precision agriculture.

In its four units, the company manufactures seeding machines, input distributors, sprayers, agricultural trailers, scarifiers and subsoilers, soil levelers, planers and corn platforms, in addition to building its own Precision Agriculture equipment.

With this outstanding performance, mainly due to the quality of its products and the strong insertion in the so-called Digital Agriculture, the company gained projection and participation in the foreign market, participating in international exhibitions and selling products in several countries around the world.

TEST LOCATION

The test drive was carried out in the municipality of Santo Augusto (RS) with the support of Stara and the dealer in the region
The test drive was carried out in the municipality of Santo Augusto (RS) with the support of Stara and the dealer in the region

To carry out the field test with the Bruttus 12000, a Stara technical team accompanied us throughout the work carried out in the municipality of Santo Augusto (RS). We were joined by the technical demonstrator Ricardo Alan Haubert, the agronomist engineer Rafael Gilberto Schmitt, a Product Marketing analyst who works in the distribution area and is in charge of testing Bruttus and Hércules, the Product engineering supervisor Luciano Bernardi and the agronomist engineer Leonardo Sander, who is a Research and Development analyst at Stara. On the part of the property, helping us and providing all the means for this evaluation, were Mr. Edemilson Rosa, machine operator, and the farm administrator, Paulo Servat.

José Fernando Schlosser
Daniela Herzog,
Agrotechnology Laboratory - Nema - UFSM

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