Customer interview with Bob Shelswell.

Bob Shelswell runs an RB25 for spraying duties on his farm and other farms which he supports as a contractor. In our latest customer interview Bob shares his Bateman ownership experience.

bateman rb25 crop sprayer owner bob shelswell

Can you tell us about the work you do?
We predominantly farm broad acre crops – wheat, barley and oats, I also contract spray. I would say spraying in the region of 9,000 acres a year across 5 farms including my own.

What Bateman do you run, what width is the boom and capacity of tank?
We run a Bateman RB25, it has a 24 metre boom and a 3,000 litre tank.

How long have you run your Bateman – did you purchase from new?
The RB25 has been on the run with us for about 9 years, it’s a 2003 model and I think we’re the third owners. When we purchased the sprayer it had over 7,000 hours on it and it’s now got 12,500 hours on the clock.

bob shelswell in his bateman rb25 crop sprayer

Why did you choose a Bateman?
I chose Bateman because my previous sprayer broke down and a friend with a Bateman helped me out, which sold the brand to me. It was straightforward to operate and easy to drive. I knew about Bateman, but didn’t think I could afford one, however after searching I found this RB25 and have never looked back.

Have you ever considered a trailed sprayer?
I considered a trailer sprayer when I once shared one for a while with a neighbouring farm. However, it ties the tractor up and in the winter when you are trying to back up into wet corners it’s difficult. We spray quite a lot of small fields, with a self-propelled it’s there, it’s easy you jump on it and go, whereas with a trailed you’ve got to mess around hitching it to the tractor. I wouldn’t do contracting if I didn’t have a self-propelled, at some of the places I work the water is not easily accessible, backing a trailed sprayer to fill up would be a nightmare.

legacy rb25 crop sprayer on contract spraying duty

What nozzles do you use?
I run anything from a Guardian Air 025 up to a Flat Fan 05. However, if I could only have one nozzle it would be a Guardian Air 03, the drift reduction is phenomenal, if you keep the pressure up you lose the big drops and get better coverage. Perhaps for autumn or spring black grass I’ll use a Flat Fan 04 at 200 litres, because you get a better coverage by angling one nozzle forward and one down.

What coverage would you achieve during a typical day?
I’ve sprayed up to 300 acres in a day. It’s difficult around here as there’s lots of small fields, lots of small loads, I’ve got one farm with 6 and 7 acre fields and they’ve all got different things on which really ties you down. I’d like big flat fields at 500 acres and I could really crack on.

How would you rate Bateman’s service for a legacy sprayer?
Second to none. Nothing is too much trouble, they pick the phone up and are always cheerful and the advice is brilliant. Whoever you speak to they seem to know about the machine, despite the fact it’s 20 years old. Parts are never an issue, I think they had to make a part for me recently but it still arrived when they said it would.

What does Bateman mean to you?
A well made machine, good quality, good service and longevity. If I have to buy another sprayer it will be a Bateman.

View all stories from this issue of Driving Sprayers

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