Customer interview with Stuart Burman.

Stuart Burman is a Warwickshire based arable farmer and contractor. Currently running two Bateman Sprayers, Stuart talks here about the benefits of the service and support he receives, and why he won’t entertain driving any other make of sprayer.

Bateman Sprayer operator Stuart Burman

Can you tell us about the work you do?
We’re a family farming partnership comprising two farms 6 miles apart, around 650 acres in total. We farm about 500 acres of arable crops – wheat, barley, oilseed rape, beans and linseed. I also contract spray for other local farms approximately 8 miles east and west of our farm.

What Bateman do you run, what width is the boom and capacity of tank?
We actually run 2 Bateman’s. We have an RB15 with a 24mtr Contour Boom and a 2,500ltr tank and also an RB35 with a 24mtr Variable Geometry Boom and a 4000ltr tank.

Stuart Burman RB15 Bateman Sprayer
Stuart Burman in the cab of his RB15

How long have you run your Bateman’s – did you purchase from new?
We purchased the RB15 in 2012; it had around 11,000 hours on the clock and is now up to just over 15,000 hours. We recently purchased the RB35, which is a 2006 model with 11,000 hours on it. We wanted an additional sprayer to take the pressure off the RB15, the increased tank capacity and road speed will be useful.

Why did you choose a Bateman?
They have always struck me as being a good, solid machine, the ‘go-to’ machine that contractors use. As soon as I bought the RB15 I contacted Bateman who knew all about the history of the machine, they couldn’t have been more helpful, I just thought ‘yeah’ this is why people rave about Bateman. I was extremely impressed.

Have you ever considered a trailed sprayer?
Yes, I have considered a trailed behind sprayer. The main reason I wouldn’t run one is because of the height of the pickup hitch on modern tractors, once you’ve passed T2 in wheat I think it’s just too low. Potentially you’d only use it for 50% of the year, you need a high clearance machine, you don’t want to be knocking your wheat about and you’re not going to go through oilseed rape at full flower. They’re not as cheap as people think either. I can just jump on the Bateman when the conditions are right, you haven’t got to get up a 5 o’clock in the morning and spend 2 hours putting your sprayer on, you just get up and go.

Stuart Burman RB35 Bateman Sprayer
Stuart at the wheel of his 2006 RB35

What nozzles do you use?
At the moment my go-to nozzle is 04 Guardian Air, but we are looking to use Lechler IDKT 03 for lower water volumes for mid-season use. I tend to put on more water and run at 150 litres most of the time, but they will put 200 litres on quite easily, drift reduction is good and you can still spray when the conditions aren’t brilliant.

What coverage would you achieve during a typical day?
Because of the nature in which the 3 farms are set up and the travelling involved, I’d quite happily spray 200 acres a day; the fields we spray aren’t big averaging around 6 to 8 hectares, but with a lot of obstacles in them. I have sprayed a lot more, but that can be a big day.

How would you rate Bateman’s service for a legacy sprayer?
Absolutely fantastic. Parts are readily available and reasonably priced; they arrive the next day if you order them in time. I’ve never had to have a parts book to give Bateman a part number, whoever you’re talking to on the phone knows exactly what you’re talking about, I don’t know how they do that? I cannot fault them.

What does Bateman mean to you?
A good, strong, reliable machine and I do mean strong, I’ve driven other makes of sprayer and I wouldn’t entertain anything other than a Bateman. They also hold their value; you know you’re going to be able to sell it come what may.

View all stories from this issue of Driving Sprayers

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