Drive Line Systems


To compare systems you need to look at the function, weight, angle, length and maintenance cost.

Slimline offers a standard driveline or the dual gearbox. Rears the same standard system or their proven 3pt CV hitch. The main reason for a 3pt hitch is not the turning radius, but to stop the end bearing thrust on the tractors PTO. The dual gearbox is neither unique nor practical. This system has been used in New Zealand and Australia for several years. Why would you want to maintain the articulating piece, torque clutch, 2 gearboxes, 2 oil reservoirs, and consume up horsepower at the same time for no reason? Our system has addressed grower concerns with the Rears 3pt system. First we increased the bearing surface of the frame, thus reducing the wear. We also eliminated the need for the extra carrier bearing and TJ-joint because our driveline is shorter in length and has a straight line to the gearbox, and without the incline that is present in the Rears machine. In comparison our system is the same only better!


The Slimline uses 5x2 tubing on a 300 gallon and 8x2 tubing on 4-500 gallon units. Rears use only 4x2 tubing on their frames.

Columbia sprayers regardless of tank size, have a standard 6x2 with additional 4x2 tubing running from the front of the tank to the axle. In comparison the Columbia has the strongest frame available on the market.

Tanks and Tank Support

Rears use a painted 2B stainless steel tank. The tank has a flat bulkhead, and a butt weld. Then the tank is bolted to the frame by a bracket that is welded on. The bracket is the only support surface of the tank. The tank by a welder's standpoint, does not have the strength of the other tanks. Bolting it down to the frame is also a point of weakness, as this allows for no flexing to occur without cracking taking place.

Slimline uses polished 4B stainless steel with a rolled bulkhead for a stronger tank and a better lap weld. They support their tanks with a saddle frame and strap it down. Much better than Rears.

Columbia has the same high quality tank as the Slimline, but we include a bottom sump standard. Something the others don't. All growers realize the importance of a sump on hillsides, to completely empty a tank. We also support both sides of the tank with tubing running the entire length. This gives our tank the best support in the industry. In comparison, yon have to agree that the Columbia has an extremely rugged and durable design.

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Agitation Systems

Both Rears and Slimline use the outdated paddle agitation system. Both have shafts and bearings to grease and seals to maintain. Both have either chain or belt drive systems to maintain. Both incorporate air into the chemical mix. This causes foaming, pump wear and loss of calibration. Both need a mix basket and top screens when loading. The tractors PTO system must be running in order to agitate the mix. This type of agitation was designed when the typical rate per acre was 200-400 gallons per acre. They haven't changed it in 50 years! It is not capable of properly agitating heavy mixes, that is one-reason growers have failures trying to decease their GPA rates.

We use a self-adjusting hydraulic agitation system. You can actually start adding chemical into the tank before you start adding water. The fill station needs to have a filter screen on it. This will stop rust or rocks from entering when filling. When spraying, the 4 high- volume jet agitators roll the tank mix with the effective performance of 230 gallons per minute. No other system can compete with this performance. As the tank empties, a paddle system starts slapping the mix, which causes foaming. In our system, as the mix level drops below the agitators, you also reduce their performance by a factor of 5.5 thus reducing the gpm effect to 44 gallons per minute for the remainder of the tank. This all but eliminates foaming. A standard tank sump insures that the pump empties the tank, even on hillsides. In review, their systems cost more to maintain and are less effective than ours. You have to conclude that the Columbia system is going to cost less to maintain and also provide better, trouble free agitation.


Let us assume the standard diaphragm pump on the SlimHne, and Rears cheaper units is not to be considered. Slimline uses the Myers two stage centrifugal pump. This is a good high-pressure low volume pump ran with a belt. Rears manufactures their own high pressure low volume centrifugal pump and powers it with a chain. Again, a good pump, but you are only going to get replacement parts from Rears. We use the Hypro low-pressure high volume pump, also a very good pump with a great support network. If all are good pumps, which pump will have less wear, and the lowest maintenance cost? Pressure = wear. The Columbia's low-pressure pump will be the least costly to maintain.

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Plumbing (filters & valves)

With plumbing systems its easy to see the difference. Both Slimline and Rears are high pressure, and incorporate steel fittings in their plumbing. Simply look for quality, no steel fittings to rust, and sitnpjicity. The pump is the only cast steel in our unit, period. Look at the filters and screen size. Both use a screen size of 50 mesh or smaller. They use this small size in an attempt to keep their nozzles from plugging. We use the very large 16 mesh filter screen. Anything that can pass though it will pass though the rest of the system and out the nozzles, without plugging. Also pay close attention to the wiring and how it runs from the tractor controls to the valves. Ours passes inside the frame and is protected from brush. Valves, look for quality and simplicity. The problems with the Slimline electric valves are well known. Rears promotes their Hu-valve. It is a modified irrigation pressure valve. Owners of Rears sprayers know about replacing the diaphragms yearly. There is also an electrically activated, motorized valve, which controls the Hu-valve. A small chemical fluid line that is prone to plugging when using higher concentration mixes triggers that valve. Both manufactures have problems dealing with their high-pressure systems. "Pressure = wear" Because we have a low-pressure system we don't have the problems inherent with theirs. We use dependable solid stainless steel electric valves, designed for our type of system.

In comparing the systems you have to agree that our plumbing and vaive system is stronger, cleaner, simpler and in fact more durable than our competition.


Slimlines cover will move to the rear, and is an improvement over the Rears sprayer. Still it doesn't allow total access. Rears cover is bolted on. The side panels are removable. Just try to remove and reinstall these panels. The Columbia was designed with the service person in mind. To get the true value of a sprayer, you must also have a value on the ease, and speed of any and all adjustments and repairs. The Columbia's 2-sided cover can be removed in under 30 seconds. With its removal you have total accessibility to the valves, wiring, plumbing, fan, and gearbox.

In comparing the different machines, you have to admit our system is quicker, easier, and provides the best access.

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Gearbox, Fans and Fan Housings

Both Slimline and Rears use a 2-speed gearbox in front of their fans. We have no need to change the fan speed, nor do we need a neutral position in the gearbox. And again, if you want replacement parts, Rears is a custom made box for their sprayer only. We use a very Heavy-Duty right angle box that is used in large row crop type applications worldwide. We transport the power to the fan with HD shock absorbing belts. This is a simple way to reduce operator abuse. Slimline uses a slip clutch. Rears use an electrically activated clutch to engage their fan. Again we engineered our sprayer to avoid having to use and maintain a clutch of any kind. Rears use an axial type fan. Slimline uses a turbine and it does not have the volume of the Rears, or the airspeed of the Columbia. Both need to maintain a very close clearance between the fan tip and the fan housing. Slimline has a painted steel fan housing. Rears offer theirs in stainless steel as an option. Slim lines fan housing outlet is semi adjustable for airflow. Rears has no adjustability. The Rears sprayer delivers as much air straight up into the atmosphere and at the tree trunk as is does into the tree canopy, not very efficient. The Columbia sprayer uses the most efficient type fan, a squirrel cage type, centrifugal fan. The stainless steel fan..housing, is standard. The double roller, pillow block bearings are the largest in the industry. The poly air outlet will not rust and can be adjusted to proportionally direct the air into the tree canopy. This way you can put more volume of air in the area that needs it. In comparison the Columbia's system is simpler, requires less maintenance, and is more efficient than either Slimline or Rears.


Both Rears and Slimline use the same high-pressure Disc-Core Type spray tips. This system has been in use for 50 years, A strainer, core and a disc. Strainers plug, cores and disc wear. All result in down time, loss of calibration and coverage. In each system the higher the pressure and more abrasive the chemical, the quicker the wear occurs. Both produces particle size in the 300-micron diameter and require replacement during the season, in an attempt to stay in calibration. How much do you spend yearly on nozzle expense? AH research in coverage points to smaller particles and low volume spraying to reduce your chemical costs per acre. (Refer to end pages) This cost saving opportunity is not available in the other sprayers. We use a non-pjiigamg Stainless Steel Air Shear Nozzle. This nozzle makes you money every year. You have no replacement cost and it will never cause you to be out of calibration. Our nozzle produces a 50-micron size particle or 216 droplets for every one that's 300 micron, that's coverage!

When comparing systems the Columbia nozzle saves you money and gives you the opportunity to reduce your per acre rates, while at the same time increasing spray coverage.

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Both Slimline and Rears calibrate their sprayers with high-pressure nozzles, as many as 26 per machine and more on tower units. Neither are quick or easy to change. Neither will compensate for speed changes. As the nozzles wear, both will be out of calibration, but the operator usually continues spraying with the machine, wasting chemicals and costing you money. At times you need to adjust the spray pattern to match different tree canopies. Neither of the other two machines can do this quickly and accurately. They must shut off a complete nozzle. This changes the rate per acre, and pattern. This kind of error should be avoided when looking to purchase a new machine. Rears claim that their pump will compensate for changes in ground speed. Please do the math for yourself. Set on your tractor and with your sprayer running at 125 lbs liquid pressure. Now increase your tractor rpm until you reach I5OIbs psi. Can you? Is this what your operator's do going down hill? How about up hill? Does your tractor loose so much rpm that the sprayer pressure drops to lOOpsi? Again do the math; even with the changes in pressure would this keep you in calibration? Also look at what happens to the particle size. The lower the pressure on the nozzle, the larger the droplet becomes. If you are like most operations, your drivers are trained to maintain 540 PTO speed. At any rate their claim doesn't work. We use the Raven flow control system. Yes Slimline and Rears could use a controller, but because they use a standard nozzle. They can only get a small change by changing pressure. Again changing droplet size and effecting coverage. Over 50,000 applicators, worldwide, have chosen the Raven system because of its' proven dependability, performance and innovation. We have designed our sprayer to use this system as a standard feature. Calibration error is one of the biggest wastes of money and chemical in our industry. You can't afford to buy a new spray machine that doesn't address this problem. Up hills, down hills and even changing gears, our sprayer maintains the same rate per acre that you have programmed. With the ability to spray rates from 10-400 gallon per acre, good managers can no longer afford any other approach to this waste. Changing row spacing, and retargeting the chemical for a different tree can be made in seconds not hours. If you are completely flat and refuse to use a flow controf system, we offer the Raven 303. Here the control has a pressure gauge and on-off switches. The calibration, while using in line metering disc, still has advantages over the competition. The disc are stainless steel, operate under low pressure, are fewer in numbers and still give you the same great coverage. In every way our system saves you time and money. In comparison, Columbia is far and away the best sprayer.

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Orchard Towers

All of these manufactures offer towers. Because of the fan style and size of the other sprayers, they can't give you the flexibility that we can. Our tower can be sized to your specifications and needs.

The orchard tower has adjustable heads with air shear nozzles, so you can target the air and chemical to the area you need it. We also offer the PropTech rotary atomizer head, in a bolt on tower. The width on our towers is from 6-10 inches! This enables the tower to be used in a canopy that has very- limited room. The tower also has 2 feet adjustability in height. This is a great way to quickly change from block to block with out a hassle. Again in Comparison we simply have a more useable and flexible machine.

Dimensions 300-gallon units

Height               Length           Width

Slimline.                       44                     166                  50                   in inches

Rears bullet.                 43.5                  189.25             58

Columbia                               44                            181                         57

400-gallon units

Slimline.                       52                     166                 61

Rears TTN                  56                      171                  60

Columbia                      51                     181                  57

For added coverage and reduced drift, we can offer you the charged particle system.

When you add up all the differences you can see why the Columbia is the best value.

Their machines can offer you no improvement for tomorrow. We all know that to

stay and indeed grow your business;( EVERY DAY YOU LOOK FOR WAYS TO


We don't try to build the cheapest sprayer. We do build a sprayer that will save,

and ultimately make you money every year you use it.

Comparing apples to apples; The Columbia is the sprayer you need today, the

others are yesterday's machines.

Please review the next pages, they document and support our findings.

Nest pages please!

Dr. Peter W Shearer, Rutgers University


First, calibrate the sprayer once or twice a year and do it for different tree heights and row spacing. Concentrate spraying allows vou to use up to 20% less product per acre. On-board spray monitors (computers) can precisely deliver the required amount of product per acre regardless if the sprayer speeds up or slows down when traversing hillsides.

Tom Anvil, Washington Tree Research Commission

As our materials grow softer, they tend to grow more expensive as well. If we're able to have better targeting of our spray applications and be able to make them more timely, and cover more acres per hour with our spray technology, we can have better effects and lower cost.

Glen W. Koehler Associate, Scientist IPM/NAPIAP

When a spray is made using one third or less, the dosage of some pesticides can be reduced and maintain full efficacy, presumably because of more efficient spray deposit.

Dr. W.H.A. Wilde

(LOW VOLUME SPRAYING AND THE ENVIRONMENT) Low Volume spraying incorporates greater scientific accuracy in its usage than previous types of spray systems. In drip-wet method, at least 30%-70% of the chemical is lost, as this quantity drips onto the ground. In recent tests with copper fungicide sprays, more copper per square inch was present in the low volume method than deposited by the conventional system, while no spray damage was evident. This has also been proven with..other fungicides and insecticides in many residue analysis tests.

BiU Hunt, (Agricultural Consultant)

Electrostatic attraction can enhance spray coverage, especially in drier climates and with fruit crops such as apples and pears.


(Sprayer control systems and maintenance)

Control of sprayer output is often achieved by adjusting pressure at the nozzle, but relatively large changes in pressure are required to compensate for smaller changes in forward speed. The problem with this approach is that it alters the spray quality and the velocity of the spray produced by the nozzle and changes the spray distribution pattern on the crop. Both these effects will influence retention, penetration and drift of the spray and many control systems limit operation to +/-20% of the calibrated speed, which could give a pressure range from 87 psi to over 174 psi for a nozzle pressure of 130 psi. Flow can also be controlled by flow meters.

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