With more than 750,000 ZA fertiliser spreaders now sold, Amazonen-Werke is celebrating another special anniversary in 2014. Three quarters of a million fertiliser spreaders is an impressive figure and possibly one that hardly any other agricultural machinery manufacturer has achieved up to now.
The origins of the ZA go back to the year 1958. At that time Prof. h.c. (SAA Samara) RAAS Dr. Dr. h.c. Heinz Dreyer, together with his cousin Klaus Dreyer, had just taken over as third generation owners of Amazone and he immediately invented the first ZA twin disc fertiliser spreader with its 330 litre capacity and a 10 m working width,. In accordance with its design as a “Zentrifugalstreuer Anbaumaschine“ (centrifugal mounted spreader), he called it the ZA.
This first generation ZA immediately provided enormous improvement in the effectiveness of mineral fertiliser application. In comparison with the then existing full width box spreaders, it was unique in its larger working width and, compared to the single disc and pendulum fertiliser spreaders around, offered a much higher precision.
In the course of the history of the ZA spreader, Amazonen-Werke since then has launched to the market numerous subsequent ranges – each with higher and higher capacities and wider and wider working widths. However the basic design principle of that first ZA has been maintained up until today: a twin hopper with two contra-rotating spreading discs running at a constant speed, creating a mirrored spread pattern and a maintained accuracy to the left and right hand side of the tractor.
Also with regard to precision, ZA fertiliser spreaders have again and again set new standards resulting in both savings in the material being applied as well as a more environmentally-friendly application. Here, the milestones were, for example, swivel blades for late top dressing, the interchangeable disc system for wider and variable working widths, the Limiter boundary spreading device and SBS, the Soft Ballistic System, which ensures gentle fertiliser treatment during spreading. Also important progress has been achieved thanks to the introduction of hydraulics and electronics. So, today’s ZA programme fulfils the highest demands on precision thanks to weigh-cell technology, the GPS automatic headland and part-width section control as well as the use of convenient ISOBUS terminals.
The most recent ZA-TS series consists of models with weigh-cell technology and ISOBUS regulated electronics and comes in hopper sizes from 1,700 up to 4,200 litres and with working widths from 18 m to 54 m. This means a maximum capacity today that is ten times bigger and in a maximum working width which is more than five times wider than those first ZA spreaders of 1958. With the new spreader series, Amazone has also introduced the TS spreading system with its disc integrated AutoTS border spreading device onto the market, via which the fertiliser can be spread quite deliberately up to the field’s border. Thanks to the AutoTS, a lateral distribution to a level of precision that up to now has not been possible is achieved also on the headland. This means, in comparison with other border spreading systems currently available, significantly higher yields in the area encompassed by the field’s border.