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I flew the Agras T20 and T30

CaptainRisky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
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Age
54
Location
NSW, Australia
As I've mentioned before, I'm a farmer in a very flood affected area. After almost 2 years of waterlogged fields, It got just dry enough for me to operated machinery and start cleaning up.... and we got hit with another 100mm of rain.

In frustration I contacted a couple of drone spray contractors, and got a surprise that one of the operators was an associates nephew. He offered I come out with him for the day and I accepted.

He had both the T20 and T30, and they looked like they'd been to hell and back. The T20 had 2500 flights on the clock, and the T30 had 1700.

I was amazed at how well they worked, and he really knew how to use them. It was in heavy country too, hilly and trees with pastures absolutely full of obstacles. He told me not to trust the RTH or automatic mission to and from the field in this sort of country, and to fly it out and back to and from the mapped field manually. He said the obstacle avoidance just wasn't a safe bet.

He gave me a fly, and it went well. I was filling them for him and flipping batteries, and he told me to take over on the T20. I flew it all day, must have put 100's of liters through it.

He's offered me a job as a pilot with him, but I drove 200kms each way that day and don't need that regularly. He's got some work coming up my way soon though, and I'll do a few days with him then.

I was impressed enough that I'm getting (through him) a price on the last new T20 in Australia. I know I can use it, and my land is perfect for that being wetlands. We have very specific weeds that absolutely must be sprayed at very specific times of the year, and every time it's due it's too wet to get the tractor on without tearing the paddock apart. This will totally remove all that, it will be all done regardless of the conditions.

I've still got to secure the thing, as they don't have a second charger or seed spreader in Australia, and he assures me both are totally required, and I need to buy a 9kVa generator to drive it all. Which brings me to the point of the power that the chargers pull. He had a 19kVa diesel generator mounted on his trailer (somehow), and even that was throwing alarms time to time. He's got 2 T40's coming, and there was a brand new 40kVa generator sitting there for those! These things pull some power, which is why I think the T20 will do for me. Then there's the cost...

I haven't done this on a whim after a day of excitement. I looked into this pretty heavily back around 2017/18, when they were just starting to come out, and I just wasn't convinced they worked. What I saw this time was a whole new ball game, better than any land based approach, and he showed me pictures of all manner of vegetation and pasture that he'd sprayed out very successfully.

It may or may not happen, but I've got them on it. I've got some pics and vids on my phone. I'll get them up soon.
 
Wow! That's next-level (x100) from anything Mavic related.
When I was a kid on a farm in NSW in the late 60s early 70s I just dreamed of flying over our farm with a UAV (we didn't know that terminology then) but it was kind-of innate to me that it would be a thing (nearly 50 years ago).. then I went to boarding school 100s of kms away and got in with the control-line kids just to be near any model a/c but I was too poor to own any rig.. I built a free-flight fixed wing and some kid loaned me his RC.. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. He took it away 'cause it looked like too much fun.
Now! Drones in Ag... wish I'd followed those crazy dreams.
Cheers,
Chris J
 
Yes I'm a bit off topic, but I'll film the thing with my MPP to make it all kosher.

I've ordered one today, and got the last T20 in Australia. I could only get one battery charger, but the dealer is getting me in another plus a seed spreader for it. In the meantime I have started booking all my courses so I can legally use it as a contractor on other peoples properties as well as my own.

As well as that, the guy I worked for last week has asked me to come and help him with a 2500 hectare job (using his drones), so I'll be getting some experience. He's also going to come and map my entire property to RTK accuracy, so I can plan all my paddocks for spraying.

I paid just over half of what the T30 costs, and just over a third of what the T40 will cost. I'm comfortable with the choice for the size of my place, and the reviews are good. I felt it flew and sprayed better than the T30 on the day and only had done about 20% less hectares at the end of the day according to the Terra Ag app.
 
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Yes I'm a bit off topic, but I'll film the thing with my MPP to make it all kosher.

I've ordered one today, and got the last T20 in Australia. I could only get one battery charger, but the dealer is getting me in another plus a seed spreader for it. In the meantime I have started booking all my courses so I can legally use it as a contractor on other peoples properties as well as my own.

As well as that, the guy I worked for last week has asked me to come and help him with a 2500 hectare job (using his drones), so I'll be getting some experience. He's also going to come and map my entire property to RTK accuracy, so I can plan all my paddocks for spraying.

I paid just over half of what the T30 costs, and just over a third of what the T40 will cost. I'm comfortable with the choice for the size of my place, and the reviews are good. I felt it flew and sprayed better than the T30 on the day and only had done about 20% less hectares at the end of the day according to the Terra Ag app.
Sad about what’s happening down there Capt. a third straight La Niña or what ever.
I tell everyone that you guys knocked off our rain. 😀
Look forward to seeing your video. Best of luck.
Regards
 
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Great opportunity !
I've been watching some of this blokes videos on YouTube, really in depth on how he uses them for spraying and fertilising.

https://www.youtube.com/c/AgriSprayDrones

I'm sure you'd get a lot from his channel, sounds like your contact is similarly set up with a trailer, the box trailer is well setup for all day work.
 
Great opportunity !
I've been watching some of this blokes videos on YouTube, really in depth on how he uses them for spraying and fertilising.

https://www.youtube.com/c/AgriSprayDrones

I'm sure you'd get a lot from his channel, sounds like your contact is similarly set up with a trailer, the box trailer is well setup for all day work.
Yes I have spoken to this guy on Facebook to try and buy/or work for him but he won't do payment plans and charges 28k for the t30 the t20 has been discontinued. Nice guy though. Tons of experience.
 
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As I've mentioned before, I'm a farmer in a very flood affected area. After almost 2 years of waterlogged fields, It got just dry enough for me to operated machinery and start cleaning up.... and we got hit with another 100mm of rain.

In frustration I contacted a couple of drone spray contractors, and got a surprise that one of the operators was an associates nephew. He offered I come out with him for the day and I accepted.

He had both the T20 and T30, and they looked like they'd been to hell and back. The T20 had 2500 flights on the clock, and the T30 had 1700.

I was amazed at how well they worked, and he really knew how to use them. It was in heavy country too, hilly and trees with pastures absolutely full of obstacles. He told me not to trust the RTH or automatic mission to and from the field in this sort of country, and to fly it out and back to and from the mapped field manually. He said the obstacle avoidance just wasn't a safe bet.

He gave me a fly, and it went well. I was filling them for him and flipping batteries, and he told me to take over on the T20. I flew it all day, must have put 100's of liters through it.

He's offered me a job as a pilot with him, but I drove 200kms each way that day and don't need that regularly. He's got some work coming up my way soon though, and I'll do a few days with him then.

I was impressed enough that I'm getting (through him) a price on the last new T20 in Australia. I know I can use it, and my land is perfect for that being wetlands. We have very specific weeds that absolutely must be sprayed at very specific times of the year, and every time it's due it's too wet to get the tractor on without tearing the paddock apart. This will totally remove all that, it will be all done regardless of the conditions.

I've still got to secure the thing, as they don't have a second charger or seed spreader in Australia, and he assures me both are totally required, and I need to buy a 9kVa generator to drive it all. Which brings me to the point of the power that the chargers pull. He had a 19kVa diesel generator mounted on his trailer (somehow), and even that was throwing alarms time to time. He's got 2 T40's coming, and there was a brand new 40kVa generator sitting there for those! These things pull some power, which is why I think the T20 will do for me. Then there's the cost...

I haven't done this on a whim after a day of excitement. I looked into this pretty heavily back around 2017/18, when they were just starting to come out, and I just wasn't convinced they worked. What I saw this time was a whole new ball game, better than any land based approach, and he showed me pictures of all manner of vegetation and pasture that he'd sprayed out very successfully.

It may or may not happen, but I've got them on it. I've got some pics and vids on my phone. I'll get them up soon.
Only the t30 is being sold now all other models have been discontinued...
 
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Sad about what’s happening down there Capt. a third straight La Niña or what ever.
I tell everyone that you guys knocked off our rain. 😀
Look forward to seeing your video. Best of luck.
Regards

It's an absolute pain in the arse from a farming point of view. I just can't catch a break, it's pouring right now and we'll get over 100mm.

The weeds are growing and the food's dying.... I'm losing the place back to the weeds and mud.
 
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Great opportunity !
I've been watching some of this blokes videos on YouTube, really in depth on how he uses them for spraying and fertilising.

https://www.youtube.com/c/AgriSprayDrones

I'm sure you'd get a lot from his channel, sounds like your contact is similarly set up with a trailer, the box trailer is well setup for all day work.

It is a great opportunity at 53yo.

I do watch those videos as well, and that's exactly what we are doing except not in such open country. The geofencing and obstacle avoidance gets a workout where we have been going.

I've just enrolled in the mother of all courses, covering CASA and EPA. It's the complete "just add public liability" contractors course and cost heaps, but the work is absolutely stacked to the roof ahead of us. I'm just an offsider/trainee at this stage, but the boss and I are getting on great and he's fully throwing some serious support at me. This guy is hot on the computer, but he can 4wd and work in rough country as well. I couldn't be learning from a nicer and more capable bloke. Of course I've now got to get through my course and be assessed before he'll let me fly in any way at all, so I've got to get busy, but I enjoy setting all the gear up and keeping it all ready to go.

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I've got a lock up canopy on my Hilux with tool drawers underneath, and I've got a plans for a simpler trailer trailer using a lot of gear I have (including a trailer) on my farm. I'll make something pretty good with what I've got laying around, and I'll wear that T20 out before I replace it lol.

Sadly I'll be looking at my one in its box for a while yet, but I want to get it all right with the licenses and certifications, not to mention experience as this thing wasn't cheap. It's a bit of a complicated process, but it doesn't seem as backed up as the US. They seem to have about a 1-2 year wait for approval of new pilots.
 
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Mate what was the name of the course? You will have to keep us posted as you develop your trailer. I’m using a box trailer with a canopy and always looking for ideas to improve it.
Regards
 
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Well grab tight and hold on !!
Yes, a really interesting turn of event s for you there, and man that T30 is a beast !!
Both of those have done some work, as you described.

It's actually pretty mutually agreeable. Plus we're both about the same age and don't get into the crying and squealing that passes for normal these days.

I know he needs people, and he knows I'm old school and doing the right thing. I've told him I don't want a wages job, but as a contractor we can collaborate honorably, and he's good with that. He loves crazy mountainous stuff, and I'm interested in my flood plains down on the coast.

Even just dragging hoses etc, it's freeing him right up to fly. It's all about covering acres, I'll easily pay my way.
 
Mate what was the name of the course? You will have to keep us posted as you develop your trailer. I’m using a box trailer with a canopy and always looking for ideas to improve it.
Regards

It's like a mix match of all sorts.

RePL 7kg, then upgraded to 25kg, then an onsite CASA assessment on my actual drone.

ReOC, which is a license for my company to operate drones commercially.

Aroc (I think), which is commercial air radio use.

Night flying, which I think is fairly new for drones. Apparently farmers started requesting it because of the lower wind drift, and the drones don't care about day/night. I reckon one of these lit up on a paddock in the night will be good advertising.

That's all CASA, then there's the EPA spray pilots course, trading license again of some sort and general chem handling which I may have already actually, but I think I'll just do it again so it's all fresh.

I've done a LOT of oil rig and mines in inductions over 20 years, but this looks really heavy. I'll have to actually study and pass theory and practical tests.

What are you doing with your trailer? Are you a spray contractor?
 
Project officer/WHS working for a consulting company looking after indigenous companies. Mapping homelands, stockpile measurement, construction progression, developing grants applications.
I carry 2 x phantom 4 and my MPP backup. Sat GPS gear and camping gear charging.
The flying is actually a small portion of the job. Have to agree about ol school and work attitudes.
Luv what I do.
Regards
 
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Project officer/WHS working for a consulting company looking after indigenous companies. Mapping homelands, stockpile measurement, construction progression, developing grants applications.
I carry 2 x phantom 4 and my MPP backup. Sat GPS gear and camping gear charging.
The flying is actually a small portion of the job. Have to agree about ol school and work attitudes.
Luv what I do.
Regards

Love my MPP!

I really need a P4RTK to go with my spray drone, but my boss has all that and I've spent enough for now.
 
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Love my MPP!

I really need a P4RTK to go with my spray drone, but my boss has all that and I've spent enough for now.
Mate my understanding of the p4RTK has to have access to the internet. Most of my work is out of range, I use satellite gps to mark my GCP’s.
Regards
 
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Mate my understanding of the p4RTK has to have access to the internet. Most of my work is out of range, I use satellite gps to mark my GCP’s.
Regards

As it goes I did just get a second hand but never used P4 RTK, along with the base station, SDK controller, extra batteries etc, all in one of those hard plastic cases at a reasonable price.

It seems there's no point in the Agras without RTK if there's any obstacles at all, and there always are.

It does seem that RTK requires a data sim card being connected, which is OK as I have one. Without internet connection I'm told you're back to setting up ground control points, which is what my boss does.
 
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