Polish fruit grower, Pawel Dominiak, just could not find the perfect spraying machine for his orchard near Warsaw. What do you do then? You build one yourself. Pawel's sprayer quickly became a success, and not only in Poland.
Jan Berend van den Berg is from Lienden in the Netherlands. He owns a fruit cultivation company. Jan decided to partner up with Pawel. He distributes Pawel's sprayer on the Dutch and Belgian market.
Jan Willem Wellner and Monique van Tuil with the spraying machine.
“The innovative thing about this sprayer is its fans," says Monique van Tuil. “These can be found at the front, not the back, of the machine. This means the air is sucked in in the direction of travel. That, in turn, means the machine uses far less power, and you suck less dirt into the machine."
"The nozzles also get clogged less quickly. You can also continue working, even if there is a strong wind. We have been supplying this machine to the Dutch market since June 2015. Maintenance is done via a few service points."
These are all good points. However, according to Monique, there is still a bias against the machine. “It is built in Poland. That country is still quickly associated with inferior quality. That image is outdated and needs to be adjusted. We have now sold 18 of these machines in the Netherlands. All the users are very satisfied with it."
One of these satisfied clients is Jan Willem Wellner of Wellner fruit. This company is located in the Dutch town of Meteren. Wellner recently purchased a Dominiak sprayer. "I often go to Poland for work. I saw these spraying machines driving around the orchard there a few years ago."
"I immediately noticed how quiet the fans are and the machine's nice color. I heard a lot of positive feedback from the sector about this machine. My interest brought me in contact with Jan Berend in the Netherlands. I was able to buy a Dominiak from him," explains Jan Willem.
"We have done more kilometers with this machine than others. Despite, this we have never had a breakdown. It is, however, a bad scarecrow. The fans are so quiet; we occasionally have a bird ride along through the rows in the orchard."
Jan Willem is not only satisfied with Dominiak's sprayer. He is also pleased with their service. "The price we negotiated with Jan Berend was actually the final price. There were no hidden costs. The machines were personalized to meet our needs."
"We can also sell them at their trade-in value if we want to. You cannot do this with most other machines. We are then often advised to 'use up' those machines." Extra innovations are also an eventual possibility with the machine. Jan Willem is, however, still hesitant about this.
"We want to see if we can make the machine self-driving, using a GPS tracker. The problem is that if something goes wrong, it will be a big mishap. If a machine like this drags the hail netting along outside the plot, the damage will be considerable. So, we are waiting a bit before we renew it."
On Thursday, 27 June, the Dominiak sprayer will be on display at the Verstegen fruit company's Apple Day. This event will be held in Opijnen in the Dutch province of Gelderland. "These days are a good opportunity to show off the machine," says Monique.
“We will do a demonstration with a sprayer that has a 2,500-liter tank. Again, this is an innovation that cannot be found with the competition. The Dominiak sprayer's tank sits narrowly on its tires. It can easily move between the rows."
According to Monique, everyone who uses the machine is enthusiastic about it. "We see a lot of enthusiasm for the machine in, especially the organic sector. There, spraying has to be done in a much shorter time frame. With the Dominiak machine, this can be done under various weather conditions." A newer version of the sprayer will be on the market soon.