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Germinating Ingenuity

A new John Deere–powered HydroSeeder sprouts from fertile fields of innovation at FINN Corporation

FINN manufactured its first HydroSeeder® in 1953 to efficiently shoot seed and fertilizers over broad areas. The invention was more than a product innovation; it was the seed that germinated a fast and efficient way to revegetate land. 

HydroSeeders mix seed, mulch, and fertilizer with water and spray the slurry uniformly over the ground. It is an alternative solution to sodding and broadcast seeding to establish turf or control erosion. 

Recently, the Fairfield, Ohio, company introduced the new TITAN HT330/400. “This TITAN is a significant leap forward in innovation for our company and for the industry,” says Matt Hoffman, vice president of sales, marketing, and customer service at FINN Corporation. “During the development and research phase, we captured many customer ideas and suggestions and developed a machine that really targets customer needs.”

The new TITAN HT330/400 works considerably faster and more efficiently than the company’s previous models. The new  product launch coincides with FINN’s recent transition to  

Final Tier 4/Stage IV engines. It features a John Deere PowerTech™ PSS 4.5L engine that hydrostatically drives a patent-pending integrated grinder and newly designed helical agitators that decrease load times up to 42 percent compared to previous models. Operators will also be exposed to less dust, thanks to an innovative water curtain.   

Mounted on the PSS 4.5L engine is an electronically controlled hydrostatic drive that boosts power to specific machine operating functions. “When the TITAN goes into spray mode, it will divert a majority of the power from the agitators and direct that power to the pump to increase the discharge pressure and shooting distance,” explains FINN product manager Josh Bruno. 

When fully loaded with hydro-mulch, grass seed, fertilizer, and water, the new TITAN empties in less than 10 minutes and discharges the slurry more than 98 meters (320 feet).  

The HT330/400 hints to the two available tank sizes — 3,000 or 4,000 gallons (11,356 or 15,141 liters), making it ideal for spreading slurry on large areas of land.

Timing is everything

Whether the HydroSeeder is used for landscaping or reclamation, getting more product on the ground faster is a benefit for end users who need to cover a lot of ground quickly, explains John Tucker, FINN regional sales manager. 

While HydroSeeders are commonly used to revegetate barren ground after the construction of a building or highway, they also play an important role in revegetating scorched land after wildfires. After the California wildfires in 2017, FINN HydroSeeders were quickly deployed to thwart erosion and potential mudslides. 

Pipeline reclamation 

Tucker says a growing number of HydroSeeders are also  finding work in the oil and gas industries to revegetate land after the installation of underground pipelines. EnRec Solutions  of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, owns more than a dozen  

John Deere–powered FINN HydroSeeders. Perhaps the most impressive application involves pairing the HydroSeeders with helicopters to spread the slurry in hard-to-reach areas, such as steep hillsides. EnRec uses the HydroSeeders to fill hoppers aboard their helicopters, which aerially spread the slurry. “EnRec has taken reclamation work in the oil and gas industry to the next level,” Tucker reports.  

Tucker says John Deere engines provide reliable performance, which is crucial for contractors trying to cover a lot of ground in a short period. 

Superior support

FINN purchases its engines from Superior Diesel. Hoffman says the John Deere engine distributor has been an excellent source of support through the years. “We’ve used John Deere engines for well over 25 years,” he says. “John Deere engines have always been rock solid. If there’s ever been an issue, they’re very quick to respond with assistance.” 

Superior Diesel was particularly helpful during the transition to Final Tier 4/Stage IV engines. FINN relocated the John Deere engine to the front of the chassis, and Superior Diesel collaborated with FINN engineers to shorten the height of the power unit. “To overcome space claim constraints, we worked extensively with FINN’s engineering team to move the after-treatment from the top of the engine to the rear of the engine,” explains Austin Hoffmann, product manager for Superior Diesel. “It was a highly collaborative effort, which resulted in a seamless integration of the Final Tier 4 power unit.” 

Tucker agrees, “Since they know our products and what we’re trying to accomplish, they were able to send us down the right path of engine options that would work best for new machines. They helped guide the process of selecting engine options, which increased our ability to create new product designs and get it done quickly.”   

Distributor: Superior Diesel in Rhinelander, Wisconsin;

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