The development of new soil and plant sensors continues to be an area of emphasis in precision agriculture. Sensing technology can be used in plant breeding to facilitate selection of plant varieties with superior traits and in management to optimize production inputs for crop protection and growth. One example is the use of spectral sensors for site-specific fertility management applications when they are integrated with GPS and rate controllers. In spite of the progress made in sensor development, there is still a need to investigate methods for field deployment of these sensors with the use of ground systems. In this paper, we analyze the benefits and limitations of a ground-based proximal sensing platform retrofitted with plant height, canopy temperature and reflectance sensors. The platform consisted of a high-clearance sprayer modified with a front boom for sensor mounting. Other instrumentation included a GPS-RTK for positioning data and sensor data acquisition system. Machine field capacity, timeliness and other factors are analyzed in the context of field operation, and a general description of the vehicle operational characteristics are given from the mechanical perspective.