Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Workshop Wednesday-Duplicate Sprayer

 If you follow this blog you probably know that at work I fix chainsaws and plow snow. I don't talk about it a lot but I also do lawn applications. You know, fertilizer and weed control stuff. Business has been good and we've added another spray rig to the crew. The tractors we use are Steiner. There's no particular reason for using the Steiner except we had a few and they were heavy duty enough to handle the weight of the water, tank and pumps along with being pretty reliable machines.
 These tractors push a hooded sprayer that does the blanket application but to do the trim work and reach into remote areas, I needed a hose reel sprayer. About five years ago I built one and mounted it on the back of the Steiner.
 You can see the unit on the right has the hose reel sprayer and tank on the back of it. This setup works so sweet because I can broadcast spray a large lawn in a short time and then run around and trim it out while riding the tractor. The other handy feature is the ability to place that hose reel anywhere on the property I need it to reach remote areas. I see other contractors dragging hundreds of feet of hose from a truck parked on the street. That's just lame and wastes a lot of time. If I can do the job quicker then I can be more competitively priced.
 The other fad right now in the spraying world are these small stand-on sprayers that double as fertilizer spreaders. We have one and mostly just use the spreader. I really don't like open sprayers because of the potential for drift. My clients also like the fact that we are spraying under hoods.
 Because the first hose reel sprayer has run without any break downs for five years now I decided to just duplicate it.

 The plan was to make everything interchange. If one tractor or sprayer breaks down then I can swap pieces around as needed. This pic is just showing the old sprayer on a forklift held above the new sprayer I'm building.

 And this is the finished project. Now that I look at the pic I'm reminded that I still need to tidy up some wiring. The design is such that it can be forked off the tractor and sits on its own legs. This means it could sit in a UTV or pickup truck if needed. The only real drawbacks to this setup are the potential for catching the reel on a tree branch and the high center of gravity. In five years we haven't rolled one but I must admit I did bend the crap out of the reel once.


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