The end of harvest season brings winter maintenance tasks for sprayers. Spend some extra time now to focus on this vital task, and you’ll be ready for the spring planting season when the weather breaks and so many other chores are competing for your attention.
- Clean thoroughly inside and out.
- Grease or oil moving parts to keep them lubricated until next usage.
- Drain water from lines, filters, and pumps to keep from freezing over the winter. Leave valves and strainer bowls open to prevent freeze damage.
- Remove and inspect all tips, gaskets, and caps for any wear and damage.
- Check mainline strainer screen and all the screens at each individual nozzle body for debris, rust, or corrosion.
- Check the end caps of the booms for any accumulations of dry chemicals.
- Use a device such as the SpotOn Spray Tip Calibrator to provide quick and accurate flow-rate checking of individual sprayer nozzles.
- Conduct a visual inspection of the inside of the tank. Time and temperature change can cause residue or debris to collect in the sump, leading to issues either in the mainline strainer or the strainers at the nozzles.
- Make sure there is a rate display on the controller. A flow system needs three inputs to determine and display a rate — speed, boom sense or boom calibration, and volume. If any of these inputs are not present, you will not see a rate displayed. Also, check for the satellites the GPS system is accessing. Go to an open area to make sure at least five or six satellites can be detected.
- If possible, remove the PTO pump and flush with clean water, lubricate, and store in a clean, dry area that will not freeze.
- Add RV antifreeze to the tank to help keep excess moisture from freezing. In the spring, you must remember to flush antifreeze from the tank completely to prevent contamination.
- Check air pressure in tires to prevent flat spots while storing.
After you have taken these steps, make a list of repair parts needed. Stockdale’s offers repair parts for the equipment it sells. Properly winterizing sprayers will not only reduce headaches for next year, but it will also increase the life and resale value of your equipment in the future. For advice and products related to winterization, visit with the friendly professionals at your local Stockdale’s.