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Constructing a Sprayer: Part 1

Clinton: Well, good morning and welcome to Sunup! I’m Clinton Griffiths.Today, we’re going to be something that a lot of you have either done or thought about doing over the years, and that’s rehabbing a piece of old farm equipment. What we have here is about a 110 gallon tank sprayer; and as you can see, it’s in pretty tough repair.
Here to help us do the work is our expert, Randy Taylor. Randy, it looks like you’ve got a sprayer piled up on this table.
Randy: Well, I’ve got a lot of it piled up here. (laughing) Most of the plumbing components, we’ve got all right here. But, basically, like you said, we’ve got a sprayer that a friend of mine kind of acquired, and I’ve been rebuilding it for him.
So, we’d go through the entire plumbing system, it’s going to be all new on this sprayer. You know, that’s one of the things when we think about spraying is, drift is a big issue.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: So, making sure that we have our plumbing system set up for our sprayer, is probably the key thing.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: It might not real pretty when we’re done-
Clinton: Yeah.
Randy: -but it’ll have, essentially, some of the best spray equipment on it that you can get.
Clinton: And that really is the key to a sprayer, I suppose, is having that good equipment.
The rest of it, like you said, is not necessarily going to look gorgeous. And you can work on it from now to whenever, and not make it look pretty.
Randy: Or, I could just go buy a brand new one. (laughing)
Clinton: That’s right.
So where do we start?
Randy: Well, I started with the pump. The first I tried to do is set it up to think about, “Okay, what size pump do I have to have?” I have to be able to supply spray to the entire boom. And I also have to be able to provide some agitation back in the tank. So, some overflow there.
Basically, I picked out the most economical pump that I could find. I guess when you start thinking about this, it’s got to be big enough to do the job.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: But then again, you don’t want buy one that’s too big. So, this is not quite a 10 gallon a minute pump. We need about 5 to 6 at the boom, so it’s going to give us another 4 gallon a minute, approximately, back in the tank for agitation to make sure chemical stays mixed in the tank.
Clinton: Sure.
Randy: Went with a roller pump. Probably, again, one of the most economical. The nice thing about it is that you just get a PTO adapter.
Clinton: Okay.
Randy: It goes right on here. Now, then, from a simple standpoint, it goes right on the PTO. We have to secure it doesn’t spin. Then that’ll provide our pumping.
We’ll come out of that into some valves. So, we’ll come up, basically, into our boom control valves. We’ll flow into those. I’ve got a couple of them. Wants to put a handgun on the sprayers.
Clinton: Okay.
Randy: We’ll do that. So, we’ll put these two valves together with some of the hardware that we have.
One of the keys that we’ll have with a roller pump, is it’s a positive displacement pump. So, it’s going to pump a fixed volume of fluid every revolution that it goes around.
So, with those, we have to have a pressure relief valve in them.
Clinton: Okay.
Randy: Because this pump is capable of generating 120, 130 psi. We don’t want to spray at that pressure
Clinton: Right.
Randy: So, we’ll a pressure relief valve in there, and that’s where our recirculation will come back from for agitation back in the tank.
Clinton: Okay.
Randy: Another very key piece of equipment that we will putting on here is a pressure gage. You need to know the pressure you’re running, so that you can get your sprayer calibrated correctly.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: But also, pressure affects our drift quite a bit.
Clinton: Sure.
Randy: So, we want to make sure we’re right there.
It’s a fluid filled gage, so that the needle will be stable, operating in the field. We’ll mount it where you can see it directly from the tractor seat. So, that’ll be pretty there as well.
One key, I think we’ve talked in the past about gages. We’re going to be running a low pressure, 40, 50 psi max, probably on this.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: A lot of times, you’ll see gages at your farmer supply stores that’ll go up 300 psi. Well, I don’t want a 300 psi gage, if I’m going to be running at 40.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: So, I selected one that’ll actually be able to show us where we are at those lower pressures.
Clinton: Again, the right size for the job.
Randy: Yeah. Then just a bunch of fitting you know. (laughing) It’s like you make a list, you go to the store, and you come home and you make another list, (laughing) you go back to the store. Some new hose clamps and stuff like that.
Then coming into the nozzles. One of the things, we’ve kind of already taken a couple of these off; but it has these older style of nozzles on it, where essentially the cap would screw right on with the nozzle-
Clinton: Okay.
Randy: -inside of the cap-
Clinton: Sure.
Randy: -right here. One of the challenges with these is, when you shut the boom off, there’s nothing to keep it from flowing. Until all the hoses are drained, it’s sitting there dribbling.
One of the things we’re going to go back with is one of the diaphragm control valves. A pressure diaphragm nozzle body. So, now when you shut the boom off, you’ve got about a 10 psi nozzle body here. It will keep dribbling until the pressure gets to about 10 psi, and then it’ll shut it off.
Clinton: It’ll shut off. Okay.
Randy: The nice thing about that is, is with this system, when you’ve got your strainer in here, if you filter at your nozzle body; that as you shut it off, you can come back, if you’ve got a nozzle’s not flowing right, you can this off and it’s not going to just start dribbling out everywhere.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: So, a little safer operation there and a little easier to get at this stuff. And-
Clinton: And it should save some product over time.
Randy: Yeah. It’ll save you a little bit of product.
We’re going to go back with a little different nozzle, a Turbo TeeJet as opposed to just a straight flat fan; hopefully, to reduce drift.
Clinton: Right.
Randy: This sprayer is probably going to be spraying a lot of pasture, a lot of 2,4-D products. So we want to make sure that we keep that product on the field that we want to spray, as opposed to going somewhere else.
So, we’re going to put little bit more expensive nozzle on it. Hey, you know, it’s not my money. I’m just putting it together.
Clinton: (laughing) That’s right, you’re just doing the work. Putting it together.
All right, so where do we start?
Randy: Well, I tell you what, if you want to start taking off some of the nozzles off of the frame-
Clinton: Okay.
Randy: I’m going to start putting the pump together and measuring some hose, and getting my filter on the tank.
Clinton: All right. Sounds good.
Randy: All right.