New Sprayer arrived

Earlier in the year I posted about the research I had done for a new sprayer. It can be viewed here. The utility vehicle that the sprayer mounts to arrived a few weeks ago and we have driven about a few times to run it through it's paces. This particular vehicle is a John Deere Pro Gator. Our other utility vehicles are Toro Workman's. One of the main components for the operator to adjust to is the sheer weight of the new sprayer when full. Our old sprayer was a 160 gallon tank while the new one is a 300 gallon. The weight difference on water alone is 1,120 pounds. Plastic vs stainless steel is a few hundred more, I am sure. I like the feel of this sprayer vs a tow behind model which I have used in the past. The tow behind in my previous experience was unwieldy and possibly too big for the rig we were towing it with.

lifting off of trailer and mounting onto Gator

Still on the trailer is a tow behind model slated for deliver to Nantucket

Howard Meredith, Jr calibrating nozzles

Water sensitive paper to test spray pattern and coverage. Blue is the applied water
We chose a couple of nozzles based on the rates i am looking to apply and for their wind resistance properties. We then proceeded to test them on the nursery in open conditions. One was clearly better with less drift and the pattern proved to be sufficient. They have this special paper with a dye on it. You lay them on the turf then spray over them at your desired settings. The water activates the dye and you can see what your coverage and pattern will look like at those settings. The top three papers are greens and the bottom one is fairways. Our current sprayer is set up to cover 2 acres. This allowed us to spray all the greens with one tank. In the beginning we could also spray tees and approaches providing we did not get too aggressive with the size of our approaches. As we enlarged the tees I had a tough time getting them all done. Fairways was 7 tanks. The new sprayer will cover 2.5 acres for greens, tees and approaches using 250 gallons at 4 mph. Using the same nozzles and boom with a full tank at 4.8 mph which is second gear full out it will cover 3.9 acres or roughly 4 tanks. With a special flood jet nozzle mounted directly behind the rig it will cover 6.8 acres or 2 tanks. These nozzles do not give you the coverage pattern of the others but can be used for certain products such as wetting agents and fertilizers. The time savings on fill ups and travel alone make them very appealing.

flood jet nozzles in action
flood jet nozzles are attached to the frame and stick out beyond the regular boom

Also with this new sprayer we purchased and installed a pre-load system called cleanload. It it a mechanism that you add the products you wish to spray directly into and they flow into the tank with the water while it is added. It has several rinse ports for powders and also a jug washing port to efficiently rinse any containers from liquid products. Usually these are mounted right on the sprayer but they stick out and can become cumbersome when traveling around the property. We decided to mount ours right at the mix/load pad attached to the chemical storage building. This will save the person spraying from pre-mixing in a five gallon bucket to ensure the product goes into solution and also having to add product through the top of the rig, which is often cumbersome and dangerous. 

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