Crop sprayer maintenance
Winter storage, which you do every year, is not enough to ensure optimal operation of your sprayer: daily maintenance of your sprayer is essential to achieve accurate settings and even spray distribution, to avoid the risk of clogging and breakdown and to extend the life of your equipment.
Here are some tips from BERTHOUD.
Before using the sprayer
Make sure the sprayer settings match the product to be applied.
Determine the exact amount of spray mixture necessary for the area to be sprayed to avoid “bottom residue”. This requires a perfect control of the speed of the machine, precise knowledge of the surface of the plots and good planning for the passages of the sprayer.
At the end of the day
Never leave spray mixture in the machine
Some products settle down at the bottom of the tank and may clog pipes, filters and nozzles. So adjust the amount of spray mixture prepared according to the areas to be treated in order to avoid tank residue.
Clean the sprayer
Wear personal protective equipment, especially goggles and gloves.
Rinse the sprayer as well as the tractor inside and outside.
Carefully empty your sprayer tank to prevent deposits and reduce the risk of clogging: when there is no agitation, some products will settle down at the bottom of the tank and may clog the filters and nozzles. This cleaning is also necessary in the same day between two applications of different products to avoid considerable damage to sensitive crops during subsequent spraying.
Check the piping: check all the piping and fittings; replace faulty or worn parts (nozzles, anti-drip systems, etc.).
Clean the nozzles and filters: Clean and rinse the clogged nozzles or filters using a brush and water. Never blow into a nozzle. Never use the tip of the knife or wire to unclog the nozzles.
Precautions to be taken in case of frost
Rinse the entire circuit:
- Drain the tank;
- Rinse with clean water;
- Protect the machine against frost by putting sufficient anti-freeze liquid into the tank;
- Run the pump(s) at slow speed;
- Operate all the valves to protect the pump, regulation, filters and pipes;
- Start the spraying in order to supply the boom with antifreeze;
- When the antifreeze product reaches the nozzles, stop the spraying and then disengage the power take-off.