Winterizing Your Self-Propelled Sprayer

SPRA-COUPE 7660, AGCO

Self-propelled sprayers take a beating during the crop growing season, which makes it essential to properly put them away for the winter in such a way that they are ready to go in the spring when any downtime should be avoided at all costs.

This includes proper cleaning of not only the outside of your sprayer, but also the inside liquid systems. If you don’t do a stellar cleaning job inside and out before parking the rig for the winter, then you are asking for all types of problems come the following spring when you can least afford them.

For instance, crop protection chemicals and fertilizers in the sprayer tank and plumbing will impregnate to hoses and soft parts, which not only weakens the overall systems but also heightens the risk of chemical cross contamination when it’s time to start spraying again. Chemical residue also causes parts to flake off, and these flakes get into the plumbing, resulting in plugged nozzles, screens and excessive wear on pump parts.

A full and thorough cleaning of your sprayer inside and out will also surface potential problems that can be dealt with when not in the spray season heat of battle. Leaky hoses, cracks in welding, wear and tear of fittings — these are all signs of mechanical things going wrong and need to be addressed.

At the end of the spray season, examine your spray rig thoroughly and WRITE DOWN any potential problems in the making. When it comes time for repairs in the winter or early spring, refer back to this list. Otherwise, they might be forgotten or overlooked. You just can’t rely on your memory when it comes to keeping track of these types of issues, and it’s much more efficient to deal with them when they are small problems — before they become expensive, time-consuming big problems. This checklist also helps indicate which replacement parts you need to keep on hand for quick repairs during the off-season or spraying season, and they are a good aid to help set machine inspection dates.

Proper Winterizing

Here are some essential guidelines on how to service and store your self-propelled sprayer for the winter:
•     Clean the machine thoroughly to prevent premature rust from fertilizers and crop protection products.
•     Touch up any chips, scratches and rusted areas with the appropriate protective paint.
•     Replace any damaged or missing decals and safety signs.
•     Grease all service points after cleaning.
•     Flush the spray system with water.
•     Clean the liquid system thoroughly.

If You Anticipate Below-Freezing Temperatures:

•  Put an antifreeze solution of 55% propylene glycol and 45% water in the main product tank and rinse tank.
•  Before flushing with propylene glycol and water, put plugs in all boom nozzle bodies except the outside nozzle bodies for each pipe of boom plumbing.
•  Install a hose with a fitting in open-nozzle bodies and run the hose to a container for proper collection and reuse.
•  Open and close the tank sump valve and reload valve several times before operating the liquid pump.
•  Operate engine at idle speed. Make sure the tank valve is open, increase engine speed to 1,500 rpm and engage liquid pump.
•  Turn on controller. Increase or decrease the flow after you have engaged the liquid pump.
•  Open sparger valve completely for several minutes to fully mix antifreeze.
•  Open the by-pass valve to flush the by-pass line. Close by-pass valve.
•  Open the clean water valve to draw antifreeze solution from the rinse tank and properly flush the clean water lines.
•  Open tank rinse valve to flush the tank rinse line. Close the tank rinse valve.
•  If equipped with the chemical eductor option, open chemical eductor valve to flush line going to the eductor. Operate each function of the eductor to properly flush all lines. Close eductor valve.
•  Move boom spray controls on and off a number of times to flush pressure plumbing. Collect solution that comes out of end outlets on boom for use again. Move boom spray controls to off.
•  Disengage the liquid pump. Open the reload valve and let the solution flow into a container until the tank is empty.
•  Pivot down each end of the boom by hand to let the remaining liquid flow out.
•  Leave all valves half open.
•  Open hand rinse valve on safety water tank.
•  Remove product line strainer.
•  Remove boom strainers if installed.
•  Disconnect all hose quick couplers to remove any remaining liquid.
•  Remove plug from bottom of product pump.
•  Remove drain plug from rinse tank.
•  Remove plug from bottom of boom manifolds.
•  Store loose parts (strainers, nozzles, plugs, etc.) in
a labeled container.
•  Open the drain valve on the bottom of the foam
markets and let the liquid flow out.
•  Remover the control console if specified by the
console manufacturer.

Following Guidelines

Whether you are a professional applicator or grower, following these guidelines will ensure that your spray equipment is properly stored for the winter. Then, when the spring spraying season rolls around again, you can focus on things like season fluid changes, simple checks of light operation, tire inflation and controller calibration verifications. You’ll be up and running a lot faster with fewer delays and headaches if you have put your sprayer away properly for the off season.

Leave a Reply

Sprayers Stories

Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
ManagementFlashing Back And Moving Forward On Spray Drift
May 3, 2016
The potential for pesticide drift remains an unavoidable feature of modern agriculture. Here, too, history repeats itself. “When Roundup debuted, Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
EquipmentDeere’s Acquisition of Hagie: 3 Things We Learned
March 29, 2016
It seems like the biggest news stories in agriculture always break on a Tuesday. Today John Deere announced it had Read More
EquipmentDeere Acquires Majority Stake In Hagie Manufacturing
March 29, 2016
Deere & Company has entered a joint venture with Hagie Manufacturing, the U.S. market leader in high-clearance sprayers. In the Read More
GVM E-Series cab
SprayersSprayer Cabs: An Inside Look At 11 First-Class Rides In 2016
January 19, 2016
Today’s sprayer cabs offer operators a host of essential equipment — and creature comforts. Features such as LED lighting, panoramic views, Read More
Trending Articles
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Latest News
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Turns Back Bayer Again
June 14, 2016
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Monsanto Co. for more than $60 billion has hit an impasse that could pose a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Conve…
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More
Industry NewsLa Crosse Seed Acquires Cover Crop Solutions Brand
June 10, 2016
La Crosse Seed announces that it is the new and exclusive owner of the entire family of brands of Cover Read More
ManagementTravel Plans and EU Rejection of Glyphosate, Biotech Cr…
June 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trips and the latest in the European Union’s moves against glyphosate Read More