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

R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
AGCO Operator of the Year Tony Kornder
SprayersAGCO Names Tony Kornder Operator Of The Year
December 1, 2016
AGCO Corp. names Tony Kornder with Genesis Growing Solutions in Le Sueur, MN, the 11th annual Operator of the Year. Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Patriot 25th anniversary
SprayersCase IH Celebrates 25 Years Of Patriot Sprayers At Benson Plant
October 24, 2016
Case IH executives, employees and special guests celebrated 25 years of production of Case IH Patriot sprayers in a special Read More
Trending Articles
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Latest News
ManagementARA 2016 Report and Crop Mix for 2017
December 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the recent Agricultural Retailers Association meeting and the projected acreage mix for Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In …
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Ryan Bartlett
Crop InputsCompass Minerals Appoints Vice President, Innovation An…
December 8, 2016
Ryan Bartlett, Ph.D., has joined Compass Minerals as vice president, innovation and product development. Dr. Bartlett will be responsible for Read More
HerbicidesHerbicides 2017: New Cropping Systems Set For Debut
December 7, 2016
Herbicide-resistant weed are inching ever-closer to a potentially frightening saturation point here in the U.S. Heading into 2016, USDA planting Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
December 7, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
Fertilizer storage The Andersons
CropLife 1002016 Fertilizer Report: Another Really Rough Year For A…
December 7, 2016
In many ways, the fertilizer category cannot seem to catch a break. During the early part of the 2010s decade, Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Winter wheat
HerbicidesTalinor Herbicide Approved For Wheat And Barley
December 7, 2016
Talinor herbicide from Syngenta has received federal registration from the U.S. EPA, giving wheat and barley growers a new option Read More
Forage Sorghum
UncategorizedMilestone Achievement Continues For Dow AgroSciences, A…
December 7, 2016
New and innovative forage products are on the horizon driven by continued collaboration between Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesNew WSSA Factsheet Explores Weed Seeds And Their Longev…
December 7, 2016
Did you know some weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for more than a century and then sprout Read More
Crop InputsARA 2016: 5 Developments Worth Monitoring Into 2017
December 6, 2016
You can pretty much set your watch to it (do people even still wear watches? I know I do…but I’m Read More
Tim McCardle, ARA Chairman
CropLife 100BRANDT COO Named ARA Chairman
December 5, 2016
BRANDT EVP and Chief Operating Officer Tim McArdle has been named chairman of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) during a Read More
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Receives ResponsibleAg Certification At Mo…
December 5, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis Co., a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution of crop protection products, announces the ResponsibleAg certification Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Eric SfiligojThe Read On 2017 For Agricultural Fortunes Is Anybody’s…
December 5, 2016
As I (and others) have written in recent months, the nation has just experienced one of the most offbeat election Read More
Acceleron B-300 seed coating
Crop InputsThe BioAg Alliance Launches New Yield-Boosting Microbia…
December 5, 2016
As part of their commitment to develop and commercialize innovative microbial solutions for farmers through The BioAg Alliance, Monsanto Co. Read More
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research have announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify the Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More