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

SprayersCNH Industrial Extends Miller Nitro Sprayer Distribution To Case IH
July 12, 2016
CNH Industrial announces an additional distribution channel for its Miller branded high-clearance sprayers in the U.S. through its Case IH Application Read More
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
Trending Articles
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
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
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
Latest News
Soil Young Corn
Crop InputsSmithsonian: 5 Things to Know About New GMO Labeling Bi…
July 27, 2016
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring large food companies to label products containing genetically modified Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More