Winterizing your sprayers
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Protect your Sprayer from frost damage during freezing temperatures. Frost or ice can cause damage to parts of your sprayer that could be costly or difficult to replace, and can add to the amount of time needed to get a machine field-ready in the Spring.
1. Clean and Inspect the Exterior
Thoroughly wash the outside of the sprayer and inspect it for cracks, clean and repair any corrosion or rust, and fix leaks. It is best to clean and repair the sprayer before it is stored for the winter.
2. Clean the Inside
Usually we worry more about the outside of the unit, but the inside also needs some attention. Scrub the floor liner, clean the windows, and inspect air conditioning filters. Cleaning the interior will help deter rodents and mice.
3. Flush the System
The sprayer should be thoroughly rinsed after each use or it may develop several problems such as mixing of chemicals and clogged nozzles. Nozzles that aren’t cared for are very difficult to bring back to good operating conditions. If nozzles are left with chemical residue it will cause changes in flow rates as well as spray patterns. Remove nozzle tips and strainers, dry them, and store them in a dry place to prevent corrosion.
Take special care of the pump. Add a small amount of oil and rotate the pump four or five revolutions by hand to completely coat interior surfaces.
Topping off the fuel tank reduces the risk of condensation to accumulate. Drain and replace final drive oil and check and add hydraulic oil as needed.
Disconnect the battery and remove the field computer and keep them in a climate controlled area.
4. Keep it Covered
Protect your sprayer against the harmful effects of snow, rain, sun, and strong winds by keeping it in a dry building or provide some sort of cover if kept outdoors. Moisture causes rust and the sun can weaken the rubber on hoses, tires, and gaskets.
5. Care for it for the Future
Your sprayer is one of the last pieces of machinery you will use in the fall and one of the first in the spring, how well you care for it will determine the kind of service you can expect out of it in the future. Taking care of your sprayer saves you money in repairs each season and goes a long way when negotiating for an upgrade.