Prepare Your Sprayer for Spring
Spring is rapidly approaching, and hopefully your equipment preparations are well under way. As technology becomes more pervasive and machines themselves become more complex, the pre-season checklist for machine preparation potentially grows longer and longer. Products like the Ag Leader® Integra display, DirectCommand and ParaDyme have great power to increase in-field productivity, but these products are incapable of overcoming the problems inducted by a poorly maintained sprayer. The following list should be a good starting point for getting your machine ready. Think safety first. Do you have an adequate supply of gloves, goggles, particle masks and chemical jump suits? If not, buy more than you are likely to need.
Mechanical tasks. Your mechanical tasks should include:
- Clean or replace tank and boom sprayers as needed.
- Inspect hoses, clamps and fittings for wear or leaks. Repair/replace as needed.
- Test nozzle flow rate and compare to new. Replace any tip that has 10% or more error from new nozzle flow rate. If two or more nozzles fail, replace the whole set.
- Inspect boom suspension and general mechanical condition. Repair as needed. Automated boom height control can’t perform well if boom mechanicals are worn.
Electronic inspection. Your electronic inspection tasks should include:
- Inspect cable for corroded connectors and physical damage. Pay extra attention to possible pinch points like drawbar and boom fold areas.
- Calibrate ground speed sensor.
- Test flow meter. Calibrate or repair as needed.
- Test boom and flow control valves for proper operation.
The time to prepare your sprayer for spring is nearing; will you approach the task like the Hare or the Tortoise? Properly inspecting your sprayer now can save valuable time later in the season.