Tips for application equipment maintenance and safety
Hand-Held or Backpack Sprayers
- Calibrating Hand-Held and Backpack Sprayers for Applying Pesticides (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
- Compressed Air Sprayer Calibration (Pesticide Environmental Stewardship(PES))
- Hose-end Sprayer Calibration (PES)
- Siphoning Bucket Sprayer Calibration (PES)
- Trombone Bucket Sprayer Calibration (PES)
- Calibrating Your Lawn Spreader (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
- Lawn Care Pesticide Application Equipment: A Guide to Selection and Calibration of Granular Spreaders (Purdue Pesticide Programs)
- Drop Spreader Calibration (PES)
- Rotary Spreader Calibration (PES)
Mounted, PTO-Driven Sprayers or Agricultural Sprayers
- Calibrating Spray Gun Applications to Turf (University of Illinois Extension)
- Calibrating the Hose Reel Lawn Care Sprayer (Purdue Pesticide Programs)
- Fine-Tuning a Sprayer with “Ounce” Calibration Method (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
- Fundamentals of Sprayer Calibration (VT Pesticide Programs)
- Calibrating a Boom Sprayer (Croplife)
- Check cut-off valves if present on spray rigs to make sure they function.
- If equipment has PTO connectors, pump shafts, motors or other moving parts, make sure shields are kept in place to prevent entanglement of clothing or hoses.
- Lubricate lid seals and rubber vent seals with silicone grease or petroleum jelly to prevent hardening.
- For equipment powered by small gas engines, change the oil and adjust.
- Examine filters and screens to make sure they’re intact and free of debris.
- Make sure pressure gauges are functional if present.
- Test backflow devices to make sure they are still effective.
- Backflow Prevention Guidelines for Filling and Rinsing Fertilizer or Pesticide Application Tanks (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)–The purpose of backflow preventers is to keep pesticides from being drawn into public waterlines or private water supplies when mixing pesticides. Some applicators have been in the practice of placing the water hose or pipe into the mixing tank when mixing pesticides. If there is a reduction or loss of water pressure, pesticides could be drawn into the pipes.
Stop Leaks Before They Occur
- DO NOT drag the spray gun.
- Examine and replace worn gaskets and seals.
- Replace hoses which are worn or have deep abrasions.
- Check connections to make sure pipes and hose clamps are tightened and there are no visible leaks.
- Store equipment in heated areas, or drain pipes and hoses prior to storage, to prevent expansion and cracking when temperatures go below freezing.
- Install cut-off valves between the mixing tank and the pump on spray rigs so the flow can be stopped if a break in the hose occurs.
- Keep hoses away from mufflers or exhaust pipes which can burn holes in them.
- Secure equipment when in storage or transport to minimize movement and impacts with other objects.