Timely application is a big reason to own your own spray equipment. Spend a little time on maintenance today and you’ll help ensure your sprayer is ready to hit those tight spray windows next spring.
Besides helping you get a jump on such a busy season, properly winterizing and storing your sprayer can protect it against damage caused by freezing temperatures and help improve its longevity and resale value. Start by reviewing the long-term storage procedures outlined in your operators manual.
These tips and recommendations can help you:
- Fill the fuel tank and add a conditioner. The conditioner will stabilize the fuel for extended storage periods, and a full tank minimizes condensation. Also, drain the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank, if applicable.
- Change engine oil and other lubricants. Follow the operators manual guidelines for appropriate fluid and filter changes.
- Clean the product system flow meter.
- Remove nozzle tips and nozzle bodies from the nozzle body assemblies and store separately. Check spray tips for wear and replace as necessary.
- Winterize the product system plumbing. Thoroughly flush the entire system, including fence row nozzles and foam marker systems, if equipped. Run RV antifreeze through the system to eliminate the possibility of freezing. Do not use liquid fertilizer, which can cause corrosion.
- Clean and wash the entire sprayer to remove dirt, debris, oil, grease, chemicals and fertilizer.
- Charge batteries, and remove and store them in a safe area.
- Remove rate controllers and electronic displays. Cold weather storage can cause issues with display screens.
- Lubricate exposed areas, such as hydraulic cylinder rods, to minimize corrosion.
No matter how you choose to approach sprayer winterization, it’s important that you do it now, before bone-chilling temperatures settle in. Remember: If you take care of your application equipment, it will help you take care of your crops season after season.