Farmer Benefits from Well-Timed Spraying Applications with Apache Sprayers

John Toedte knows well the constraints and challenges that custom applicators face in meeting all customers’ spraying needs, having worked as one before taking on full-time management of his family’s Centralia, Illinois, farm. He’s also well-versed on what makes for efficient, effective applications and that’s what led him to purchase an Apache Sprayer for all his farm’s spraying needs. For him, purchasing an Apache was as much about saving time as it was saving money.

Once he took over his farm’s management, Toedte wanted to upgrade to a larger sprayer. When he did, he was left with potentially costly repairs on a previous self-propelled machine that led him to look for a more straightforward, purpose-driven machine. His search ultimately led him to Apache.

“We used to have a pull-behind sprayer on the farm, but that’s back when we had more time to do our own spraying. As we grew, I upgraded to a different self-propelled sprayer with hydrostatic drives and wasn’t happy with them at all. I had a wheel motor going bad on the hydrostat and it was going to cost $6,000 to repair. That’s what got me looking elsewhere,” Toedte said. “I thought Apache was great for the money and the direct drive system would be a very good fit for me. I was able to purchase my Apache for $50,000 less than a comparable machine.”

Toedte uses his Apache to spray his farm’s acres a minimum of three times each growing season. In addition to the maintenance savings that comes with owning an Apache, Toedte saves by buying chemical and fertilizer himself. It all adds up to a financially efficient operation, especially when he adds on the spraying he does for other area farmers.

“I do all my own spraying now, including fertilizer. I would say it’s saving me at least $10 to $12 per acre, even counting maintenance,” Toedte said. “I do some custom work for other smaller area farmers when the cooperatives can’t keep up. When a smaller farmer is a ways down their list, I go in and help out.”

Though he sees major benefits from both cost and maintenance standpoints, Toedte said the biggest pro of operating his own Apache Sprayer comes from timeliness. He considers himself one of his area’s smaller farmers and having worked as a custom applicator, Toedte knows farms of his size are not always the highest priorities for applicators with long lists of customers, many of whom are larger than him, acreage-wise. Owning and operating his own sprayer has helped him overcome this common drawback to working with a custom applicator, especially for smaller farmers.

“I get to spray when it needs to be done. My weeds aren’t as tall, and my fields are cleaner,” he said. “That’s a benefit you don’t see at first, but you soon realize how much it impacts you in the long run.”

Want to learn more about the cost benefits of owning and operating your own Apache Sprayer? Start here.

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Farmer Sought High ROI, Found It with Apache Sprayers

Time is of the essence for Tony Brown on his Lovington, Illinois, farm. That’s especially true with his spraying applications now that he’s grown his acreage to the point at which custom applications were becoming a larger line item on the cost side of his balance sheet.

The combination of increased demands on his spraying operations and the growing cost of custom applications led Brown to purchase an Apache self-propelled sprayer after years of owning a pull-behind sprayer that he said he “didn’t use enough.”

“I still had to hire a lot of spraying done and I was paying $7 per acre for those custom applications, going over 2,500 acres twice a year. That was more than enough to cover what I pay for the Apache Sprayer,” Brown said. “That’s exactly why I bought this Apache, for the return on investment. Money-wise, it just made sense. I can take care of the same spraying with my Apache for $3 per acre.”

While part of the financial equation lies in the original purchase price of the Apache Sprayer, Brown, a former pull-behind sprayer owner and operator, sees cost benefits in both what the machine allows him to do in the field and the time required to do it. That’s especially true at critical points in the growing season when time is tight, and he needs to act quick.

“Compared to my old pull-behind, this Apache has such big booms and you can spray at higher speeds with so much accuracy. It’s amazing how much you can get done,” Brown said. “That’s especially true in the spring time when planting is the most critical thing to get done. It seems like you’re always having to plant soybeans and spray corn at the same time. With this machine, I can spray a couple hundred acres quickly and get back to planting.”

Another cost benefit lies in the simplicity and purpose-driven design of his Apache Sprayer. A combination of the right technology and sound mechanics makes the machine perform optimally, helping him achieve the highest possible ROI.

“It’s simple to operate, with automatic boom controls and components like that. Last fall, I had a $400,000 combine lose a $50 sensor. It was easy enough to replace, but it cost $600 to get it back up and running and it cost me half a day of time during harvest,” Brown said. “With this Apache Sprayer, once you have everything dialed in and calibrated, just about anybody can run it efficiently.”

Though he’s able to accomplish the vast majority of his spraying with his Apache Sprayer, Brown still does occasionally work with custom applicators when time is tight. But because of the flexibility that his Apache self-propelled machine provides, he’s able to better manage his spraying costs, when his fields are sprayed and who does the work.

“A lot of farmers have their own sprayers but still hire custom applicators. I usually have my employees do other jobs and I handle planting and spraying myself unless I need something applied while I’m planting,” Brown said. “By balancing my employees with custom work, I don’t get into a bind when I’m spraying at the same time as planting.”

Want to learn more about the cost benefits of owning and operating your own Apache Sprayer? Start here.

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Farmer Finds the Right Spraying Balance with Apache Sprayers

An increase in acres led Miles Adkins to purchase a self-propelled sprayer when he saw the financial benefit of ownership versus relying on custom applications and his old pull-behind sprayer.

The Ullin, Illinois, no-till farmer has a good relationship with his local cooperative that has provided his custom applications, and he still relies on it when time and resource constraints don’t allow for him to take care of his own spraying. But, the flexibility of having his own sprayer has helped him better manage his applications and lower his overall weed control costs.

“Having my own sprayer is like having a guy ready to work for me at any time. Now, we spray exactly when we need to spray. It’s handy to have,” said Adkins, adding between his acreage and the number of times he uses his sprayer, it typically covers around 12,000 acres each year. “Spraying myself definitely saves me about $3 per acre.”

Many of those acres are in hilly, irregularly shaped fields with waterways that can pose a challenge for even the most experienced, skillful operator and lead to continued weed pressures from inconsistent, spotty applications. With the precision technology in his Apache Sprayer, Adkins said that’s no longer a problem and he can do a better job spraying more efficiently in a much timelier manner.

“Before, we were having trouble killing weeds in our waterways and spraying those waterways effectively would take a lot of time. One 32-acre field took almost two hours to spray before,” Adkins said. “With the Apache Sprayer, I can do it in 20 minutes now. I can spray it like a rectangular field since every nozzle is independent and we no longer have problems killing weeds in the waterways.”

The combination of an efficient sprayer with the technology he needs and the manpower necessary to keep that machine working in the field has benefits beyond weed and pest control. Because he employs no-till on all of his acres, spraying is a big priority and having that step function smoothly means the entire no-till production process becomes more efficient.

“Because we no-till everything, we have to have weeds burned down right in front of the planter, so the operator has to stay ahead of us. That used to be a challenge, and he had to run his legs off to stay ahead of the planter,” Adkins said. “Now, he’s not having to trim around every waterway and it’s not taking him nearly as much time. He’s on easy street now.”

Adkins estimates he saves around 800 hours of operating time on his Apache Sprayer over its lifetime because it’s able to drastically cut his time in the field with applications like these. But, it also has the added benefit of helping him better maintain his farm’s labor force in times of year when doing so can be a challenge.

“I have a man who does our applications and during the summer when he’s doing a lot of them, I would just be finding other jobs for him to do if he wasn’t operating the sprayer,” Adkins said. “I’m not only cutting my spraying costs in half, but I’m giving another man a job during the summer where I’d have to lay him off otherwise. That way, he’s there to handle the spraying and do other work when I need him to. It is good for me as a manager.”

Want to learn more about the cost benefits of owning and operating your own Apache Sprayer? Start here.

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Introducing the New Apache Shop Video Series


The smart, simple design of an Apache Sprayer keeps most daily spray operations extremely easy and efficient. However, our simplicity still doesn’t make every sprayer task, topic and maintenance job a complete cakewalk. It’s especially hard to become a maintenance expert when some tasks only occur once a year! So, sometimes you may need a little help – and that’s ok! This is where our new Apache Shop video series comes into play.

We want our sprayer owners to feel comfortable with their machine. This video series will provide tutorials, how-to’s, maintenance suggestions and general sprayer information. In the upcoming months you’ll hear from various Equipment Technologies employees and sprayer experts about the Viper 4®, boom adjustments, calibration settings and more. Check out our first video below to learn more about the Apache Sprayers diagnostic app.

Have a topic that you’d like the Apache Shop experts to cover? Tell us in the comment section below or send an email to marketing@etsprayers.com.

 

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Meet Eric Friesen, Apache’s New Canadian Regional Director

Meet Eric Friesen Graphic
The love of agriculture and farm equipment has never left Eric Friesen since his upbringing on a Saskatchewan family farm. Now, he’s parlaying that love of the farm and iron that enables farmers to get their jobs done into a new position with Equipment Technologies.

Friesen is the new Equipment Technologies Regional Director for Western Canada — encompassing British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In his new role, he’s responsible for business development, parts and sprayer distribution and customer experience for both Apache Sprayers and
Bruin Sprayers.

The longtime farm equipment and machinery sales and service manager brings immense passion and industry experience to his position with Equipment Technologies. After his upbringing on a farm, during which he learned the basics of machinery maintenance and repair, he started working in the
construction sector during high school. That experience led to his apprenticeship as a heavy-duty machine technician and later as a truck maintenance technician.

Several maintenance certifications (diesel mechanics, ABS braking systems, air conditioning systems) later, he started his own business as a mobile repair technician and returned to the agriculture sector two years later in 2001. He later added truck inspection to his long list of mechanical services. Since then, he’s been active in managing agricultural and mechanical service businesses in southwestern Saskatchewan.

When he’s not providing mechanical services to area farmers, Friesen enjoys motorcycling, jet-skiing, camping and fishing, though “hanging out with my boys during football season” is also high on his list. The father of four also says he enjoys a warm-weather vacation during the cold Canadian winters with his wife of 21 years, Doreen, daughter Larissa and sons Jordan, Isaiah and Tyson.

Equipment Technologies CEO Matt Hays says Friesen’s combination of passion and decades in the machinery sales and service sector make him a huge asset to the company and most importantly, to its customers.

“We have known Eric for years, having watched his successful professional advancement and being impressed by his focus on taking good care of customers. He understands our products offer a very compelling value proposition and have enormous potential in Western Canada,” Hays says. “I feel lucky and am sure we could not have a better man representing us in the marketplace.”

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Ownership, Operating Costs Contribute to Machinery Return on Investment

Calculating ROI Header Graphic

Return on investment (ROI) is a way to measure the efficiency and performance of a specific asset based on its cost and value of its output. It’s an important measure of the financial performance of everything from a specific piece of machinery to an entire farm operation. Especially when economic times are tight, ROI is an important metric to watch to make sure you’re spending money wisely on any farm operation.

When calculating ROI for a piece of machinery like an Apache Sprayer, it’s essential to account for costs ranging from the fixed cost of initial purchase to variable operating costs. Then, compare those to the value of the machine and its function on the farm. The positive difference between costs and returned value represents the return on investment that’s an indicator of efficiency or overall profitability.

Costs of Ownership

A cost of ownership model is one good way to build toward a firm grasp on ROI. Ownership costs are the fixed costs that contribute to overall ROI, including interest, depreciation, taxes, insurance and machinery housing, according to former Iowa State University Extension economist William Edwards*.

How accurate of a figure you want to glean from cost analysis is dictated by the number of factors you examine in that model. With a sprayer, for example, some of the simpler ownership cost models use application acres, retail cost, length of ownership, operating costs and inputs, resale value and any potential other outsourcing costs to determine the total cost.

Based on 5,000 acres of coverage by a custom applicator at a rate of $6.00/acre, the total outsourcing cost is $30,000/year. With a retail price of just under $179,000 and an ownership period of five years, the annual cost to perform the same work with a new Apache Sprayer is just under $32,000/year. But, with a resale value after those five years of $131,000 and accounting for the savings of $150,000 in outsourcing costs for that same time period, it works out to a savings of just over $70,000. Application costs are just over $3.00/acre with an owned Apache Sprayer compared to $6.00/acre when outsourced to a custom applicator.

More complex modeling takes into account those and other variables including specific crops, indirect costs like timeliness and spot spraying, financing structures and depreciation.

“You can take into account the time-value of money (TVM), interest expenses and other things that will make sense to an accountant, but may not to the average consumer. For that person, it’s more about straight cashflow,” says Equipment Technologies Director of Dealer Operations Mike Flatt. “The more you can create consistent calculations on cost of ownership, and the more variables you can take into account in that process, the more accurate the resulting data will be.”

Variable Costs to Consider

Once you’ve arrived at a cost of ownership figure, the next step in reaching the ROI figure is assigning value to a machine’s output. For a sprayer, that may mean how much the operator is saving by owning a sprayer and applying his or her own crop inputs versus having it done by a custom applicator. These types of calculations take into account variable operating costs like repairs, maintenance, fuel and operating labor tied to the machine. These variable costs all “vary directly with the amount of machine use,” Edwards says.

“Operating costs can be difficult to pinpoint sometimes. They may include fuel, maintenance, labor or whatever other costs there are to maintain and operate that machine,” Flatt says. “Though it’s common for many farmers to measure output in acres and bushels, those units don’t always correlate directly to machinery output measurements. The hard thing is comparing that to the value of the machine on the output side. It’s important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.”

Human Variables

Though these are the economic variables to examine to reach ROI for a specific piece of machinery, human nature dictates that “economic models don’t always work,” Flatt says, especially during bearish economic times like the crop sector over the last five years. In many cases, the ability to maintain a similar standard of work while cutting costs is a major priority, making ROI an important measure of efficiency in finding out how to best reach that end.

“If you had to buy a new TV, you wouldn’t go back to an old rear-projection model, even if you could buy one for $5. The value proposition isn’t there and you wouldn’t accept that lower standard,” Flatt says. “People are looking at how to maintain their standard of performance for their machinery, but trying to do it by spending less. That might mean a lower purchase price or lower operating costs. People are buying, but they’re sharpening their pencils on how to put more money in their pockets.”

Contact your local Apache Sprayers dealer for an ROI consultation.

* Article: “Estimating Farm Machinery Costs,” https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/html/a3-29.html

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5 Tips for Storing & Handling DEF

5 Tips for Storing and Handling DEF Graphic

Apache Sprayers now operate Tier 4 Final Cummins diesel engines, making them perform better while running cleaner and with a much smaller impact on the environment.

But, those engines do bring with them a new maintenance issue for operators. Though it’s one with which many will likely already be familiar, it’s important to ensure diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) – a key component of the engine system – is handled and stored correctly.

The Tier 4 engines that were incorporated into all 30-series Apache Sprayers in 2016 utilize DEF to help reduce emissions. The fluid – a mixture of water and urea – is applied to diesel exhaust immediately before expulsion from the engine to cut particulate matter and Nitrogen Oxides, resulting in a much more environmentally friendly, cleaner-burning machine. Tier 4 requirements, the culmination of a multi-step phasing-in of new regulations dating back to the early 2000s, were rolled out by the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 as a way to cut diesel emissions. Machinery manufacturers have worked toward integrating the “advanced exhaust aftertreatment” technology into their engines over the last six years, and Apache Sprayers began adjusting engine emissions and working toward Tier 4 in 2012.

Tier 4 systems require a small DEF tank alongside the fuel tank. On a machine with a 90-gallon fuel capacity, the DEF tank is typically around five gallons. Although the fluid is a relatively simple combination of ingredients, it’s still important to handle and store it correctly. Failing to do so can damage the fluid, the engines in which it’s used and surrounding surfaces and components, according to Chris Smith, Apache Sprayers Application Specialist.

Follow these tips to ensure your DEF functions as required and preserves the life and longevity of your Apache Sprayer’s Tier 4 engine.

Keep things clean.

Because it is slightly corrosive, it’s important to clean up spills immediately and ensure any surface is free of DEF to avoid slow, long-term damage. “It can be hard on paint, so if you’re pouring it into your machine, you want to make sure you wipe off any excess to avoid discoloration or prevent it from eating the paint,” Smith says.

Adjust to Mother Nature.

Though it may be easy to throw a jug of DEF in the back of the pickup and keep it there until it’s time for a fill-up, that can erode the fluid’s quality. Direct sunlight can cause evaporation which can lead to imbalanced ingredients (DEF is 67.5% water and 32.5% urea) and as a result, lower efficacy. In addition to avoiding direct sunlight, it’s best to store DEF around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Though temporary exposure to higher temperatures is okay, longer-term exposure can cause ingredient imbalance.

You don’t need to be as concerned with lower temperatures. Even if the DEF freezes, once it thaws, it is still usable. “Freezing doesn’t alter the ingredient percentages like heat does,” Smith says. “Evaporation changes the DEF completely when you lose water. But, when it freezes, the percentages stay the same and they thaw at the same time.”

Avoid cross-contamination.

Any additional chemical that’s present in your DEF can cause it to lose efficacy and can potentially damage engine components by introducing particulates or other liquids. To prevent this, use containers that aren’t used for other fluids, like engine oil or coolant. That includes large storage tanks and pumps, Smith says.

“Apache Sprayers have quality sensors in our DEF tanks, so if contaminants are picked up, it will trigger an error code and you have to drain the tank and put in clean DEF. It’s the machine’s way of making sure you’re using clean DEF,” he adds. “The best way to avoid that kind of contamination is to handle it separately – with separate containers – from other engine fluids.”

Store reasonable amounts.

The best way to ensure your DEF is not contaminated or damaged by environmental conditions is by keeping a reasonable amount on supply. Depending the amount of machinery you have requiring the fluid and how long that machinery is operated in the field each growing season, you may not need a huge supply on your farm. Some farmers keep as little as a few gallons on hand, while others use 400- or 500-gallon tanks. Working through the stock you have on hand in a timely manner is the best way to make sure your DEF isn’t beyond its normal shelf life.

“A lot depends on the operator and how much fuel he or she consumes in a given year,” Smith says. “More operators are installing larger tanks, but many still use 55-gallon drums. Matching your storage to consumption will ensure your DEF stays in good shape.”

Don’t let machinery tanks get too low.

Because of the combination of ingredients, when a tank runs low on DEF, it can trigger a quality sensor error code. When a tank is low and the fluid sloshes a lot, it can become cloudy and that physical change can be construed as a quality issue by the tank sensors. By keeping DEF levels from getting too low in on-board tanks, you can avoid this issue. “Fill it up and the issue will go away,” Smith says.

In general, since Tier 4 engines have been around for a few years, many farmers and operators will likely have some familiarity with DEF. Smith says it’s important to remember not just the best practices for storing and handling the fluid, but the necessary safety precautions.

“It’s recommended that when handling DEF, you should wear goggle and gloves just like with any agricultural chemical,” he says.

See more about Apache Sprayers’ Tier 4 engines and their benefits to performance and fuel efficiency.

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Strainer Screens Changing Colors Per New Global Standard

Apache Sprayers Straining Screens Colors Header Image

They’re small yet essential components of an Apache Sprayer, but a recent mandated change to strainer screen color-coding causing some big headaches for operators looking for the right replacement parts for their machines. But, not to worry: operators can look to their Apache specialists to find clarity on the recent change.

Effective August 2016, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) implemented a universal color-coding system – ISO 19732 – for strainer screens across all manufacturers. Prior to the new standards, color coding varied by manufacturer, size, type and mesh size. The variation caused a lot of confusion for manufacturers, distributors and operators, says Equipment Technologies Application Parts Specialist Gary McKinney. And though the color code change has been around for more than a year, it’s still causing some angst among owners and operators.

“They all had their own color code systems for strainers, and nobody’s matched,” McKinney says. “This new ISO system with universal color codes is going to be good in the long term.”

Short-term Challenges

In the shorter term, the color change has caused issues for both operators and distributors called upon to fill their strainer screen needs, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a change that some operators simply see as a hassle.

“Some operators have been reluctant, but others who are more accustomed to change have embraced the new color codes much more easily,” McKinney says. “They’re the same parts that operators are used to, just different colors.”

Inventory management challenges also arose once the ISO change went into effect. Some strainer screen manufacturers still have a lot of inventory from before the change went into effect. Moving inventory of both color schemes to customers sometimes creates confusion for operators replacing the parts on their sprayers.

“We still have old stock coming from a couple manufacturers and we’re seeing the new colors mixed in. That sometimes creates confusion for customers, but we can explain it and they get what they need. Manufacturers are doing a good job of marking the tip strainers with the mesh size, and that helps a great deal.”

Consistency on Its Way

How long will this mixed inventory situation last? It depends on the size and model of the strainer screen in question. More common sizes will be completely transitioned to the new color code system sooner than less common, more obscure sizes. At some point in the near future, McKinney expects the older inventory will likely be liquidated and all strainer screens available to customers will adhere to the new color coding system.

“Popular model numbers are pretty much sold down, but it looks like manufacturers are going to try to work through remaining inventory manufactured before the change,” he says. “It’s just what’s going on in the industry. We’ll get through it and we’ll continue to work with our customers to get through it.”

Replacing strainer screens

There’s no hard, fast rule for replacing strainer screens. A lot depends on overall sprayer hours of operation, how long it takes the operator to reach that hour total, and what chemicals are applied in that time. Some products can be more damaging to strainer screens over time than others. That’s why it’s important to inspect your sprayer’s strainer screens regularly. Look for both damage to the screens themselves, as well as to gaskets connecting them to spray nozzles.

Also, watch sprayer pressure for signs that you have failing strainer screens. If pressure builds while the sprayer is parked, but quickly dissipates once it begins to move, that’s a sign that screens are either clogged, damaged or simply worn to the point of replacement.

Do you think you might need new sprayer strainer screens? If so, start by contacting your nearest Apache Sprayers dealer here.

 


 

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A Man of Many Firsts: Meet Gary Grant

Apache Employee Spotlight Gary Grant Header Image

Being the first to do anything usually sparks a special sense of accomplishment, so it’s no surprise that Ohio Valley Ag Parts Manager, Gary Grant takes pride in the many firsts he’s accrued from his years with Equipment Technologies (ET).

“I came to work at Ohio Valley Ag (OVA) when we opened the branch in February 2007, but I’ve been associated with ET and Apache Sprayers since the prototype days,” Grant said. Before Grant began his tenure at OVA, he owned G & L Equipment in Owensboro, Kentucky.

“I helped test Apache Sprayer prototypes before the company was officially formed in 1997,” Grant said. “Then I became the first Apache dealer that was ever set up. We actually picked up the first unit and sold the first Apache that was ever built.” He later sold the business in 2001.

“After coming onto the team as the Parts Manager, my job was, and continues to be, to ensure our farmer customers have access to all the parts that they need to get the job done,” Grant explained. “I was happy to take the job and come back to work near a product I got to help bring in to the marketplace.”

Grant said although the days can be long, it’s worth it to be a part of the company’s culture and legacy.

“The purpose of this job is all about providing support to Apache Sprayers and their owners and that’s something I enjoy,” Grant said. “The ag industry is unique — I could probably give you 100 names of people who started working in the industry and never left. I grew up on a farm and it was the same thing for me — once you’re in ag, you just don’t want to get out.”

Plus, with so many continuous product developments and improvements, Grant only sees success in the future for ET.

“I think the new Bruin Sprayers are going to be a huge success for us — it’s going to give us the opportunity to get into more of the custom application business versus strictly just end-user farmers,” Grant explained. “It’s a huge opportunity to grow our customer base.”

According to Grant, the number of people who have come to ET and stayed for years is also a perfect testament to the company’s focus on its team members.

“Equipment Technologies is such a generous company to work for — they take their employee and customer relations very seriously,” Grant said. “If you need help with anything, the training is there and the management is there, so it’s a very supportive company to work for.”

Check out the Apache Blog for more articles and up-to-date industry news.

 


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Winterization: A How-To Guide

Apache Sprayers Winterization A How-To Guide Header

Proper winterization of the application system, or spray system, helps to prevent damage to the system due to wintertime freezing. Please follow this Apache Winterization Guide to protect your sprayer this winter.

The spray system may contain as many as five separate plumbing loops, or circuits, that are all related to the application system. Thorough flushing of each loop is essential to proper winterization.

The Five Loops:

  1. Main product delivery loop (pump, main strainer, flow meter, control valve, boom shut-off valves and boom plumbing)
  2. Rinse loop (rinse plumbing and roto-flush nozzles in the product tank)
  3. Agitation loop (electric agitation valve, manual agitation valve at rear of tank, agitation / roto-flush selection valve at the fill station)
  4. Product pump vent circuit
  5. Chemical eductor circuit (if equipped)

Apache Winterization Guide:

  1. Make sure the sprayer (product tank, strainers, and booms) has been properly rinsed of all chemicals that have been recently applied.

 

  1. Drain all of the remaining liquid from the product and rinse tanks.

 

  1. Close the electric agitation and main sump valves. Then, turn off your sprayer.

 

  1. Connect an air hose to the main fill valve, open the valve and apply 40-60 psi to the liquid system.

 

  1. Turn on the spray controller or field computer, turn off all of the boom section switches and turn on the master spray switch.

 

  1. Turn on the individual boom section switches one at a time and allow the air to push the water out through the nozzle bodies and spray tips. After the water stops draining, turn the switch off and on three to four times to help release any water trapped behind the ball of the valve.

 

  1. Put approximately 40 gallons of RV antifreeze in the product tank and about 5 gallons into the rinse tank. Put 3 gallons in the chemical eductor if it is equipped with one. RV antifreeze is not intended to be diluted with water, so purge as much water as possible from the system before adding the antifreeze.

 

  1. Open the main sump valve and the agitation circuit valve. Put the product pump source handle in the product to “pump” position. Be sure all of the boom section switches and the master spray switch are off and turn off the controller or field computer. Start the machine and turn on the product pump.

 

  1. Re-start the product controller or field computer. If necessary, start a job and place the controller or field computer in the “manual” operating mode.

 

  1. Be sure the manual agitation valve at the rear of the tank is open and that the agitation valve on the fill station panel is in the open position, then completely open the electric agitation valve using the controls inside the cab. Allow the RV antifreeze to flush through the agitation circuit for approximately two minutes. Open and close the manual valve on the back of the tank 3-4 times to help flush water from around the valve, then leave the valve open. Close the electric agitation valve using the controls in the cab, then open the valve again part way. Turn the agitation valve on the fill station to the roto-flush position.

 

  1. Move the product pump source handle on the fill station to the “rinse to pump” position. Allow the pump to pull RV antifreeze from the rinse tank for 10-15 seconds, then move the valve back to the “product to pump” position. Run the pump for approximately two minutes to flush the rinse circuit, then move the agitation/rotoflush valve back to the agitation position. The vent circuit will be self-flushing since it is continually sending liquid through the vent line anytime the pump is running.

 

  1. If the machine is equipped with a chemical eductor, be sure that all eductor valves are closed and that the RV antifreeze has been loaded into the eductor hopper. Open the eductor inlet valve located at the bottom of the eductor in-line with the inlet plumbing, and open the eductor diverter valve located at the fill station. Be sure the hopper lid is closed, then open the eductor outlet valve at the bottom of the hopper. After 30 seconds, close all three valves and open the hopper lid to see if it has emptied out.
    NOTE: If the machine will be stored outside during the winter, remove one of the lines at the bottom of the eductor and open the outlet valve at the bottom of the hopper so that any snow, ice or rain that may seep into the eductor hopper can drain.

 

  1. To flush the main plumbing system and booms, be sure all of the boom section switches are turned off, turn on the master spray switch, then turn on the No. 1 boom section switch. Allow this section to spray until RV antifreeze is coming from all of the spray tips, then turn off the No. 1 section switch and turn on the No. 2 section switch. Allow it to spray until RV antifreeze is coming from all of the spray tips. Continue repeating this procedure through the remainder of the section switches until all boom sections have been flushed with RV antifreeze.

 

  1. If the machine is equipped with liquid system pressure gauges outside the cab, turn off the product pump momentarily then remove the plastic tubing going to the gauges. Turn the product pump back on and allow it to run until RV antifreeze is coming out the ends of the tubing. Turn the product pump back off.

 

  1. Follow the remaining steps to finish winterizing the machine:
  • Remove the pressure gauges (if equipped) and store them in a warm place.
  • Cap the ends of the gauge tubing and plug the gauge ports to keep debris from collecting in them.
  • Remove the boom strainer bowls and the main Y strainer bowl from the machine and store them in a dry place. Take time to clean the strainers, if needed.
  • Remove the rate controller or field computer from the cab and store it in a warm, dry place.

 

A Job Well Done

This completes the liquid system winterizing process. If you prefer to leave these important tasks to the experts, contact your Apache Sprayer dealer about servicing your sprayer. Apache technicians know how to best protect your equipment investment.

For more information about the importance of winterization, please read part I of this sprayer winterization blog series.


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