Q: What training and certificates do I need to use a knapsack or handheld sprayer?
A: If you were born after 1964 and are spraying in a professional or commercial capacity, you must hold an NPTC pesticides certificate of competence - commonly referred to as spraying certificates or licences.
For knapsack and handheld sprayers you need the PA1 foundation module then PA6A for the hydraulic nozzle and/or rotary atomiser. PA6W is for applying to water, PA6C for granule application equipment and PA9 for any handheld or pedestrian-controlled applicator designed to produce fog, mist or smoke.
Q: What new knapsack and handheld sprayers are available?
A: Chapin knapsack sprayers are now available in the UK from distributor DMMP. Made by Chapin International, the largest manufacturer of sprayers in North America, these models provide a budget-friendly option for professionals working in landscape, turf, amenity or garden situations.
DMMP managing director Marcus Palmer says: "The UK industry needs a knapsack sprayer that works as hard as it does and I am confident buyers here will want to reap the benefits of a proven product at a very attractive price."
Makita has taken the pressure off groundstaff and professional gardeners by fitting an 18V lithium-ion powered electric pump into its backpack sprayers in place of the hand-operated pressure pump. They are available in 10-litre and 15-litre capacities and weigh less than 5kg when empty. Two nozzles are provided - a Y-pattern double nozzle to deliver 0.8 litres/min and a wide-angle nozzle that delivers 1.3 litres/min.
Spray time is 135 minutes. To ensure that a correct and even spray pattern is constantly delivered, the sprayer automatically switches off when the battery does not have sufficient energy to run it at the correct pressure.
The Gloria range of garden sprayers, which includes a high-pressure piston knapsack with an 18-litre capacity, is now distributed in the UK by Henton & Chattell of Nottingham.
Riverlynx, a Bristol-based company mostly owned by Vale Engineering, has introduced the Eliminator controlled droplet application (CDA) hand lance for municipal and amenity users. The Eliminator features advanced electronics and includes a pump with built-in speed control. Battery life gives two days' spraying time.
Last year, Lely became the UK distributor of the Solo range of both consumer and professional gardening and outdoor equipment, including Solo knapsack sprayers.
This Buyers' Guide covers knapsack and handheld sprayers. Tractor-mounted, trailed, skid-mounted, ride-on and trolley/barrow sprayers were covered in Buyers' Guide in HW, 19 February.