Future use of chemical products depends on everyone demonstrating best practice and achieving the highest standards possible when making chemical applications. Part of that, whether working on sports pitches and golf courses or highways, means using the most suitable sprayer. Thankfully, manufacturers continue to develop new models with features that make them easier and safer to use.
John Deere is contributing to more accurate spraying. The new HD200 SelectSpray is an upgraded version of the 750-litre low-profile machine first introduced in 2003. Designed for greater flexibility and convenience, it benefits from technology developed in the firm's specialist agricultural sprayers. It offers centrifugal or diaphragm pumps, manual or automatic rate controls and a range of boom options with electro-hydraulic boom lift and lower as standard. A common wiring harness allows the control system to be easily changed.
A key feature of the new unit is the Automatic Rate Control (ARC 6000), which keeps application rates the same regardless of ground speed. A simple distance and flow calibration during initial set-up means that no matter whether the driver speeds up or slows down, the application rate remains constant. This makes the sprayer easy to use, cuts waste and reduces environmental risk.
Designed as an attachment for JD's 24hp ProGator utility vehicle, the HD200 can be quickly removed without tools, allowing managers to free-up the vehicle for other applications. An optional storage stand incorporates wheels so the demounted sprayer can be moved around and re-attached as needed.
The sprayer utilises the whole of the ProGator's load space to provide a low centre of gravity for stability on all turf surfaces, especially slopes. The design also provides the operator with a clear view over the back of the tank to the 14-gauge steel spray boom, with standard triple-nozzle bodies for increased productivity.
A choice of 5.5m or three-way folding 4.6/6.4m spray booms is available and a bi-directional safety breakaway system. The boom operates at up to 50cm above ground level and at ground speeds of up to 10mph. Individual boom sections can be selected as required and boom height can be adjusted manually. The sprayer also comes as standard with a throttling valve to deliver constant pressure no matter how many boom sections are operating.
In addition to the main tank, the sprayer has a 75-litre rinse tank, operator clean water tank and clothing boxes plus foam marker and chemical tanks. Options include a 60m hose reel and spray gun to reach those awkward areas.
Topping it all, an optional CleanLoad chemical induction system enhances loading efficiency by ensuring every last drop is used and a powerful jet agitator makes sure that the tank solution is mixed thoroughly. An integral tank wash system is standard.
As the use of UTV-type vehicles increases in grounds maintenance and on golf courses, so the demount sprayer gains in popularity. "It is suitable for a wide range of spraying applications including horticulture, sports turf, amenity spraying and especially golf courses and school playing fields, with users reporting excellent results," says Martin Lishman director Gavin Lishman.
Martin Lishman's demount models are suited to mounting on the flatbed of utility trucks, pick-ups and other vehicles, with each sprayer having a tank mounting frame and fully adjustable boom to allow for the tailgate position. Tank sizes vary from 125-500 litres and both 12V and engine drives are available. The company also supplies a range of compact sprayers, with tanks from 70-600 litres, for use with ATVs, mini tractors and available in trailed or mounted versions. Boom lengths span from 1-8m.
If you are looking to minimise chemical cost by using just what you need, Kuhn Amenity Pro has a solution. UK territory manager
Jean-Sebastien Vecten explains: "By mixing up to two compatible chemicals at the point of exit, we have eliminated the need for traditional tank mixing. Keeping a tank of clear water at all times has the advantage of making your sprayer more versatile as it can be used for spraying, boom or lance, as well as watering. This system also reduces the potential risk of pollution in the event of a spillage."
The main beneficiary of the new system is Kuhn's Elis demount sprayer, introduced at IoG Saltex in Windsor last September. Suitable to use with utility vehicles, it is available in 200, 300 and 400 litres. The self-contained sprayer is powered by 12V or four-stroke engine and should appeal on golf courses as well as to councils and contractors. Booms are offered in 2m, 3m and 4m formats. The unit is equipped as standard with an in-cab electric control box and can be fitted with electronic regulation via GPS or speed sensor.
Kuhn's amenity range extends from handheld sprayers through wheelbarrow units to tractor-mounted models and includes the Vision trailed sprayer. Working via a 12V electric pump, Vision sprayers are offered with 50- or 75-litre tanks and a 2m folding boom.
Another development in towed sprayers is the Chariot from Team Sprayers. This applicator can be towed behind a small tractor, utility or quad bike but can also be removed from its base chassis to enable use as a tractor-mounted sprayer. Offering application in a range of situations from sports pitches to game cover crops, it is available in 300-600-litre tank sizes and booms from 3-12m, standard being 6m manual folding boom. Electric folding is optional.
A Honda engine drives the 73litre/min diaphragm pump and, in towable format, the sprayer rides on low ground pressure wheels and tyres. Manual spray controls are provided with electric in-cab on/off control and there is a 20-litre induction hopper. A clean water tank rinse with rotating nozzle, clothes locker and clean water hand-wash tank are also standard.
Also for the grounds-care market, Team builds the Club tractor-mounted sprayer with a choice of 300-, 400-, 500- or 600-litre tanks and options such as computerised spray rate controller and 5.5m and 6m covered booms for applications in sensitive areas or windy conditions. For greenkeepers and groundsmen requiring simple spraying solutions, the firm offers the pedestrian-operated Vixen with 120-litre tank. This sprayer has a 24V powered axle giving fully adjustable forward and reverse speeds.
Berthoud offers two mounted sprayers for amenity work. The 200-litre Pulvasol comes with 7m boom and/or hose reel up to 50m, while the new Alto features tank capacities from 300-800 litres and gives a choice of folding booms from 7-15m and/or hose reel or reels. The Alto's tank has a diamond-shaped sump to avoid residues and is also fitted with a rinse facility. Both models have hand-wash tanks.
Interest is also increasing in self-propelled sprayers for amenity use, particularly on golf courses and sports facilities. Launched earlier this year, the Pro-Dedicated sprayer from Gambetti has been built specifically for the UK and European golf markets.
The sprayer is powered by a 35hp Kubota diesel engine and features hydrostatic transmission. It has a 650-litre tank and full electric controls for the three-section Windfoil boom or five-section open boom. Both boom types are made of lightweight aluminium and are fully ground contouring, following negative and positive contours. Both come with electric fold and multiple nozzles. The open boom is 6m and has 8m boom extension for fairway spraying, while the fully shrouded Windfoil boom is 4.5m long.
A Bravo 180 dose rate controller is fitted as standard to the Pro-Dedicated. Designed for use with golf sprayers, its rate controller has a compact design to maximise visibility. Options available for the sprayer include Skipper GPS guidance system. A foam bout marker is available for those preferring the traditional way of marking treated areas.
By developing and adding sophisticated yet easy-to-use technology to their latest sprayers, manufacturers are doing their bit to help operators apply product accurately — reducing the risks and helping to save money through cutting wastage. Now it is up to you to use it.