It’s a spray trailer, not a jungle gym!
When Scott Williams goes to the field, he wants to spend as much time spraying as possible. That means making fast but accurate fill-ups. Williams and Jason Misiniec built a semi-bed spray trailer that acts as a mobile fill-up station for a self-propelled sprayer.
Both work for Don Villwock, Edwardsport. Misiniec is in charge of daily operation when Villwock, also president of Indiana Farm Bureau, is away. Williams handles spraying.
Mini-bulks of various chemicals fit on the upper deck of the bed. A long, 3,500-gallon water tank sits near the center of the trailer. In between is the inductor used to mix chemicals properly.
• Workers build a big supply trailer for a big sprayer.
• Controlling pumps and valves from the ground is a big plus for the operator.
• There’s room for expansion to carry more water as the sprayer tank gets bigger.
“I normally can do what I need to do from the ground, without crawling all over the trailer,” Williams says. “That’s a real plus.”
One thing that makes that possible is how the trailer is plumbed. Controls for various tanks are near the inductor area. Unless he must add something from a jug, Williams reaches controls from the ground.
One challenge was how to keep Williams on the ground when various pumps needed to be turned on. Most pumps sit atop the induction setup or storage tanks. To reach them manually would require climbing on the bed, maneuvering up and over tanks, and turning each switch on or off.
Instead, Misiniec designed a simple device that controls each of four pumps from the ground. Located near the front of the trailer, it’s a box with four electric box-style switches. Each one activates a pump for a different product. When he wants to pump product X, he simply flips the switch for that tank, standing on the ground the entire time.
Williams designed a box with a flap on the front to help keep water off switches. Misiniec is still fine-tuning exactly how it works to make it foolproof. In the meantime, Williams saves lots of steps by not having to climb on the bed to turn on and off the pumps.
The future is already here for this operation. When they first began using the trailer, the tank held enough water for three fill-ups. Now they have a sprayer with a bigger tank.
“We’re coming out with enough water for 3.5 fill-ups,” Misiniec says. “We’ve got room to add another small tank on the back of the trailer, so we could carry enough water to the field for four fill-ups.”
That will likely be Misiniec’s next move. Meanwhile, it’s up to Williams to keep track of what he’s spraying and make accurate applications.
Ready to roll: Scott Williams makes final inspections before backing out of the shop and heading to the field.
Step-saver: Arranging a control box for switches so the operator can control pumps from the ground means not having to climb onto the trailer as often.
This article published in the May, 2011 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.
All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.