Noxious weed and ligneous plant management with backpack sprayers is tough work! but, backpack sprayers have several positive attributes and square measure necessary tools for invasive plant management programs.
There square measure many various sorts and models of backpack sprayers out there on the market, and shopping for one that matches your desires is very important.
This article summarizes key points for you to think about before buying a backpack sprayer and provides backpack sprayer activity pointers and maintenance tips. It conjointly includes reviews of backpack sprayer instrumentality that a number of our readers square measure presently victimization in field operations.
Considerations When Selecting a Backpack Sprayer
- Primary Use: What is the first meant use of your backpack sprayer? for instance, if you’re victimization chiefly oil-based carriers (e.g., for tracheophyte control) you’ll want sprayer seals, hoses and pumps that square measure proof against oil-based carriers. Backpack sprayers got to be sturdy particularly with multiple applicators victimization a similar equipment!
- Manual or Motorized (battery powered) Sprayer: Manual sprayers square measure counseled for treating new infestations. explore for backpack sprayers that permit AN applier to modify the handle for each right and hand operation. A sprayer that’s motorized is also a lot of convenient if you’re treating giant areas since you don’t got to manually pump a handle to keep up pressure. However, motorized sprayers square measure typically dearer, add extra weight, and need a lot of maintenance than manual sprayers. A central part of motorized sprayers is that the battery. If you choose to get a motorized unit, make sure that the battery is in a position to handle each low and high sprayer psi output and can work for a minimum of three to five hours while not recharging.
- Type of Pump: Most sprayers can associate with either a piston or diaphragm pump. The piston kind pump is a smaller amount pricey than diaphragm pumps, however might not be appropriate for every kind of herbicides. If you’re victimization dry-flowable or alternative dry chemical formulations, the piston pump could wear out additional quickly and want replacement. In general, a diaphragm pump was hand-picked additional usually by our readers for simple repair and sturdiness with totally different formulations of herbicides.
- Comfort and Safety (reduce risk of herbicide exposure): Small options sort of a full size pump handle and spray wand grip facilitate scale back operator fatigue. Adjustable, chemical resistant cushioned straps and a contoured tank give a lighter match. If the harness isn’t adequate however you prefer different options of a sprayer, a cushioned harness could also be purchased severally for a few sprayers (see accessories below). seek for Viton kind rubber seals that resist swelling and softening, that is usually the explanation for run and pump breakdown.
- Spray Wand: A quality spray wand is less prone to leaks and is important for operator comfort and accurate application. Look for wands that accept the TeeJet nozzles and caps, which allow you to choose from a wide assortment of industrial grade tips that are sold by local suppliers.
- Durability and Ease of Repair: The backpack sprayer tank should be composed of high-density polyethylene with UV protection. Hoses, seals and other accessories should be rated for herbicides and additives you will be applying. Repair parts should be available to rebuild components such as pumps.
Optional Backpack Sprayer Accessories
Following are some ideas you may want to consider for upgrading your backpack sprayer.
- For applications near sensitive desirable plants, factory wands can be upgraded with units that have the shut off mechanism at the spray tip rather than back at the handle. This feature will virtually eliminate unwanted dripping (FIGURE 1).
- Wands can be customized with straight or curved extensions up to 48 inches.
- A pressure regulator device built into the sprayer or added as an accessory to the spray wand (e.g., calibrator valve) can help maintain a constant spray pressure. A pressure regulator allows more consistent application, reduces drift, and prevents unwanted pressure spikes.
- Add quick couplers that allow the spray wand to be removed for easier transportation and storage.
- Improved harnesses can provide comfort and protection to the applicator. The harness must have waterproof pads to prevent chemical saturation (read below for recommendation from our readers. Box 2).
- Thorough cleaning after every use is essential for the longevity of a backpack sprayer. Your backpack sprayer will last longer and require less repairs if you rinse the equipment thoroughly at the end of the day with clean water or a commercial tank cleaner.
- Lubricate seals and o-rings periodically (at least once per year).
- In colder climates you need to winterize your sprayer before storage. Be sure to add either automotive or RV antifreeze to prevent damage due to freezing. Automotive antifreeze is less corrosive to spray equipment pumps and seals than RV antifreeze. However, automotive antifreeze is toxic and must be collected for reuse or disposed of properly. RV antifreeze is non-toxic and may be sprayed on the ground