You won't hear this advice very often. One thing you can do to get your self-propelled sprayer ready for winter storage and for next season is to not change and update computer software. Huh? Where did that come from?
Mike Flat with Equipment Technologies believes it's the best advice he can give when it comes to software that helps the computer do all the automatic, precision-farming things you have come to expect. Equipment Technologies, Mooresville, makes Apache sprayers.
He says you should repair or replace any electronic systems and software that you had problems with during the season. Otherwise, he recommends sticking with the same systems and software for at least the early part of the 2016 spraying system. Why?
"If the software you have is working, then start your next season with that version of the software," he says. The reason is because even software manufacturers make mistakes.
"If I'm depending on a new version of software to work next season and it has glitches, I might have a really bad spring until I figure out what's going on.
"It may have worked when I put the sprayer away, but what changed? What changed is, I changed software versions, shut the key off and didn't look at it again for the next six months," he says.
Flatt also recommends that after you flush the tank and wet system on the sprayer, replace the water with recreational vehicle antifreeze. Even if the sprayer is in a covered building, he notes, it's still subject to freezing unless the building is heated. Since frozen water expands, even a small amount of water still in the wet system could create cracks that result in leaks when you get ready to spray next spring.
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Winter prep should also including changing engine oil and driveline fluids, he says. "Otherwise engine and driveline parts will be sitting in acidic conditions over winter," Flatt notes. That's not ideal, he concludes.
Are you confident in preparing your sprayer for the season ahead? Do you know how to best minimize herbicide spray drift? Brush up with our free report, Best Practices For Spraying: Get The Most Out Of Your Sprayer