Best practices to keep spray rigs and tanks clean

September 28, 2022 -  By
Regular cleaning of your spray rig is the best way to keep it operating smoothly, according to experts. (Photo: Tyler Hollenbeck)

Regular cleaning of your spray rig is the best way to keep it operating smoothly, according to experts. (Photo: Tyler Hollenbeck)

Of all the things lawn care operators (LCOs) have to manage, keeping their spray rigs and tanks clean might be among the most tedious.

Ben Molitor, owner of Best Lawn Care in O’Fallon, Mo., Tyler Hollenbeck, owner of a Weed Man franchise in Billings, Mont., and Dave Arnett, sales manager for Graham Spray Equipment, share their best practices for keeping spray rigs in top-notch condition.

Tank warfare

When dealing with humic fertilizer products that can stain surfaces, Hollenbeck — whose business serves an 80 percent residential, 20 percent commercial clientele — makes sure his team is vigilant in removing stains as soon as possible.

“Usually, at the end of rounds, if there is any staining on tanks, we’ll rub that off to keep it looking good,” says Hollenbeck. “We like to use Magic Erasers to help with that to make sure there is no oil leaking.”

Molitor recommends Schaeffer’s 332 Turbo Red Cleaner Concentrate, a cleaning product that removes grease deposits, dirt and oils.

Arnett says the best way to keep your tank clean and make sure the visibility stays high is to clean it often. The same goes for aluminum truck beds, which Arnett says can corrode and cause issues.

“Aluminum doesn’t rust, but it does corrode,” he says. “When you have fertilizer that stays in one place for a long period of time, it will corrode and eat right through your bed. The longevity is a huge reason to keep it clean.”

Making a list

Molitor is a self-described clean freak, and that carries over to his spray trucks. Best Lawn Care serves a primarily residential client base in the Greater St. Louis area.

“We do have a morning checklist to make sure they get all of their equipment and what they’ll need,” he says. “And then we have an end-of-the-day checklist that they’ve got to complete.”

Some of the items on that end-of-the-day checklist include:

  • Cleaning out the trucks;
  • Hosing down the outside of the trucks to remove stains;
  • Cleaning the windows; and
  • Cleaning the bed of the truck to remove loose fertilizer.

Molitor’s team also checks the oil in their trucks at least once a week, in addition to other housekeeping duties, like checking the vehicle’s fluids, blinkers and headlights.

Hollenbeck has a similar routine. His crews also inspect hoses for potential leaks by unwinding them completely and checking for kinks and spots that could potentially break.


Arnett has more than 28 years of experience building spray rigs for Graham Spray Equipment, where he now serves as a sales manager.

“A lot of people use these rigs as moving billboards,” he says. “With these fiberglass tanks, you can put signage on it, your phone number, your logo. So it’s important when people see it that it looks good and it looks clean.”

Arnett says he’s had Graham Spray Equipment customers tell him that the spray rig has sold accounts for him in the past.

Hollenbeck corroborates that, saying he’s had customers tell him directly that his company’s rigs have caught their eye and drew them to Weed Man.

“We get a lot of compliments on how our fleet looks,” he says. “We had a guy walk into the office who wanted a quote. We asked him how he heard about us, and he said, ‘I work at this warehouse behind you guys and see that every day you guys are cleaning something.’”

Rob DiFranco

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

Comments are currently closed.